Emerging technology such as automation poses a big threat to jobs. It can force companies to rationalize workforce and even finish certain jobs. And India is expected to be hit the hardest. A global survey by ManpowerGroup released early this year asked 18,000 employers in 43 countries across six industry sectors how they expected technology to impact their business in the next two years.
For the question — Where will digitization increase or decrease headcount? — India had the most employers saying digitization would decrease headcounts. Over a quarter of employers in India expect to reduce headcount due to digitization.
While increasing use of digitization, automation and artificial intelligence in the IT industry will take away jobs, it will certainly create new jobs too. The employees who upskill themselves, stay relevant in the industry. Yet companies find it difficult to reskill their employees in time. And that creates another avenue for techies—freelancing.
Techies can beat the gathering gloom in job market by equipping yourself with the latest skills. Evolving technology has opened up a vast space as businesses chase innovative solutions. The new-age skill sets such as natural language processing are in high demand and promise market-beating rates.
The most common freelance work for freelancers is in the domain of emerging technologies such as data visualization, data mining and digital marketing, according to a study by Manipal Global Education, one of India’s largest education services groups.
Since companies are not able to reskill their employees as fast as required by the market, a large number of jobs in emerging technologies go to freelance techies. The Manipal report says that despite taking up reskilling at scale, leading IT firms are struggling to fill the newer technology roles. The report estimates that 65% of professionals in IT firms are struggling to upgrade their skills in the newer technologies. So they need external talent.
According to data from Upwork, a website that matches freelancers with employers, demand for software engineers who program computers to understand human speech has grown faster than workers with any other skill. Voice-activated virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Echo devices have been made possible by natural language processing.
According to a Bloomberg report on the Upwork data, freelancers who know natural language processing earned an average hourly rate of $123 per hour, and the total amount that they billed increased by 2,300 per cent last quarter from a year earlier. “The nascent boom in these jobs also foreshadows the employment that advances in artificial intelligence could create, even while they replace other human tasks,” says the Bloomberg report.
While natural language processing topped Upwork’s list of the 20 fastest-growing skills, Swift, a programming language used to build apps for Apple devices, ranked second, followed by Tableau, a system to create data visualizations. Amazon Marketplace Web Services, Stripe, Instagram marketing, MySQL programming, Unbounce, social media management and Angular JS were other top skills in the Upwork list.
Indians are already in huge demand for freelance work. On Freelancer.com, one of the largest global online platforms where freelancers can offer their services, the number of registered people from India is the highest, at more than 20% of the total. The portal currently has around 5.3 million people from India, and 3.3 million from the US.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.