As layoff threat hits them, lateral IT staff begin to upgrade skills

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 29, 2017

IIIT-H report says seniors flock to join AI/ML course

As reports of retrenchments That Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and automation is killing jobs is no news. Reports of retrenchments and cap on hirings too are sending shivers down the spines of the IT employees.

“The threat is real and because of this threat perception there is a huge interest among the senior employees in the industry to take to courses in AI/ML,” P J Narayanan, Director of International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-Hyderabad), said.

This is evident from findings of an analysis done by the institute of profiles of the applicants who sought to join an AI/ML course started by it. The IIIT (H), in association with human resources skilling firm TalentSprint started the course.

About 2,000 employees with varied experience levels submitted applications, seeking a seat in the Foundations of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Using the job profiles of the applicants, the institute has come out with a report, throwing light on the trends in demand from various quarters.

AI impact

The report—Demand for Expertise in Disruptive Technologies among Technology Professionals—reveals that about 73 per cent of the applicants work for IT services companies. “This suggests that disruptive technologies like AI/ ML are possibly already starting to impact these companies,” Santanu Paul, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TalentSprint, said.

“Professionals with more than 5 years in the industry are keen to upgrade themselves. The interest is more from employees in the age group of 26–35 years and people with 10–15 years of experience, indicating the demands for such skills at that level,” he said.

Of the 2,000 applicants, as many as 400 were selected for two batches of 200 students each. Classes for the maiden batch will begin in the first week of January 2018. The course is designed keeping in view the requirements and availability of time of working professionals. P J Narayanan said that the idea is to teach them concepts over weekends over a period of four months, with hands on experience in labs on AI/ML technologies.

encouraging women

With a view to encouraging women and young professionals, the institute offers a discount in fee. While the regular fee is pegged at Rs 1.75 lakh, these two categories of applicants would be given a discount of Rs 50,000. The institute is targeting to train 1,000 IT employees in the AI/ML course in 2018.

“The analysis says women applicants constituted only 12 per cent, far lower than their representation (25 per cent) in IT industry. We would like more women to take to such deep technologies,” K Sridhar, Chief Digital Officer of Talent Sprint, said.

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Published on December 29, 2017
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