India Leads in the Global Demand for Digital Skills

As the world grows increasingly connected through technology, India is poised to be a leader in the digital economy. India’s public and private sectors have ramped up efforts to meet the demands of an increasingly digitized market. This has resulted in investment and skills training across digital and tech sectors, designed to place India at the forefront of the digital landscape.

A recent study from McKinsey found that India is the second-fastest digital adopter among 17 major digital economies, second only to Indonesia. Factors such as digital foundation (cost, speed, and reliability of internet service), digital reach (number of downloads and consumption), and digital value (how much users engage online) were measured, and India’s score grew 90 percent since 2014. The study estimates that digital sectors, which accounted for 7 percent of India’s GDP between 2017 and 2018, could double their GDP contribution by 2025. In sectors such as information technology (IT), business process management (BPM), electronics manufacturing, and digital communications, the potential GDP growth is between $355 billion and $435 billion. There’s potential to create as many as 65 million new jobs in sectors such as manufacturing, finance, media, and transport and logistics. With that rise comes an increased demand for skills in the Internet of Things, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence.

A report from AIMA-KPMG similarly found that India’s job landscape will be transformed by the emergence of online labor, a growing e-commerce industry, and new start-ups. The result will be a heightened need for highly skilled talent in technologies such as data science, digital marketing, and blockchain design. Additionally, jobs in the fields of cybersecurity, social media, and mobile application development will multiply, requiring skilled talent in machine learning, Cloud services, and managing Big Data and analytics. A widening digital skills gap was reported by 64 percent of surveyed companies, and this skills gap, alongside a rapidly growing digital sector, means that highly skilled talent is needed to rise to the challenge.

AIMA-KPMG’s report points to skills programs in the public sector such as the Skill India Program as well as collaborations with the private sector for vocational training. The Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of India launched a task force aimed at closing the skills gap in India, looking to enhance education and training to top companies. These government initiatives join with businesses’ goals to bridge the skills gap as India’s IT sector aims to train at least 1 million workers in digital technologies over the next 4 years.

Companies around the world are already jumping on India’s digital and tech opportunities. Panasonic India is looking to launch facial recognition technology to the Indian market by 2020, while London tech firms cite India as a top destination in which to expand operations. Bangalore landed at sixth place in the list of top destinations for tech firms looking to expand operations internationally. India and Japan have also recently set up a Fund of Funds of $187 million to invest in tech startups. Such projects add to the acceleration of the tech sector and the need for skilled talent.

With the rapid increase in digital operations and innovation through various sectors across India comes even more demand for skilled tech talent to make these endeavors successful. The result is not only a robust, digitized market but an opportunity for exciting new jobs. Workers who are skilled in emerging technologies crucial to digital success will find a world of digital opportunity in India.

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