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India can't sustain provision of IT workers
by Richard Powell at 16:53 19/02/03 (IT)
India's principle IT industry organisation, NASSCOM, says the country expects almost 25 per cent growth in the number of IT jobs available in 2003, but expresses concerns that demand will overtake supply in 2008.
NASSCOM, the National Association of Software and Service Companies, revealed the findings of its annual industry survey on Knowledge Professionals in India to show the IT Software and Services Industry expects to employ 650,000 IT professional by March 2003.

This reflects a growth of 24.4 per cent from last year's employment of 522,250 IT workers. Of the total, almost 205,000 are working in the IT software exports industry; 160,000 are employed in IT Enabled Services; 25,000 in the domestic software market and over 260,000 in user organisations.

The knowledge professionals survey focused on the total IT workforce in the country, the skill sets in demand and projections on IT workforce requirement till 2008.

Commenting on the findings, Mr Arun Kumar, Chairman of NASSCOM, said: "We saw a pick up in the recruitment scene in the IT Services sector from the second quarter of the year. The skills in demand were in the areas of software analysts, domain specialists, information security, integration specialists, database administrators; network specialists and communication engineers; data warehousing, and semiconductor design.

"In the ITES sector, we saw almost 200 personnel being hired every working day of the year. The interesting trend here was that there was a shift away from hiring freshers to professionals with more domain specific skill sets and business analysts with programming skills which reflects that Indian companies are tapping high value service lines," he added.

Hiring of new IT professionals was highest in south India at 44 per cent and lowest in eastern region at six per cent.

The overall median age of the software professionals was about 26.5 years.

Seventy-nine per cent of software professionals in software companies were men and 21 per cent were women. However, this ratio is likely to be 65:35 (male:female) by the year 2005, according to NASSCOM, as this ratio is reversed in the ITES sector where the ratio of males to females is 35:65.

Forty-two per cent of the software professionals or knowledge workers possessed over three years of working experience which reinforces the need for the industry to hire professionals who can scale up the activity and address issues quickly to reduce turn around time, the survey found.

There was an average of an eight per cent rise in basic salaries during 2002 with most companies increasingly adopting the variable pay concept in order to link pay to revenues, and control costs.

The survey also revealed that 76 per cent of all software professionals had a graduate degree or above - 13 per cent were M.Tech, MBA, CA, ICWA, 62 per cent were B.Tech, BE or MCA and 23 per cent were diploma-holders or graduates.

The survey highlighted the potential shortfall of 235,000 people by 2008 if current trends of intake of technical talent into the IT workforce continue.

The demand for software professionals is expected to be approximately 1.1 million people by 2008, however, the supply of software professionals, based on current trends, is projected to be 885,000 by 2008.

Kiran Karnik, President of NASSCOM, said: "Though India has a large talent pool, with 167,000 engineering students and 1.54 million graduates passing out of India's educational institutions annually, some training gaps remain. We need to introduce software related courses across various disciplines and impart practical training to enhance their preparedness to work in the IT industry.

"It is also important that educational institutions in India partner with private training institutes to impart intensive training on specific skills required by the industry. This is particularly important in the ITES sector, since it is imperative for professionals in the sector to have the required linguistic skills and the appropriate domain/functional expertise. The IT industry on its part must provide appropriate training opportunities for these students through internships," he added.

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Richard Powell, Shout99.com 2003

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India can't sustain provision ... Richard Powell - 19/02
    How ironic ... mikew - 19/02
    Expect a decline in competitiv... Flibble - 19/02
       same response cpierson - 20/02
    NASSCOM jojo - 19/02
    Fast Track Visa's stefanclark - 20/02
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