In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies had to pivot to remote work where possible, which brought about rapid digitisation and a renewed focus on online work and learning. LinkedIn’s latest report, “Jobs on the Rise in India” reveals how the pandemic shaped the country’s economy and made way for a new generation of jobs.
While previous editions of LinkedIn’s annual emerging jobs report studied the shifts in the jobs landscape over a period of five years, this year’s special edition Jobs on the Rise report focuses on a one-year time frame. The economic events triggered by the COVID outbreak has led LinkedIn to bring to fore the paradigm shift in jobs and skills that took place in the critical six month period from April 2020 - October 2020. Reflecting on the roles that grew in impact and importance through these disruptive months, this special report highlights key trends, emerging jobs and the top skills in the country to enable the workforce to not just survive but thrive.
Read on to find out about India’s rapidly-evolving jobs landscape and the top skills critical to succeed in the new labour market.
Brands and individuals are engaging audiences online
There were 400 million social media users in India at the start of 2020, a 48% growth from the year before, and this number continues to rise. Brands need to connect with this rapidly growing online audience, fueling demand for professionals who know how to craft the perfect message to engage customers and drive demand across different social and digital channels.
As people stayed in and relied on digital channels for work, information, entertainment and staying connected, the surge in online presence has led to opportunities not just for businesses to reach individuals, but also for individuals to build a brand name for themselves.
According to a McKinsey report, India is home to one of the world’s largest and most rapidly growing bases of digital consumers, and internet accessibility has been further accelerated by declining data costs which have fallen 95% since 2013.
Roles that are in-demand in the era of online engagement include freelance content creators, social media and digital marketing roles. With estimates of India crossing 760 million smartphone users in 2021, demand for local and relevant content is only going to rise this year. “As new ways to monetise this content emerges, demand for those who can produce captivating stories will only grow,” said the report.
Cybersecurity is critical to a digital-first future
Data from Mckinsey has found that India has more than half a billion internet subscribers and is projected to reach 840 million users by 2023. LinkedIn’s emerging trends indicate that the rise in all things digital is also driving demand for people who can keep data secure and safe.
Cybersecurity and data science roles will continue to rise as data safety becomes a key priority for consumers and organisations alike.
Other in-demand tech roles include specialized engineering and artificial intelligence roles. “Artificial Intelligence roles play an important role in India’s emerging jobs landscape, as machine learning unlocks innovation and opportunities. Roles in the sector range from helping machines automate processes to teaching them to perceive the environment and make autonomous decisions. This technology is being developed across a range of sectors, from healthcare to cybersecurity.”
Digital is turning out to be a golden opportunity to boost employment opportunities. How swiftly the country harnesses the power of digital and upskills the labour force, will determine the future of its economy.
The acceleration of tech solutions
Observing the shifts in business needs and consumer behaviour, accelerated by COVID, the report highlights the adoption of tech across sectors such as education, finance and healthcare.
“The Indian EdTech market is expected to be worth US$10.4 billion in 2025, up from US$2.8 billion in 2020, while India’s e-commerce market will be worth US$200 billion by 2026. The HealthTech and FinTech sectors are also forecast to experience significant growth as they continue to scale.” The report added that particularly sought after will be talent who can pivot to digital operations smoothly.
“The rise of fintech, fueled by rapid internet and smartphone adoption, is just one element of India’s diversifying and expanding finance sector. The sector is undergoing reform and liberalisation, which is likely to create opportunities in roles from trading to regulation to analysis.”
With India’s e-commerce market expected to be worth about US$200 billion by 2026, fueled by the adoption of smartphones, global retailers are working towards expanding their consumer base in the nation, resulting in an increase in demand for local knowledge on the market and insights into consumers, to support the trend for e-commerce workers.
The shift in focus to digital-first has sparked a reimagination of the jobs landscape and created new opportunities for people who can adapt and upskill to thrive in a digital world.
Customer experience is key
With increasing online and social media presence, customer experience has become a huge priority. “Consumers can now give immediate and direct feedback via social media, so the importance of excellent customer experiences is crucial. Brands recognise that the key to attracting and retaining customers is the experience – from engagement to the ease of using an app.”
Additionally, the rise of SaaS services has made managing good customer relationships even more integral than ever to an organisation's success. In a world where preferences change by the second, brands cannot afford to fall behind in providing a great customer experience.
This has given rise to demand for customer services roles as brands navigate customer concerns and adapt to how they deliver their services online.
Lifelong learning will keep talent ahead of the curve
With a new generation of jobs redefining the ecosystem, there remains a critical piece as it all comes together - reskilling. The rapid adoption of technology implies that half the workforce is expected to need reskilling by 2022.
“While many emerging roles may be influenced by tech, globally the majority of people who fill these roles often come from non-emerging jobs. Roles in Human Resources, and Sales and Business Development still rely on the same core skills, but require additional digital tools to boost performance."
"The rise of tech means all talent now needs to master basic digital skills to stay ahead of the game.”
HR played an important role in 2020, as companies reset priorities and established new remote working policies to keep their employees safe during the pandemic, human resource professionals were presented with a new challenge of supporting a remote workforce – virtually managing employee engagement, upskilling and recruitment. “The need of the hour is HR talent which can help recruit skilled talent and also develop existing talent – all from a remote setting.”
Another focus area for organisations will be business development to keep the market engaged and occupied with the latest product offerings, tailored to the ever-changing needs of consumers. As business sustainability continues to remain a focus area in 2021, roles like sales, business development, human resources and customer service will remain critical to keeping the engine running.
2020 has given rise to a new generation of job opportunities and skillsets critical to thriving in the new world of work. To keep up with changes in the talent landscape and labor market shifts brought on by 2020, view the complete LinkedIn report here.