May 18, 2017 12:16 PM IST | Source:

As IT cos prune budgets on reskilling, employees forced to pay for the extra degree

Traditionally, skilling and advanced education has been partly or fully funded by the company if the employee is about four to five years old in the company. That is no longer the case.

M Saraswathy @maamitalks

IT companies no longer have the time or the budget for re-skilling employees. In this scenario, individual employees are having to pay for acquiring new skills or an additional degree.

Traditionally, skilling and advanced education has been partly or fully funded by the company if the employee is about four-to-five years old in the company. Further, individuals are also encouraged to take up short-time courses in management institutes sponsored by the employer. That is no longer the case.

Understandably, skills companies like TalentSprint are eyeing an opportunity. This company is now looking at having courses for IT employees who have been impacted by the recent layoffs in the industry and wish to re-skill themselves.

Santanu Paul, Co-Founder & CEO, TalentSprint, which is a youth career accelerator platform, explained that unlike earlier, it is individual employees who are required to upskill and not the employer. “We are looking at possible courses in niche areas like data analytics, cyber security and financial technology that will be relevant in the workplace,” he added.

Even segments like automation engineering help increase productivity multi-fold in companies. However, he added that individuals themselves will have to invest in these skills as companies are no longer ready to pay for these courses.

“We will look at problems that have scale and have more digital courses so that it is easily accessible for everyone,” he added.

Professors from management institutes that offer executive education to experienced hires are also of the view that companies are no longer investing money for upskilling and retraining.

“Compared to the past, in the last one year companies in the IT and banking sector are not willing to pay for employee education in key skill areas. While this has not discouraged individuals from applying, cost is a hindrance for some of them,” said a senior professor heading executive education at one of the new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

Especially since companies in the IT space have complained about the dearth of necessary on-the-job skills among graduates, firms like TalentSprint are looking at targeting freshers as well as those who are just a year away from graduating. This is to ensure that once they hit the job market they are adequately trained.

On an average, IT companies spend an estimated Rs 200 crore-500 crore every year on training employees. The number of days spent on training ranges from 20-40 days depending on the seniority and business role. For instance, Infosys had training days of 20.5 on an average for the associate level for fiscal year 2016, according to their annual report.
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