"In the absence of a post-graduation qualification in engineering with an adequate specialisation, engineering graduates passing out of India's colleges will find it tough to get a job in IT companies." This is the straight and simple message from TV Mohandas Pai, former CFO of Infosys.
"In future if you want to have a job, you must have M Tech, you must know coding and you must be an expert. You must have some level of expertise," Pai, who currently heads Manipal Global Education, told news agency PTI.
The days of IT companies hiring fresh engineering graduates and then imparting training to them for four to six months to make them industry-ready are over, according to him.
"They (IT companies) are not going to catch you raw and give you training for six months and pay for it. Why should they waste their time? They will test you on your coding skills and if you know very good coding, they will hire you," he told the agency.
The statement comes amid reports of massive layoffs by IT companies such as Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Capgemini and Cognizant, though most of them have played down such reports and said trimming of workers based on performance appraisal is an annual feature and no different this year.
A top recruitment firm estimated the number of IT jobs that could be potentially under threat at six lakhs in the $150-billion industry that employs about 40 lakh people.
"The digital tsunami will trigger jobs cuts in a big way in the IT industry that employs about 40 lakh people...about 24 lakh of them will have to be re-trained...but there are limitations here," Kris Lakshmikanth, chairman and managing director of Head Hunters, told International Business Times India Edition last month.
"Out of these 24 lakh employees, only about 50 percent, or approximately 12 lakh, can be re-trained and about 6 lakh can manage with existing skills. The rest, approximately 6 lakh, will lose their jobs over the next three years," he added.
He based his assessment on a report presented by McKinsey & Company at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum in February.
He said senior managers, typically earning about Rs 25 lakh or more per annum, would be the worst hit. "Even if they are willing to take a salary cut, not many will be willing to hire them," Lakshmikanth said.
"My inferences are based on the McKinsey report and discussions with top executives of IT companies," he added.
The layoff wave, so to speak, will impact those employed in telecom and banking sectors also, he added.