May 5, 2023 - A new report focused on technology skills has found the US, India and Europe to be leading the worldwide tech talent market with 20 per cent, 16 per cent and 16 per cent of tech talent respectively. The global pool of tech talent is estimated at about 26 million.
The EY-iMocha report also found that the increasing usage of different tools had resulted in growth of complexity in tech skills across functional areas (software engineering, IT and business application power user). Roles such as software developers, IT engineer and function-specific non-technical roles have evolved into ‘Power’ software developer, ‘Power’ IT engineer and business with the application ‘Power’ user roles respectively.
Globally, 81 per cent of organisations surveyed affirmed the current low availability of ‘power user/ developer’ tech skills, while 14 per cent said a dearth will be observed in the next three to five years.
The surveyed organisations also indicated that they expect the shortage of future tech skills to arise from the high demand for application developers (76 per cent) and business app users (62 per cent).
Alpana Dutta, Partner, People Advisory Services, EY India, explained that the increased complexity of skill needed across various functional areas (software engineering, IT, and business application power user) was not surprising.
Dutta shared that 62 per cent employers believe that 5-15 per cent of their talent base will require skills transformation in the next two to three years, with 33 per cent employers estimating that 15 per cent to more than 35 per cent of their talent base will require this upgrade.
The tech skills report comes against the backdrop of a grim hiring climate globally, which has seen significant slowdown in 2022 and 2023.
According to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc, the US technology sector alone has announced over one lakh layoffs in Q1 CY2023. The number of job cuts this year grew by 38,487 per cent from the 267 cuts the sector saw in the first quarter of CY2022. The number is already up 5 per cent from the annual total of 97,171 in 2022 and it is on pace to surpass the highest annual total for the sector announced in 2001.
Popular opinion across the globe suggests that emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) technology could render a big mass of tech sector employees jobless soon. Recently, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Bloomberg that the company intends to pause hiring as it looks to replace 7,800 jobs with AI in the coming years.
Weighing in on the topic of AI replacing human roles at organisations, Sujit Karpe, Co-founder and CTO at iMocha, told BW Businessworld, “There are some job roles which will get redundant. But newer job groups will emerge.”
He explained that every new technology, including AI, brings its own complexities which results in more roles rather than reduction in overall number of jobs. But he also emphasised that those who are laid off need to upskill fast to keep themselves relevant in the job market.
“There's uncertainty now. But uncertainties need to be given time. Let's give it a time of six months,” Karpe added on uncertainty in tech job market.
The EY-iMocha report highlighted that about 28 per cent companies surveyed said tech skills transformation of about 35 per cent of their teams would become critical to retain competitive edge by 2025.