Weekly Word on the Street: Indian IT Outsourcing Boosts U.S. Workforce

by Jim Staats | Mar 30, 2012

Takeaway of the week is we actually can survive a batch of seven days touching on the current IT job market without invoking the topics of cloud computing and big data. Some critical news this week discusses how Indian outsourcing efforts are helping U.S. workforce activity and the lack of IT skills could be the tipping point for spiraling youth unemployment in Europe.

Study: Indian IT Outsourcing Helps Boost U.S. Workforce
Outsourcing by Indian firms in the U.S. is helping to boost the employment of U.S. citizens and local job creation overall, so says a new national study.
Although Indian outsourcers employed 107,000 staff stateside last year, local hiring within the U.S. has more than doubled within the past five years, according to findings in the study done by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), released this week.

The study, apparently, is aimed at reducing criticism of stateside offshoring amid the continuing high unemployment rates in the U.S., according to a recent article in Network World.

The number of U.S. citizens hired within these parameters makes up about 30 percent compared with less than 10 percent just four years ago, said Som Mittal, Nasscom president.
Indian companies are not only creating jobs in the U.S. and investing in local firms, but Mittal said findings indicate they are also heavily involved in activities aimed at boosting the local workforce.
Outsourcers are adding to U.S. staffs to help with value-added services like consultancy to U.S. customers, domain expertise and offer assistance within the same time zone.
Mittal notes that deregulation within the Indian IT sector over the past couple decades to constitute a large market for U.S. IT equipment and services companies.

Europe: Lack of IT Skills for Youth Signals Trouble
The young folks in European countries may be adept at video games and mobile phone multitasking, but a lack of basic computing skills could spike unemployment levels to come, new research shows.
The European Commission figures estimate a shortfall of graduates with IT and digital skills that otherwise could make them more employable in today’s economy to reach 700,000 by 2015. Countries likely to be hit hard include Britain, France and Germany.

With increased unemployment figures across the continent, these new figures are especially troublesome with youth unemployment becoming a particular concern, a new Reuters report notes.

Jobs for highly-skilled candidates is estimated to rise by 16 million by 2020, while positions held by low-skilled workers will drop off by about 12 million, according to the Commission.
Antonio Tajani, European commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, said, “Young people need to appreciate the professional aspects of the new digital world.”
He recently launched a series of events called “e-skills week” to bring added attention. European Union officials are working hard to reverse this trend and build up IT skills among the younger generation in order to make them more attractive candidates for the workforce of the new frontier.

“Supply (of skilled workers) has become a bottleneck for growth in the tech sector, creating a leaky pipeline that threatens to hamper European innovation and global competitiveness,” said Tajani.

Federal Focus on Cybersecurity
Protecting federal IT systems against cyberattack has become an increasingly visible goal among officials within the Obama Administration. Howard Schmidt, the administration’s cybersecurity coordinator, has instilled an agency-wide goal for all pertinent sectors of the government to focus on safer Internet connections, system monitoring and authentication, according to a recent article in InformationWeek based on White House blog posts.

Schmidt has set a goal of achieving 95 percent utilization of crucial cybersecurity capabilities on IT systems in those areas by 2014.

Federal cybersecurity incidents have risen dramatically over the past several years, a fact helping to drive renewed security efforts.

He was joined by experts from DoD, Homeland Security and the National Institute for Standards and Office of Management and Budget in identifying these cybersecurity priorities, given limited federal budgets of late.

Considering a career in IT security? Learn more about CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification.

Executive Networking 101
Say you’re an executive curious about external opportunities, but you’re unclear how to network without being too exposed.  Luckily, a tip sheet has been presented for you in the form of a recent CIO-Asia article.

First bit of advice dished out is to always review every item you send out. The worst thing is to rush through a networking process that isn’t fully thought through.

Review your list of contacts and prioritize by level of trust, initiating contact with your most trusted core first and work your way outward.

Whatever you do, don’t burn bridges regardless of how tempting it may be. Social networking makes the world an even smaller place than before.

When you do reach out to one of your contact, be direct and specific in your requests. You need someone to do more than just ‘keep you on their radar screen.’

As an example, in an overture to a former colleague, ask that person the names of three companies he or she respects so you can tailor your research. Such an interaction is much more likely to stick in the mind of the other person in the event something does come up.

Become more of an online presence. Tools such as LinkedIn updates, Amazon reading lists, industry webinars and professional networking groups are constantly being viewed and considered by those around you.

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