The batch of 2020 will be on the lookout for jobs in what is touted to be one of the most difficult economic conditions in recent times. Not only are fewer firms focusing on hiring, many have also withdrawn their offers. The brightest minds from prime institutes, including IITs and IIMs, may also be competing in the job market with those graduating from tier-2 and 3 colleges. So, what should a student from not-so-prominent college do to get a decent job?
Upskilling and practicing patience was the unanimous advice from the industry as they seek more time to adjust to the new normal. Vikram Ahuja, co-founder, Talent500 – a part of ANSR helping Fortune 500 companies said, “While hiring is on hold across sectors, there will still be some firms recruiting as they will have access to the best talent. There will also be a surge for remote workers or work-from-home collaborations. For freshers, it is better to try to have access to flexible skills. During the 6-9 months of seeking a job, it is apt to look for courses in AI, ML, healthcare, data science, etc, which is beyond technology.”
Industries still hiring
Ayush Bansal, founder and CEO, career counselling firm iDream career, believes there are sectors which are seeing an exponential upsurge. “Medical science and bio sciences research is expected to see a heavy inflow of funds. For example, life sciences, biologists, immunologists, bio engineering, tissue engineering and allied medical sciences including care technologists, medical lab technicians, etc. In humanities, the need for psychologists, economists, social scientists; for those in science stream atmospheric scientists, etc, are also going to be in high demand. Agricultural scientists and food technologists are also emerging careers.”
Bansal recommends that an online certification from a reputed institute in a skill not directly linked to one’s course is a good idea to show adaptability and flexibility. For instance, someone who has pursued a course in business can also do a course in legal aspects of it in the meantime.
Increase visibility for employers
Lohit Bhatia, president, Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) said that though candidates might face difficulties during the slowdown, once the the re-building period begins, they will have a great amount of learning.
“Industries are also changing and will have to re-look the way they function. In this testing time, it is difficult to hire someone and induct them into the system and joining dates can be postponed. In such a case, candidates need to reach out to their firms and ask them to give them work anyway. It gives a message that money is not the only motivation for the candidate and s/he is would stay with the firm in difficult times,” he suggested.
He added, one must try to get associated with an important project under senior leadership, for growth. Those looking for a job need to be flexible in terms of what they want. It is better to learn skills rather than wait. No learning goes waste, he added.
Not all is gloom, according to Nitish Jain, president, SP Jain School of Global Management. He believes that lockdown has made people’s desires of eating-out, travel, etc, pent up and once the situation gets better, there would be a boom instead, more so online. “Recruiters are looking for digitally savvy people. There are many jobs – right from digital marketing to digital logistics to cyber security. Big data and fin-tech are other high growth areas with handsome packages on account of scarce talent. On a softer side, recruiters would be looking for graduates who are resilient, solution-oriented and innovative. Clearly, data science, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other similar industries would be booming. They may even consider environment and sustainability as these have now become mainstream.”
The situation is expected to bounce back faster in developed nations and urban areas, however, Indians looking to work abroad might have to look for newer destinations. “While western countries have already started seeing millions of job losses, there would be political pressure to hire ingrown talent. Now, South Asian nations and Middle East can be a good option,” remarked Ahuja.
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