The Indian IT industry has been witnessing tough days with reports of thousands of employees being laid off, thanks to issues such as stricter visa norms, automation and a generally slow global economy. While many IT giants have been refuting the rumours of mass layoffs, the employees have a different story to tell.

Meanwhile, Nasscom too earlier stated that the layoff reports are exaggerated and that the companies are still hiring and have added about 1.7 lakh jobs in the 2016-17 period. Additionally, the body also said that the IT giants can be expected to hire about 1.5 lakh employees this year.

Though Nasscom seems to have made an effort to quell the fears of numerous people who were likely to be affected by the rumoured sackings, it did say that the best way to retain their jobs would be to "re-skill." The body also explained how the world was moving towards automation and digital services and employees will have to "re-skill or perish."

So where and how does an IT employee re-skill in a bid to be in sync with the changing trends and technology? For one, IT giant Infosys that is said to be hiring freshers via campus placements is helping them familiarise with the industry and the current trends through online courses, reported Business Standard.

The freshers are asked to pick a paid online course on Udacity, an online education provider, and are sent for training to Infosys' Mysore facility only after the completion of the online course.

This is, in fact, not the first time that Infosys has taken up such an initiative. The top five Indian IT firms namely TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra are known to take up re-skilling exercises on a regular basis. "The need to retrain the workforce is further amplified with the automation of the old work procesess. Hence, companies need new skills. In addition to different technical skills digital also requires employees to acquire new soft skills. All this is being addressed by investing in training in design thinking and agile development methodologies," Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and chief executive officer of Everest Group, a global outsourcing advisory, told the website.

"If you are not skilling yourself, you are obsolete. You are running a race that is not there," added Y Shekar, co-promoter, Skillablers Technologies Private Limited.

Online education providers have also stepped up their game and are specifically designing courses to re-skill IT professional. For instance, online training company Simplilearn is offering scholarships called "Bounce Back," which lets IT professionals take up online courses and programmes.

[Representational image]Creative Commons

"Automation and newer technologies are forcing enterprises to re-look at their business and hiring strategies. Through this programme we intend to let the deserving candidates with financial challenges to take up our courses for free," NDTV Profit quoted Krishna Kumar, CEO of Simplilearn, as saying.

The course is available only to laid-off techies, who must apply by August 31.