New Delhi: Digital transformation is an essential component of business strategies, and acquiring skills in cloud, big data, machine learning, full-stack and more will have a broadening effect on the job market.

The bouquet of AI, pushed by machine learning, computer vision and the Internet of Things (IoT), is speedily evolving as a significant universal purpose technology. Besides technology companies, it is currently being pursued across sectors ranging from manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, retail, financial services, banking, national defence, and security to public utilities.

“We encourage our engineers in India to constantly push the boundaries of AI and machine learning capabilities, with applications from risk, marketing, customer service to autonomous infrastructure...," said Jayanthi Vaidyanathan – Senior Director Human Resources, PayPal India.

“We have formulated several Leadership programs to build mid and senior leadership; programs that focus on soft skills of the individuals be it in influencing, brand building, communication, to name a few and also a structured job rotation program to continuously create opportunities for the top talent to diversify and equip themselves with newer skills," she said.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry constituted a task force in 2018 to study ‘How AI is reshaping jobs in India’. The study by the task force found 55% of participants attempted to hire such candidates, of which only 17% have been successful in hiring the desired candidates. “This is suggestive of a huge unmet demand for such skilled professionals in the field of AI and ML," the report said.

Given that more than 50% of the sample participants was unaware of the particulars of AI, namely neural networks, deep learning, machine learning and cognitive automation, it can be inferred that there is a lack of skilled professionals in this field, the report said.

Universities have also been experimenting in bringing changes in their curriculum in order to enable their students to work in tandem with the “technologically reoriented" job market in future. “The global awareness on the need to up-skill has enabled professionals to move out of their comfort zone and invest in continuous learning to remain relevant in today's competitive digital work age," said Pankaj Gupta, President Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur.

Parag Diwan, Chief Executive Officer at the Paradigm Consultants & Resource Management Pvt. Ltd said universities and colleges should also mould their curriculum according to the current job market scenario which is titling towards digital technologies.

Government’s support towards building such solutions has also motivated innovators to come up with technology integrating human touch and machine capability.

“These technologies will continue to strengthen India’s technological backbone and hence demand for specialists will also increase in the days to come. As the technology talent pool in India is moving up the value chain, India will soon become the supply base for highly skilled techies in the world," Vaidyanathan said.

According to a 2017 McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, on a global scale, the adoption of currently demonstrated automation technologies could affect 50% of the world economy, or 1.2 billion employees and 14.6 trillion USD in wages. Just four countries—China, India, Japan and the US—account for over half of these totals.

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