5G rollout could exacerbate skills shortages in tech

New Delhi : Indian companies preparing to take advantage of 5G deployments may find it difficult to find skilled people who can help build next-generation service applications.

According to recruiting firms Teamlease and NLB Business Services, the rollout of 5G is likely to exacerbate a job crunch in the tech sector, with rising demand for technicians, including engineers who are already in short supply.

A May 2022 report by the Telecommunications Industry Skills Council (TSSC) estimated that by 2025, India will need 22 million skilled workforces to benefit from 5G, but there is a 28% supply-demand gap. According to Sachin Alug, CEO of NLB Services, demand for skills such as RF engineers, 5G open radio access network architecture experts, user experience design professionals, and artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality professionals is on the rise. “Many employers are laying off workers with non-essential skills. Technology will continue to evolve and 5G will soon further exacerbate skills shortages,” he said.

In the 12 months to September, employment platform Indeed saw a 34% increase in job postings in the telecom and 5G industries. The demand for telecom engineers grew by 16% between August 2022 and September 2022.

The September Monster Employment Index from job site Monster.com showed a similar trend. Telecom hiring rose 13 percent as companies rolled out digital services across cities, expanded data center capabilities and hired specialized roles, the report said.

The shortage of security professionals is also likely to increase. “There was a 25% talent mismatch in security between August 2019 and August 2022. 5G will lead to a huge increase in the work of designing secure systems and strengthening network architectures,” said Saumitra Chand, career expert at Indeed India.

Companies also need people to increase sales. Mayur Taday, Chief Commercial Officer of TeamLease Services, said that pan-India broadband penetration requires more professionals, leading to increased demand for sales, installation and cabling technicians.

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