Indian Job Market 2017: IT Layoffs, Unemployment, Skill Shortage, Hiring Trends, Top Companies and Tips for Career & Job Opportunities

Worried about the recent slow down and unemployment in the job market? Get to know the reasons behind this sluggish job market, hiring trends, where to look for jobs, how to tackle job search & career progression, top performing sectors, and top companies to work for in India.

Indian Job Market 2017: Current Scenario & Advice for Students & Professionals

Being a huge fan of the social media and responsible for the digital marketing at Stoodnt, I am quite active on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. I was aware of the current scenario in Indian job market – recent layoffs in the IT sector, stagnancy in job creation, comparatively lower appraisals etc. But, the issue of layoffs and unemployment suddenly got a boost on the social media platforms and news sites today. “#JoblessNewIndia” featured on the top on Twitter Trends for almost 3 hours. All the news channels are bashing the Government.

Top Trending Topics on Twitter on May 25, 2017 (Source: TrendsToday)

One of the worst-hit sectors in India is the information technology (IT) sector. The IT sector helped the Indian youth for more than two decades to fetch well-paid jobs straight out of college. It doesn’t matter if someone has studied Computer Science, Electronics, Civil or Mechanical, a major chunk of the engineering graduates opt for the IT sector. Currently, the Indian IT sector is going through a dark phase. Major companies like Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Cognizant, are in the process of laying off hundreds of employees. According to the recent report by McKinsey India, the IT sector in India will lose 200, 000 software jobs per year for the next three years. It seems to be the end of India’s engineering dream.

Major Reasons Behind the Heavy Downsizing of the Indian IT Sector

Quite a few people are blaming US President Donald Trump. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The key underlying factors are:

Technology Disruption: Artificial Intelligence,  machine learning, and automation are taking away the low-skilled jobs. The new generation is not up to the mark with new trends in technology.

Over-dependency on Service-Based Projects: The Indian IT sector has been relying too much on the service-based revenue model. Not many companies went for creating innovative products.

Shortage of Talent & Skills: Yes, you read that correctly. Producing 1.5 million engineering graduates every year is of no use if they lack the basic employable skills. The recent study by Aspiring Minds, an employability assessment company, 95% of IT and software engineering graduates in India are unemployable. The study found that only 4.77% graduates can write the correct programming codes, and only 1.4% can write code that is functional and efficient. More than 60% of students cannot even write a compliant code. As per the India Head of Capgemini,  60 – 65% of Indian IT workforce is not even trainable. The students struggle with both technical and soft skills. Hence, one of the core problems lies within the education system in India.

Unemployment and Job Cuts in Non-IT Sectors in India

The overall dismal state of the job market is beyond the IT sector. In the last one year, several pink slips have been issued. Engineering major Larsen & Toubro reportedly laid off some 14, 000 employees, while companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Nokia too cut back on their workforce in 2016, albeit on a smaller scale, owing to sluggish demand. Besides, the startups are also under huge pressure as the year 2016 witnessed major startup failures and more than 10, 000 job cuts. More or less all the sectors have been the victim of the sluggish economy. So, what should you do at this time as a student, fresh graduate or seasoned employee?

Lost Your Job or Unhappy with Appraisal? Career Advice for Seasoned Professionals

  • Try to up-skill or re-skill yourself. It might be a good time to learn a foreign language or do few online courses to upskill for upskilling(Coursera, Skillwise, Udacity, EdX etc.). No need to master everything. But, diversifying yourself will be helpful in the long run. Of course, the courses are not free. But, it’s always a great idea to invest in yourself. Grow up. You have to think beyond FREE services.
  • Get in touch with a mentor or hire a career counselor. Apart from getting advice on job hunting strategies, CV building, interview preparation, you can also gain access to a wide range of an influential network.
  • It would be also nice to get back to studies. A higher degree (MS or MBA) in India or abroad could be a great alternative. However, be careful with selecting the right subject and the right college.
  • Spend time on personal branding. In today’s age, it is very critical to have a credible online presence. By online presence, I meant more than Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp.
  • Don’t take any rash decisions. According to KPMG’s annual compensation trend survey, the average projected increment for the year 2017-18 is 9.7%. If you are not happy with your offered salary or appraisal, don’t think about a job change immediately. On paper, it might look fancy to switch jobs every 6 months and get a hike every time. But, it will hurt you very badly in the long-run. Changing jobs on an impulse can land a candidate into a wrong profile and industry altogether.
  • It would be handy to try freelancing or a side gig. However, make sure it does not hamper your daytime job or present any conflict to your employer’s business. It’s also critical to keep the career goals aligned, and not run after extra cash blindly. Here is a good post on Successful Side Gig.

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A Side Gig Can Be Your Key To Career Satisfaction

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Hottest In-Demand Skills & Top 10 Master Specializations]

Image Source: Livemint

Just Out of College? Advice for Fresh Graduates on Job Hunting

Keep the basics right – getting CV proof-read by others (if required, get professional help), do strategic networking, and keep an open mind. Know where to look for the jobs. Despite tough times, some of the sectors and segments are still doing well in 2017. You also need to be ready for starting low. The first 2 – 3 years are always hard, especially in India. INR 2.25 lakh per annum used to be the average starting package for freshers two decades ago. Now, they have risen only to Rs. 3.5 lakh, which suggests a massive decrease in real wages from an inflation-adjusted perspective. Know more about How To Search Jobs As A Fresher.

Image Source: Kelly Services

Related Posts:

Top Five Things to Remember In Your Job After Graduation

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Management Consulting Careers & Jobs in India

How to Become a Product Manager in India

Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are the most lucrative ones to work for in India, according to the findings of a survey by  Randstad. With an average annual cost-to-company (CTC) for talent across all levels and functions at INR 11.3 lakh,  FMCG industry’s employees get the highest pay in India. Despite slow growth, IT sector is still a healthy one, provided you have got the right skills. It’s very important to have picked up the right skills at the right time. Pharma-Healthcare is another sector that provides huge career and job opportunities. It would be also great to explore the food and agriculture sector at this time. Know more about the current trends in the bio-pharmaceutical industry in India. Job scopes are also very bright within the environment and energy sector. Graduates with expertise in green architecture and renewable energy will have good scopes in the coming years. Telecom and allied services and energy are the two sectors that intend to hire the most, followed by hospitality, banking, insurance, travel, BPOs and automobiles. While automation is being accused of making some jobs redundant, it can also create new kinds of jobs. Artificial intelligence and automation will hold the key to the new kind of jobs. Last but not the least, e-commerce will be another hot sector to look out for. E-commerce sector reported the highest voluntary attrition rate of 20.4% and the highest salary increment at 12.5%.

Image Source: BusinessWorld

Just Getting Started with Careers? Advice for the High School & College Students

If you are just getting started about choosing the right career path, then it’s a very good time to do that. India is coming out of the IT and MBA hype slowly. Parents are also getting more and more open-minded about offbeat careers like Liberal Arts and Social Entrepreneurship.

Apart from choosing the right subject or career path, another key would be finding internships and summer training. It is always great to get an internship at the top companies. But, even startup experience will be very handy in the long run. Let’s have a look at the some of the top companies to work for in India.

Recommended Reading:

What career should I choose that could help me get a good job and a good living?

How to Stay Competitive in the Job Market of 21st Century – Part 1

How to Stay Competitive in the Current Job Market of 21st Century – Part 2

Top Companies to Work For in India

Below is the list of top companies to work for in India according to various surveys and reports. The LinkedIn list is entirely based on actions of users. The Business Today list is based on the employee survey, which was conducted in collaboration with PeopleStrong,  a leading HR solution company. The Forbes list is based on a mix of four metrics – sales, profits, assets, and market value. The Economic Times ranking is based on several parameters like employer reputation, job satisfaction of employees etc. The YourStory list popularity of the employer, financial compensation, life-work balance etc.

LinkedIn Business Today Forbes The Economic Times YourStory
1 Flipkart Google Google Google Google
2 Amazon Accenture Microsoft American Express RMSI
3 KPMG Amazon Reliance Industries Ujjivan Financial Services American Express
4 One97 Communications TCS SBI Teleperformance India Marriott Hotels
5 Ola Microsoft ONGC Godrej Intel
6 HCL Technologies Infosys Facebook Marriott Hotels
7 Adobe Facebook HDFC Bank SAP
8 Google (Alphabet) ICICI Bank Tata Motors The Oberoi Group
9 OYO Rooms IBM ICICI Bank Lemon Tree Hotels
10 Reliance Industries HP Accenture Intuit India

It would be also nice to keep a track of the hot and trending in-demand skills in India and abroad. Below is the snapshot of the hottest in-demand skills in the US.

Need any assistance with skill development, internships, job search, interview preparation, or career progression, Subscribe for our Personalized Career Advice.

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Image Source: LinkedIn Blog

About Author Tanmoy Ray

I have got a Molecular Pharmacology background with 5 years of research experience in the fields of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cancer Biology, Biomarkers, and Drug Discovery. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India). Currently, I am working with Stoodnt Inc. as a Career Adviser & Admission Counselor. I can be reached at

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