What roles does the industry offer?
At the elementary level, there are basically four major IT components from which the various roles emanate: databases (database developer/ administrator), front-end tools (application developer, e-commerce/ web developer), networking (network engineer), operating services (operating system administrator). Some roles are common across the segments, such as computer support specialists, project managers, systems analysts and systems designers.
What are the skills required?
An IT professional’s competency is evaluated at four levels — technical (programming languages, Databases/ RDBMS, Application/ Web servers, Software engineering tools), academic (reading, writing, mathematics, communication, analytical thinking, active learning), workplace (teamwork, creative thinking, problem solving, planning and organising), and personal (interpersonal skills, dependability and willingness to learn). However, these competencies assume different levels of importance depending on the hierarchy at which a person is working and the nature of the job. There are some skillsets, however, that transcend these levels. These are technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.
Why are assessments important?
According to a report on the talent pool by Nasscom-KPMG, India will have a requirement of 1.12 million qualified knowledge workers for the IT software and services areas by 2009, and the estimates of supply — the employable pool — indicate the availability of only about 885,000 by then.
The paradox, however, lies in the number of employable engineers. At a meagre 25 per cent rate of employability, the number of “employable” engineers is much lower than that of those who have passed through the various engineering colleges of the country. In this scenario, hiring of both freshers and those at higher levels is significantly affected. Identification and selection of talent, along with reach, are becoming critical aspects for recruitment teams.
Assessments are also important in this industry because the quality of the engineering and IT-related education imparted throughout the nation is not uniform. A mere degree or a diploma from an institute and a very basic level of experience may not really match up to the standards required by the companies in this stage of growth. IT projects are often critical, and not having the right talent could result in huge penalties being levied.