IBM CEO: Indians Don’t Have Skills Needed For Employment; Says Certificates Don’t Matter Now
This is not the first time that Indians have been called as 'umemployable'
Ginni Rometty, current Chairperson, CEO and President of IBM has triggered a controversy, by stating that Indians don’t have the skills required for employment in IBM, and IT industry in general.
Did she specifically target India or it was a general statement?
IBM CEO: Sorry India, You Don’t Have Skills
Speaking during a company conference, Ginni dwelled on the burning hot topic of jobs and employment in the IT sector, and her company.
She observed that current educational system is not sufficient to skill students, and to make them job-ready.
Giving an ‘example’ of India, she said, “In India, you have the same issues. Open jobs, (but) no matching skill sets,”
In India, software and IT is a $180 billion industry and directly employs 40 lakh Indians. Hence, the ‘observation’ by Ginni may offend some of those professionals, who have done IT-related jobs their whole life.
Interestingly, 30% of all IBM employees are Indians.
Skills More Important Than Certificates
In the conference, Ginni made a valid argument that in the present job scenario, the value of certificates have gone down, and the importance of skills have increased.
This, was quite a valid point, considering AI and Robotics are taking over the jobs of humans. WEF has already stated that 50 lakh jobs will vanish by 2020, as AI, robotics and machine learning will take over millions of jobs.
She said, “You have got to believe in a few different things than I think you believed in the past. One is to believe that skills are perhaps more important than a degree,”
The current unemployment rate in India actually perfectly compliments this observation as well, which was mainly made for a global audience.
More than 3 crore Indians are right now looking for a job, and out of 126 crore population, 60% are under 35 years of age.
Ginni assured everyone that jobs are plenty in the market, but regretted that there are not enough skilled persons to fill this gap.
She said, “It can be that you can have folks with less than a university degree, but participate well in this industry,”
Do Indians Lack Employment Skills?
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is not the first person to have this observation, and certainly won’t be the last.
Two years ago, Capgemini India chief executive Srinivas Kandula has triggered a controversy when he said that 65% of Indians are not trainable, and had warned about job cuts due to this reason.
He said, said, “I am not very pessimistic, but it is a challenging task and I tend to believe that 60-65 percent of them are just not trainable,”
The same year, HDFC Chairman, Deepak Parekh has invited controversy by stating that 80% of Indian engineers are not employable. He was speaking at an event in IIT Madras.
Whereas NASSCOM has once said that only 25% of Indian graduates are employable.
As per an India Skills Report, only 47% of Indians can get a job, based on their skills and degrees.
We certainly need more debate and more opinions on this issue.