IT staffing: From funnel-vision to tunnel-vision

Krishna Vij, Business Head, TeamLease Digital distills some recent trends and turning points in the IT workforce landscape.

DQI Bureau
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Krishna Vij, Business Head, TeamLease Digital distills some recent trends and turning points in the IT workforce landscape. From the long-tail ripples of ‘The Great Resignation’ to skills that are fading to the relevance of Tier-2 and -3 towns for IT hiring – she gives us a quick CV of the industry that is applying for a new future.


What 3 major changes have you seen in the last one year in the Indian IT industry—especially with all the lay-offs, changes in hybrid work model and the startup sector’s turbulence?

The Indian IT industry has witnessed transformative shifts in the past year, marked by the ascendancy of hybrid work models, fostering remote work feasibility. Concurrently, a surge in demand for AI, ML, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data science professionals has driven exponential growth in disruptive technologies. Simultaneously, IT companies are prioritizing upskilling initiatives to meet talent demands in these evolving domains. Furthermore, the Great Resignation has impacted the sector, prompting companies to focus on talent retention through enhanced employee well-being programs and flexible work policies leading to a revaluation of talent management strategies in the IT sector.

What IT skills or domains are approaching the sunset-turn?


While technology is constantly evolving, predicting the exact “sunset” of specific IT skills is challenging. However, some skills and domains face increased pressure due to automation, technological advancements, and changing industry needs. Some skills/technologies which are approaching this are AS400, Mainframes, C++ Oops, JD Edwards, Lotus Notes etc.

Some skills and domains face increased pressure due to automation, technological advancements, and changing industry needs

What new skills and competencies are emerging as the future gold? Can you also mention anything which is not even on the radar now but will be a big force ahead?


Emerging as future gold, skills like adaptability, critical thinking, problem solving, project management, data analysis, and innovation are gaining prominence. Additionally, on the horizon, but not mainstream yet, are potential game-changers like quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence, biotechnology, genomics, and green technologies, indicating a shift towards cutting-edge competencies that will likely play a significant role in the future job market.

What do engineers look for when they seek a job or a switch today?

Engineers today prioritize several factors when seeking a job or considering a switch. Key considerations include opportunities for professional growth and continuous learning, a healthy work-life balance, and overall well-being. Competitive compensation and benefits packages are essential, alongside a preference for flexible work arrangements. Additionally, engineers often seek roles that involve innovative projects and the chance to work with cutting-edge technologies, reflecting a desire for challenging and forward-thinking work environments.


Are Tier 3 and 4 towns gaining the IT industry’s attention and investments the same way they did during the lockdown?

The intense IT industry focus on Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns during the lockdown has cooled, but interest remains. While initial factors like cost-effectiveness and wider talent pool were attractive, companies are now prioritizing locations with readily available skilled talent. Additionally, the rise of hybrid work models has lessened the need for complete relocation to these smaller towns.

What big question is the elephant in the room about IT Talent—that the industry should confront?


Addressing the persistent gap between tech skill demand and availability is crucial. To bridge this gap, fostering agile education, encouraging continuous learning, and promoting industry-academia collaboration are imperative. Governments must support flexible, and technology-driven, learning solutions to enhance accessibility.

How can engineering education get better? What areas need improvement?

Engineering education can enhance its effectiveness by prioritizing industry-relevant curriculum, ensuring a flexible curriculum structure, and regularly updating course content to align with technological advancements. Establishing strong industry-academia partnerships fosters practical exposure, while integrating digital tools and technologies enhances learning experiences. Additionally, incorporating project-based learning methodologies allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, promoting a more comprehensive understanding of engineering principles and their practical application.