In five years, one in 10 jobs in India will be entirely new

19 February 2018 4 min. read
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Although the effects of artificial intelligence and technological advancement on the job market remain a cause of concern, new research reveals that development in these fields might even create a sizeable set of new jobs. According to global professional services firm EY, 1 in 10 employees in India will be doing jobs that don’t currently exist by 2022. 

As the domain of artificial intelligence develops at a rapid rate, experts across the world are sparing no expense to predict the impact that intelligent computers could have on the economy, particularly on the job-market. No-doubt, the increasingly complex capabilities of the latest robotic technology has sparked concern amongst employees across the world, especially those engaged in more “manual or routine” jobs. 

The predictions, as is often the case, are fairly mixed. Some project that as many as one-third of the jobs in the current economy could be wiped out, as early as in the next decade. Others take a more optimistic stance, arguing that the role of AI would be to make existing jobs easier and more efficient, rather than to replace them altogether.

Big Four professional services firm EY, in a new report titled ‘Future of Jobs in India: A 2022 perspective,’ puts forth a unique and highly nuanced set of predictions for the Indian job market in particular, based on responses from 130 leaders spanning the fields of business and academia.

As per the firm’s analysis, the interplay of three key factors will determine the future of the country’s job market, namely globalisation, demographic changes, and the adoption of AI.

Impact on the IT-BPM sector 

In specific terms, the report predicts a substantial impact on the information technology (IT) industry of the country. The transformative impact of technological advancement has already begun to have an impact on India, as the country becomes more active in the digital sphere. The cloud market is expanding significantly, and leaders of the IT industry are aggressively fighting to remain relevant in a race to develop the next transformative technology.

In five years, one in 10 jobs in India will be entirely newOne of the most prominent segments of the country’s IT industry is that of business process management (BPM) worth an estimated $160 billion. The predictions for this sector are unsettling, and two-fold. On the one hand, the firm predicts that 20 -35% of the individuals currently employed in IT-BPM will lose their jobs to AI by as soon as 2022.

Approximately 3.8 million people are directly employed in India’s technology sector, and another 13 million are associated with it indirectly. The IT-BPM sector, which has boomed in India over recent decades, has seen a steady average growth rate of more than 6% in terms of hiring. Over the next five years, this growth will slow to between 3% and 3.5% annually, increasing by only 0.7 million to a total strength of 4.5 million by 2022.

Secondly, those who retain their jobs will see their required skill set evolve to the extent that they would be conducting entirely novel tasks in the next five years. 97% of the executives surveyed in EY’s study believe that employees need to undertake re-skilling over the next five years.

At least one in ten, if not one in five, of current employees in the IT-BPM sector will be doing entirely new jobs by 2022. New jobs will pop up primarily in the Internet of Things, Machine Learning, and AI domains. Examples of such jobs include computer vision engineer, AI research scientist, language-processing specialist, cloud architect, and a number of others.

Other sectors will see a changing landscape as well, especially the automotive, textiles and apparel, the BFSI, as well as the retail sectors. For instance, the automotive sector will see new jobs emerge such as automobile analytics engineer, 3D printing technician, and machine-learning-based vehicle cybersecurity expert. 

Similarly, the textiles sector will require e-textiles specialists and apparel data analysts, while the retail sector will require digital imaging leaders, IT process modellers, digital marketing specialists, retail data analysts, and other such novel positions.