Forrester Research analyst John C McCarthy believes
that the US will witness an explosion of information
technology work going out of the country. This may seem
a Cassandra-like prognosis to many Indians.
prophesises that at least 3.3-million white-collar jobs
and $136 billion in wages will shift from the US to
low-cost countries by 2015. Which means 3.3-million
white-collar American Stuarts will be out of jobs and
the gainers will mostly be our desi Thomases,
Dinkars and Haris.
hear what Information Technology Association of America''s
(ITAA''s) third annual IT workforce study has to say.
The US IT workforce, it says, shrank by an aggregate
of 528,496 workers in 2001, with companies hiring 2.1-million
IT workers while laying off about 2.6 million.
the attrition rates have been quite high. Most of the
2.1 million hired maybe Indians, Chinese and Filipinos,
while the 2.6 million who lost their jobs in a sort
of quid pro quo maybe honest-to-goodness Americans.
Therefore, the prognosis is that millions of cola-guzzling
Americans will sit and watch the telly while the super-smart
and deadly-clever Asian (read Indians) will walk away
with their plum jobs.
hiring pattern (approximate figures)
ITAA had estimated that the US will need 1.6-million
IT workers in 2001. But the number of American college
graduates with high-tech degrees is falling. According
to the US department of education, the number of bachelor-level
computer science degrees awarded by US universities
declined more than 40 per cent between 1986 and 1994,
from 42,195 to 24,553. So who fills the yawning gap
in demand and supply? Obviously, Indians and other code-smart
Group Research fellow Howard Rubin says the US''s piece
of the estimated 5-million global IT jobs is decreasing.
The US now has about half of the world-wide IT workforce
(2.5 million), and that workforce is growing at a rate
of about 10 per cent annually. Therefore, by 2015, there
will be around 7.8-million IT jobs in the US. From this,
as McCarthy has been quoted above, 3.3-million jobs
will be going offshore. That will leave 4.5-million
jobs in the US.
IT workforce expansion rates, in the meantime, have
been growing by up to 20 per cent yearly, with countries
like Canada, India, China and the Philippines experiencing
a growth rate two to four times that of the US. With
the number of computer graduates from US universities
shrinking, naturally, a lot of jobs will migrate to
the fertile shores of India, Canada and other Asian
to National Association of Software and Services Companies
(Nasscom), the Indian IT industry has added 73,750 knowledge
professionals in 2002-03. This is in spite of the SARS
scare and the US policies detrimental to welcoming Indian
professionals with open hands. However, the deprivation
of their jobs is causing a lot of heartburn in the developed
3.3-million plum white-collar jobs and $136 billion
in wages are no trifling figure. Therefore, workplace
harassment has been an issue every Indian IT professional
should be prepared to face. In Malaysia recently, it
went to the extent of arrest and detention.
the lesson India should learn from the Malaysian fiasco,
Wipro Technologies chairman Azim Premji tells domain-b:
"IT companies should follow the visa rules and
regulations very strictly, and they should take their
customers into confidence in all their dealings."
Ravi Mehta, CEO, Athena Consulting and Outsourcing (www.icejobs.com),
a company specialising in IT recruitment: "The
US government''s visa policy will have a substantial
impact on the hiring of Indian IT professionals."
is of the view that the Indian government should use
IT more in state and central government departments.
A sensible thought, as it will help create more jobs
within the country without depending entirely on foreign
contracts. "Before bidding for foreign contracts
let us fine-tune our skills on our own systems, which
are badly in need of automation."
When 3.3-million jobs are migrating out of the US by
2015 it is worthwhile studying the hiring patterns followed
by Indian IT industry majors. In the quarter ended June
2003, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) added around 600
professionals to its rolls, Infosys a huge 2,175, and
Wipro Technologies 895. Though the companies claim to
have controlled attrition rates around the 7-per cent
mark, unofficially the rates are much higher. TCS has
now about 19,000 employees, Infosys 17,095 and Wipro
a competitive atmosphere, IT companies are realising
that they cannot be complacent about non-performers.
Infosys has a policy of inculcating a strong performance
ethics within itself. It has set minimum standards of
performance and those who are identified as laggards
are put in the performance improvement plan (PIP), though
it has created a lot of disgruntlement within the Infosys
has a more direct approach; they reward the top performers
while those languishing in the bottom 10 per cent are
given pink slips. Therefore, attrition rates at IT companies
should also differentiate between those who are leaving
voluntarily for greener pastures and those who have
been given the heave-ho.
late, there has been a marked decline in the choice
of IT as a career among youngsters. Well, they have
been reading the wrong articles. They should be reading
what McCarthy has to say instead. It seems, the choices
before Indian IT workers are quite vivid. There is a
demand in advanced countries and a shortage in the supply
of qualified professionals. Though noises are being
made about the flow of jobs to Asia, eventually market
dynamics will level the playing field and jobs will
flow to the Indian shores.
yes, where are those Oracle, C and Java ''For Dummies''