Enhancing Career Prospects in a Downturn: Growing markets create mass workers, tough markets need specialists such as TWB says Wall Street Journal/MINT, Economic Times and Deccan Herald. TWB Certifications is providing continued hiring momentum in automation led job contraction.
Current Job Market
The last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 have not spelt great news for the Indian employment scenario. According to a Naukri.com study, India witnessed a slowdown of 22.4 percent in new hiring in November 2008, as compared with a slowdown of 21.9 percent in October 2008. The slowdown in hiring has been largely attributed to corporate scaling back their recruitment plans due to the global financial crisis and the current economic conditions. The general pace and tone of hiring in 2009 for fresh graduates, educational campuses and junior positions has been subdued.
However in a time where there is a significant slowdown in mass hiring for mainstream talent including programmers in the IT sector and voice and non-voice practices in the BPO/KPO sectors, there have been pockets of growth amidst this employment gloom and specialized hiring is likely going to keep the same pace in 2009 as it did in 2007 & 2008.
On one hand, jobs have been cut in sectors that formed a fair chunk of the mass market – like IT, ITES, BPO, financial services, on the other hand there have been hiring initiatives that can be seen coming from specialized jobs in sunrise and traditional sectors both. Some of these include wealth management, clinical research, actuarial sciences, technical communication, LPOs, law firms, patents filing, research and related jobs.
These jobs are not mass generic-skill jobs available to everyone but only to those qualified or trained for these positions. The single most driving factor driving the specialized careers category is the fact that the quantum of value addition per employee is far higher as compared to a less skilled graduate for the companies and most of these jobs are not part of short term vision but a long term business strategy, making them more coveted and valuable for job seekers.
It is expected that these niche and specialized jobs will continue to rise since most of these industries are built on the value of long term growth and not short term market response. For example, there is a latent demand in India for over 1,00,000 technical communicators but the current supply is perhaps at 15 percent of that. This demand will need to be fulfilled keeping long term view in mind and irrespective of economic phases. Similarly, historically India has had a short fall of patent examiners – 115 examiners for 35,000 patents filed in 2008. Therefore, this is a talent pool that will need to be filled continuously for few years to come, so that market demand can be met.
These specialized jobs will continue to pay better than mass jobs and therefore will continue to be preferred choice of career professionals. For example, the average salary for a graduate or an engineer is Rs 2.6 lakh per annum, according to an IDC survey whereas an average technical communicator earns Rs 4.00 lakh per annum, (STC data) or an average LPO professional makes about 4.25 lakhs per annum (industry estimates).
Career growth is better in specialized jobs, since there is a marked provision for career path and professional enhancement. For example, not every BPO agent makes it to managerial ranks but a usability expert is likely to move to the next level sooner. These niche jobs have lifelong growth and lead to key managerial positions.
Bettering One’s Career Prospects Being in one of these jobs is a function of appropriate training and adequate hands on experience – both of which can be acquired institutionally. There are training programs and specialist institutes that are meeting the demands of these segments such as the world’ largest technical content certification from TWB
Experts agree that the slump in the market also means the best time to hone your skill sets and make further additions to your professional profile.
TWB is the leading technical communication training organization and provides appropriate trainings to equip a graduate to apply for the niche/specialized job. These range from a Post Graduate Diploma in Technical Communication to short term programs like Certification in Patent Writing, Certification in Analytics, and Short Term Courses in Technical Writing etc.
It is interesting to note that most specialized learning institutions such as TWB Education have integrated corporate networks for placements and recruitment purposes. This strength is leveraged to reducing hiring time in most cases for companies and providing a career security to graduates. After all, it is being able to secure better jobs and move up in their career that drives professionals to pursue specialized courses.
There are some caveats as well to moving up one’s career chain. The most important is that one has to perform well during training and internship to be able to acquire a better corporate position. Most of these specialist institutes have far more stringent criteria and processes than their peer group at graduate level.
To Dos for Candidates
Candidates that need to make a career choice in the age of automation need to keep in mind the following:
- If you are a fresh graduate, is that enough to grow in a tough economic environment?
- Do you need to enhance your profile by acquiring special skills?
- If you are already employed, what are the prospects of your current job?
- Is it a job that can be replaced by someone cheaper than you or would it need someone with a specific skill set and knowledge?
- If it needs another cheaper person to replace you, it is worth considering going in for a specialized course – it can be short-term or a long-term course.
- Make an informed relevant choice. What are the kind of courses that you suit you – in terms of time, money and enhancing your job prospects?
- The market is evolving very fast, so are its need for skilled people. Go in for a choice that has scope to grow and give you a specialist skill set.
- Lastly, stick to your choice, work hard at it and be in the top 10 percent of your batch. If you do that in your course, chances are you will be able to do that in your job and career as well.
TWB is providing continued hiring momentum for niche jobs in a contracting job market!