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The Economic Times

Here are the four truths about white collar jobs

ET Bureau|
Four realities that define employment prospects
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Four realities that define employment prospects

1. For entry-level office jobs for graduates and post-graduates, the situation is grim and will remain so till the economy revives considerably

2. For the suits — CXO-level jobs — hiring outlook is good, especially for those skilled in digital roles

3. For some specialists — for example, software engineers — re-skilling is a must to avoid irrelevance

4. For some sectors/activities — for example, KPOs, life sciences, healthcare, renewable energy and project engineering — the immediate future for employment looks better.

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Post-graduate delivery boys
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Post-graduate delivery boys

Here’s a sobering reality about the entry-level white collar job market: The young person who delivered a book or biryani to your doorstep is a post-graduate. Post-graduates and graduates as delivery staff for online merchants number close to 25,000, according to staffing firm TeamLease. These are young Indians who have waited… and waited… for an ‘office job’, not found any, and taken what’s available.

The big question for India’s graduates is: When will jobs that ‘match’ their qualifications be available again. HR and industry observers say the renewed mandate for Bharatiya Janata Party offers political stability and is a positive for job creation. But the government’s economic policy has to deliver. And that the wait will be longish for the post-graduate delivery staff hoping to operate an office desk instead of a noisy two-wheeler.

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Suits-boots are ok
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Suits-boots are ok

CEO/CXO hiring usually remains relatively insulated from economic troughs, unless they are severe. HR experts see good hiring prospects for new-age businesses such as ed-tech, fin-tech, med-tech, as well as roles on the digital side of other businesses.

Headhunters say CXOs from established sectors such as FMCG and services are moving to new-age businesses, prompting companies in the former category to look out for talent.

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Engineers, reengineer
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Engineers, reengineer

According to the latest National Employability Report, released by Aspiring Minds, over 80% Indian engineers are unemployable for any job. Only 3.84% of engineers have technical, cognitive and language skills required for software-related jobs in startups, and only 3% have new-age technological skills in areas such as AI, machine learning, data science and mobile development. The shocking figure: engineers’ employability for new-age jobs is on average just 1.7%.

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Healthcare & hospitality better off
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Healthcare & hospitality better off

Search and hiring experts identify a few sectors with reasonably good job prospects in the next 12-18 months: KPOs, infrastructure, tourism, startups, hospitality, healthcare and lifesciences, renewable energy, project engineering, and most functions digital.

KPOs are expected to hire about 150,000 over the next two years, according to estimates by TeamLease, as these companies sharpen their India focus.

Nasscom estimates the market size of global inhouse centres (GICs) increased to $28.3 billion in the past financial year from $19.4 billion in 2014-15. The workforce of ‘installed’ GIC talent reached about a million in 2018-19 from about 745,000 over the same period.

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    Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service