Not just core IT, you also need these skills to thrive

Publication: Businessworld Education
May 21, 2021

2020 accelerated the digital transformation of businesses. It impacted every element of the corporate ecosystem, especially business operations and jobs. While some industries witnessed lower job prospects, the essential goods, and services sectors, like healthcare, e-commerce, EdTech and FMCG among others, saw an increase in the creation of job opportunities. As reported by The Statesman, “Hiring activity in India saw a 14% jump in December 2020 as compared to the previous month, signalling a clear recovery of the job market in the post-Covid months.” What brought about this change? 

The pandemic not only compelled organisations to re-invent their business strategies and market but more importantly made them realise the need to have professionals with advanced and specialized skills that could address their clients’ needs. Today, as companies gear up to speed the hiring process, they are focused on onboarding aspirants who are agile, creative and digital savvy. 

What does this mean for freshers and professionals?

We’re witnessing the rise of a new era, more dynamic due to the accelerated adoption of digitization. Organisations worldwide are reimagining their business models to thrive in the ever-evolving competitive market. As a result, the job market is transforming and becoming more skill-oriented than experience-oriented. It’s time for aspirants to create or revamp their resumes by making them more skillset heavy. Companies prefer and will continue to opt for creative, agile aspirants who possess strong technical as well as soft skills.

What are the core skills organisations are looking for?

●Analytical skills: In today’s data-driven world, every aspect of businesses is dominated by data. Working with massive amounts of data involves analysing it to gain insights that help organisations strategise and predict future trends. Analytical skills stretch from Data Science, Business Analytics to Data Analytics and People Analytics. These skills are pivotal to all functions and teams from Finance, Human Resource, to Marketing, Customer Satisfaction and so on. A recent report by Quess shows a big spike in demand for new-age skills in general and a 44.7% spike in demand for Data Analytics, in specific.

  • Cloud Computing expertise: As per a LiveMint report, “Cloud adoption by organisations rose 80% during the first half of the financial year 2021 compared with the second half of the financial year 2020.” As business functions and resources migrate to the cloud, high-level expertise in this field has become a major requirement. It has become the most sought-after tech skill organisations are looking for in 2021, as per a recent report by Rapyder Cloud Solutions.
  • IoT & Big Data competencies: Though we’re familiar with these terms, last year witnessed a much-needed push in the adoption of these technologies in every industry. Many organisations strengthened their digital capabilities and profitability using these advanced technologies. The adoption of the Internet of Things and Big Data are pivotal to ensure high productivity and help thrive in the dynamic market. Thus, companies are actively looking for aspirants who possess high-level proficiency in these technologies.

But it’s not just core IT skills that organisations are looking for

Businesses are exceedingly realising the importance of softer aspects that are required for a holistic approach to a problem. 

  • Problem-solving & product management competencies: From innovatively approaching a business problem to strategizing, having professionals with problem-solving and effective product management competencies has become of significant importance to companies. Organisations need these softer skills to succeed in the product-dominated market. From global firms to leading startups, all businesses are looking for professionals with these two skills.
  • High order thinking: Companies are focused on hiring aspirants with high order thinking skills that comprise competencies like creative thinking and decision-making abilities. This is vital for complicated problem solving and it has become crucial for business continuity. Companies need people who can deal with a difficult situation at the leadership level as well as at the front end.  High order thinking skills include creative cognizance, agile decision-making, mitigating crises, strategic thinking, among others.
  • Growth mindset: The desire and willingness to adopt and adapt are crucial to growth – both personal as well as organisational. Organisations want people to be open to constructive feedback and have a strong growth mindset. This indicates an individual’s risk-taking & innovation capabilities, creativity and willingness to learn.

What can you do to remain relevant and in-demand?

Gone are the days when having a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree was enough to land your desired job. In today’s ever-evolving digital-first era, having the relevant skills for a role is crucial to securing a job and keeping it. More than tenure, it is the impact one can make and that is what organisations look for while hiring a person.