Report card 2019

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Report card 2019

Wednesday, 09 January 2019 | Dr TP Sethumadhavan

Report card 2019

2019 will be the year of data science, Internet of things, skill development, innovation based technologies, talent analytics, automation, block chain technologies, advanced IT & smart courses, says Dr TP Sethumadhavan

In the era of digitalisation, skill will be the deciding factor to improve the employability of educated/ unemployed youths. Without appropriate skilling, it will be difficult to sustain in the career market.

Digitalisation, E commerce, food processing, health services, ayurveda, yoga, accounting, banking, financial and insurance services will show robust growth in the country. Umpteen opportunities will be created in accounting, logistics, supply chain management, retail management, network media, digital marketing, e-banking and mobile banking in the country. For productive employment and decent work, we need to work for opportunities for new skills and new sectors.

Technical, supervisory, managerial and customised skill development programmes will attain popularity. National level skill universities may emerge which will facilitate lots of transformations in the job market.

During 2018, Make in India, Digital India and Skill India can’t create envisaged employment opportunities in manufacturing, information and communication technology and skill development in the country. Realising the shortfall, Government of India may facilitate to create more employment opportunities as part of pre-election home work.

India’s economy & employment

India has been ranked as the 58th most competitive economy in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index for 2018. Its competitive advantage includes market size (rank third), innovation capability (rank 31) and business dynamism with ranking of 58.

More investments will be necessary to spur innovation beyond hubs of excellence and diffuse economic growth more broadly. Indian companies can access the third largest market in the world and would benefit from increased trade openness to drive productivity growth.

Separation of EU from UK as a sequel to Brexit will become reality during 2019 even though  a lot of apprehensions exist in this sector. Indians top the list of overstayers in UK according to Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth office. Globally, Britain and India are looking at opportunities for co-operation with India beyond Brexit.

According to the report by the Centre for Sustainable Employment of Azim Premji University, 10 per cent increase in GDP results in less than one per cent increase in employment. The rate of unemployment among the youth and higher educated has touched 16 per cent. Indian economy will overtake Britain’s economy during 2019. Half of the world’s population will become online during 2019. India’s GDP growth will attain 7.6 per cent.

McKinsey studies reveal that there will be increased participation of women in the economy which would increase the GDP. India Skills 2019 report suggests that hiring of women is expected to go up by 15 to 20 per cent especially in the banking, financial services, insurance, automotive, IT, software, hospitality, travel and tourism sectors. 

Career & Job prospects

Agribusiness, veterinary science, fisheries technology, food processing, dairy technology, food technology, poultry product technology, post harvest technology, high value agriculture, environmental science, logistics, supply chain management, courses related to packaging, nanoscience, organic/natural farming will be the focus areas during 2019.

Services sector will create more than 67 per cent employment opportunities in the country. New Year will exhibit spectacular growth employee recruitment and 11-15 per cent increase in salary hike. Net employment outlook will be reduced during the first two quarters in India. There will be stagnation in 2019 first two quarters in India due to general election. But gradually it will increase to three percentage points higher than the previous quarter.

Retail sector in rural, tier two and tier three cities will exhibit double digit growth in sales and employment. Healthcare, textile and IT sectors exhibit only single digit growth in sales and employment. Packaging industry will generate more employment.

Hospitality, tourism, retail, supply chain, logistics and agri business management sectors will exhibit higher growth rate similar to 2018 in 2019. There will be more takers for retail management, hospitality management, hotel management, airline and airport management and transport management courses.

Aviation and Cyber security will generate more employment opportunities. Automation, machine learning and block chain technology will decide the future of work as suggested by ILO which will start replacing the traditional sectors. By 2022, nine per cent workforce would be in new jobs which do not exist today.

Around 37 per cent would be in jobs which will radically change the skill sets. About 21 percent of workforce will face existential threat. Around 20-25 per cent jobs will be in organised sector and the share of organised sector will reach 10 per cent from the current 8 per cent level. Thus, organised workforce will be around 46 to 48 million by 2022. 

Courses like English, economics, social sciences, customised psychology programmes, foreign languages, developmental studies, embryology, public administration, media studies, paramedical courses like physiotherapy, optometry, nursing, audiology and speech language pathology, nutrition and dietetics will attract more students.

Advance IT

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will become the motive force for the fourth industrial revolution. AI, big data, automation and quantum computing could fundamentally alter the economic progress. Data science and machine learning are some of the emerging sectors which can create lot of employment opportunities. Skills in cloud services, big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to be critical for the data science professional.

Data scientist, data analyst, data architect, data statistician, ML engineer, ML Specialist, technical architect and data engineer are some of the most popular roles in which they can work. Digital services sector will show robust growth in the year to come.

Gartner studies suggest that 75 per cent of the 10 lakhs registered companies’ jobs in India are going to invest in machine learning and data science. Traditional companies started acquiring digital companies in India. Banking and financial services are in the forefront with almost 44 per cent of jobs falling in the domain commerce has also emerged as the largest market for data science professionals which account for 12 per cent of the analytics jobs in 2019. Other sectors where data science professionals are in demand are healthcare (12 per cent), energy (eight per cent), telecom (six per cent) and media (six per cent).

Automobile & engineering

By 2030 more number of electric or hybrid vehicles will be commercially available across the world. Integrated courses like mechatronics, embedded computing, system design, automobile engineering, biomedical sciences, bio informatics, developmental sciences, humanities and social sciences will acquire more importance.

Global move to reduce the use of fossil fuels like petrol and diesel will pave way for electric, solar or hybrid vehicles which in turn facilitate spectacular growth in automobile design and engineering. There will be more takers for students aspiring for integrated post graduate courses and inter disciplinary research in the country.

Manufacturing sector, which is providing only 14 per cent employment opportunities, can create up to 25 per cent employment opportunities in 2019.  Construction and infrastructure sectors will create more employment opportunities which can facilitate architecture, civil, mechanical, electrical and electronics, electronics and communication, computer, IT and biomedical engineering. Core engineering graduates require skill development programmes as part of value addition to get appropriate job positions. Green technology will emerge as one of the potential sectors in India giving due initiatives to improve quality of air we breathe and clean, affordable & reliable sources of energy.

Power & Energy

Decentralisation, digitisation and decarbonisation will emerge as new technologies in the energy sector. The industry will see proliferation of solar and wind sector. The energy companies will be increasingly concerned with the sources and quality of services it provides with innovations in tune with the technological interventions.  A digital network is beginning to connect distributed systems of energy.

Water, sanitation, waste management, energy, roof top electricity systems, prefab technology and infrastructure are emerging as the prospective areas. Next generation infrastructure revolution will improve efficiencies, drive growth, offer citizens homes, work places, transport systems and utilities.

Government of India is aiming to commercially introduce 5G services in the country by the end of 2020 in line with the world. Internet connectivity would become much faster and would form the backbone of the emerging era of Internet of things. The transition from 4G to 5G will serve both consumers and multiple industries.

Ericsson report reveals that it will enable 27 $ billion revenue opportunity for Indian telecom operators by 2026. Education, healthcare, innovation in design and engineering including development of high tech metro rail systems will generate more employment opportunities in 2019.

Legal framework set for use of drones will create more opportunities in mapping like GIS, GPS, GST, surveying and photography.  Government has approved full digital ecosystem for granting permission to use drones. This will facilitate opportunities in precision agriculture, aviation sector and start-up industry.

Food Industry

At a time when prospects for ready to eat and ready to cook products are emerging across the world, food processing sector will exhibit annual growth rate of 20-25 per cent in the country. Food outsourcing will improve and food market will emerge as 55 percent of retail market during 2019.


Air cargo business will exhibit a growth of 12.9 per cent in the coming year to achieve National Civil Aviation Policy vision of reaching 10 million tons cargo volume by 2027. According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)  studies, it will generate more employment in tier two and tier three cities where domestic cargo terminals are on the verge of expansion. The ASSOCHAM suggested to implement a rating system for cargo terminals in line with Airport Service Quality ratings which will create lot of opportunities in infrastructure, facilities and logistics.


As part of AYUSH, Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy courses will attract more number of students. Ayurveda will globally emerge as one of the most wanted courses in the years to come.

Telemedicine will be one of the growing sectors in the coming year and will create employment opportunities in rural areas. Through 2.5 lakh service centers it will train 80 crores of people in the rural areas of 32 countries. Government of India has identified Singapore startup RING as the nodal agency for Telemedicine.

Art & design

Fashion industry will exhibit spectacular growth during 2019. Online shops will attain more than 50 per cent of the market. Moreover, AI will help online shoppers to assess fit and shape more accurately. Amazon, Flipkart will add 80000 jobs in e-commerce sector.

Art and design will create a lot of employment opportunities globally. There will be a rise in the number of students aspiring for footwear design, fashion technology, apparel design, fashion design, furniture design, fashion communication, knitwear design, jewellery design and bachelor of design programmes of Footwear Institute of India, National Institute of Design, National Institute of Fashion technology and Indian Institute of Technologies will increase during the year 2019.

Banking, finance, Management

Banking recruitment will increase during 2019. The  Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) had already called for probationary officer/ clerical or specialist officer cadre.

Advertising will show an additional annual growth of two per cent during 2019.  Chartered accountant, ICWAI, chartered institute of Management accountant programme, Chartered management accountant, CIMA global, Asset management, Risk assessment, financial analyst, actuarial science, project management and ACCA programme will attract more students. Combined accounting course with GST compliant courses will emerge from ISDC, UK which can create more employment opportunities.

Prospects for commerce, business studies, management programmes, international business, trade related courses, intellectual property rights and patent law will attain more importance at post graduate and doctoral level studies. Courses related to performing arts, visual communication, business economics, business communication and android development, will create more job opportunities.

 Start-up: In tune with the growth in 2018, India will continue to emerge as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the World. Barriers to start business will come down but entrepreneurship will regain.

Entrepreneurs will also include new mothers who want more time at home and 75 per cent more females than males prefer working from home. Students will try to become employers after establishing start-ups in ICT, agri-allied, food processing, education and other services sectors.

Foreign education

Substantial changes will be witnessed in the trends in overseas education during 2019. The United States will give priority to advanced degree holders from the US Universities for H1B visa will benefit Indian students. This will facilitate more students to pursue for graduate programmes in the US.

Brexit will be implemented during first half of 2019 and will promote overseas education opportunities for EU and UK. Career opportunity in UK will be improved further. UK may relax ban on post study work visa ban as a sequel to National skill and education policy.

Germany and France may witness economic recession and will affect international students. But Macron’s reforms will try to correct some of the challenges faced as a sequel to recession. Overseas students will prefer India for higher education.

China will implement novel programmes in AI, Robotics, IOT and Analytics. Technology, Entrepreneurship, start-ups and skill development are some of the areas where India is exhibiting spectacular growth. The US, Canada, Australia and Singapore will again emerge as the potential destinations for Indian students. The US's pay structure for employees working under H1B visa and the recent sops will attract more Indian students. But US may witness economic recession during second half of 2019. Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Germany and Ireland will continue to give post study work visa up to two years.

The writer is an educational and career consultant and director, UL Education

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