Tough All Over -- Including India -- to Find Qualified IT 'Professionals'

Ann All

So, you're having a tough time finding employees with the desired blend of technology and business skills?

 

Turns out your outsourcing provider may be feeling your pain.

 

According to a recent Associated Press report, India's outsourcing firms are having an increasingly tough time keeping up with demand. An analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group calls the staffing issue "the Achilles' heel of the industry." India's National Association of Software Services Companies predicts there could be a shortfall of up to 500,000 technology professionals by 2010.

 

Part of the problem is that some of India's technology graduates lack basic business communication skills. Experts estimate that only about a quarter of the 400,000 annual graduates of engineering programs at Indian schools have appropriate entry-level job skills.

 

Some big Indian firms are pouring big bucks into training programs in an effort to bring recent university graduates up to speed. Infosys Technologies spent $350 million to build a 500,000-square-foot educational complex in Mysore. Some 4,500 students at a time are in enrolled in 16-week training courses there. They are schooled in "soft" skills such as e-mail etiquette and problem-solving, in addition to technical areas like programming.


 

India's engineering grads also oftenlack skills in Web development technologies such as Javascript and Ajax, according to a Google executive quoted in a recent Reuters article.

 

Firms like Infosys might find themselves having to pay more for the most qualified candidates, driving up wages and eroding some of the labor cost advantages they are currently able to offer their clients.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 7, 2007 3:15 AM Chuck Chuck  says:
Perhaps this will cause firms to reconsider hiring people in the US with these skills. Many persons I have worked with have the skills, but are not in India and are not planning to move there. Reply
May 7, 2007 6:03 AM Darrell Darrell  says:
Define "qualified candidate". Maybe companies need to spend more time filtering through applications and resumes. It is very difficult to quantify business skills. Although the basics can be taught in school the rest of those skills are learned OJT. Public relations, customer service, sales and coaching are neither skills taught nor mastered in a classroom. The problem with most businesses is that they do not place emphasis on training those that have those inate qualities they want someone to do tasks and not expand their abilities. Once hired few mentor interested employees nor enhance their abilities past the trade level. The other issue arrives when "Tech" companies only want the newest and "Brightest" and bypass the older more mature candidate that may have developed these skills. Reply
May 8, 2007 6:34 AM Sonny Ako-Nai Sonny Ako-Nai  says:
More often, young IT technologist just want to be technologist and enjoy doing that. The approach of forcing them to learn business management skill or understand business management might not be of interest to them and also cannot be mastered overnite.Experience obtained from more years on the the field in the best solution. They are still more matured technologist with business experience who still enjoy being just technologist!Hire the matured and experienced ones with interest in being business / IT specialist! This obviously requires going through alot of CVs and importing these experts. (Afterall it is a Global Village!).Cheers.IT ? Business Systems & Processes ConsultantSA Reply
May 8, 2007 10:22 AM SRINIVASAN VARADARAJAN SRINIVASAN VARADARAJAN  says:
I entirely agree with my peers who have commented about mature employees. Currently I am undergoing rejection though I am competent in the business part apart from my competency in the technical part I have recently acquired.Though i am well qualified, i am rejected because of the age discrimination that prevails in the software sector in India. This favours only the young and the others who had no opportunity for computer education and hence are late entrants to the field have to suffer. Reply
May 19, 2007 10:51 AM Len Inkster Len Inkster  says:
In the UK, the British Computer Society has a scheme that ensures professionals are qualified in a broad range of skills, this is the Chartered IT Professional. In Canada we have the same system with the Canadian Information Processing Society here in Canada, and in the U the ACM offers a similar recognition of professionalism in the workplace. Sadly, the three countries do not recognise each others qualifications, and consequently, companies from the three countries do not really take the certifications seriously. Chartered Accountants are recognised worldwide, as are lawyers, doctors, nurses etc. Yet in the IT profession, even though we clearly have a mechanism other than university degrees, which are at best out of date when you get them or at worst not worth the paper they are written on, we fail to use then in a unified manner globally. No wonder no-one takes us seriously as professionals, when we can't even agree to accept the professionalism of other respected bodies who have been certifying their members for 50 plus years.It's time we stopped using our laws and boundaries to discriminate against professionals, but work together to unify the profession so that our certifications, and charterships are trully globally recgonised for what they are; proof of the ability to do the job in a professional mannner, not just a qualification to say that we have been able to learn from someone else's books but have not actually had the opportunity to put that learning into practice.Then perhaps this so called "IT workforce" shortage will also be recognised for what it is, a dumping of the older labour market because it is perceived to be too expensive, for a cheaper, more allegedly malleable younger workforce. By emplying the more senior professionals, and utilising their skills correctly, businesses could benefit from the years of experience, and gain internal mentors to assist their younger force "get up to speed" quicker. Yes it pushes the costs up, but in my past experience of companies that have opted for this cross-sectioning of the workforce, the productivity benfits outweigh those extra costs. Reply

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