Women Should Think of Up-skilling in Key Techs: Edureka

Edureka also sees high interest from women for testing courses

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Vineet Chaturvedi, co-founder, Edureka.

Edureka,  a global online learning company, offers industry-relevant courses on trending technologies like AI, Blockchain, VR, along with Cloud Computing, Big Data, among others. Vineet Chaturvedi, co-founder, Edureka, speaks about tech jobs for women. Excerpts:

BW CIO: Which are tech jobs concentrated by women facing threat due to automation?

Vineet Chaturvedi: With increasing adoption of automation, some entry-level jobs, and manual testing would be affected.

To elaborate, there are a few technologies - Automation Testing, Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence - that are seeing rapid adoption by organizations to improve efficiency, reducing costs and for a competitive advantage. These technologies will be used by businesses to move their workforce away from manual, time-consuming jobs to higher value work.  

Automation testing: To analyze the tech space, application testing acquires around 90 percent of the software testing market, out of which web application testing takes up the major chunk.

Open source automated testing tools are being preferred by more and more companies to cut down the cost and effort involved in manual testing. Selenium is one such open source automated testing tool for websites. Selenium is faster, needs less investment in human resource, it is not prone to errors, frequent execution of tests is possible, supports lights-out execution, supports regression testing, and functional testing.

Edureka sees high interest from women for testing courses. We have seen gender ratio of learners interested in Manual Testing course to be 50:50 whereas for other courses which have a Developer track, we see this to be very different.

For a technology like Hadoop Developer, the gender ratio of interested learners is 58 percent Men and 42 percent Women. But, the percentage split of interest from women vs. men for Selenium is 58 percent women and 42 percent men.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA): The technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated by offering service organizations and enterprises a way to integrate multiple systems. RPA uses the existing technology’s interface to automate the human element in the process. To give a simple example, let’s say you want to consolidate data from multiple excel sheets, into one sheet. Instead of doing this manually, RPA can mimic human actions and remove human involvement completely.

A 2016 report by McKinsey and Co. predicts that the Robotic Process Automation market is expected to be worth $6.7 trillion by 2025. In fact, RPA has already found adoption in a variety of industries ranging from BPOs to automobiles to banking, with use cases in Capgemini, Volvo, to name a few. RPA helps organizations automate the menial and time-consuming and repetitive tasks.

Men /Women who are involved in doing / overseeing such repetitive tasks would get hit unless they up-skill.

At Edureka, we have observed a 50 percent boost in RPA course enrolment since Oct 2017 when our RPA course was launched. Most of our customers are male and from India; majorly Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR, followed by US and other first-world countries. But, there has been a healthy number of women learners too, and the number is growing.

BW CIO: Most women are still choosing software testing as their career and skilling up in related areas. Where will it lead them? How to expand skill set to secure future?

Vineet Chaturvedi: There are three times more male engineers to females, as per a gender diversity study revealed by Belong in August 2017.

As per the study, among the tech talent in India, there are more women in software testing roles (a less sought after skill) compared to core programming roles. This is the case even though the absolute number of jobs in software testing are significantly lesser than those in programming.

The study found that for every 100 testing jobs, there were 34 women compared to 66 men. When it came to hardcore programming roles, the ratio changed to 25:75. Many women in manual testing could lose jobs to automation testing. So, it is a now or never situation for the men/ women who are in the manual testing segment.

They need to re-skill, and now, for survival in the industry and for career growth. They could either choose to stay in testing by up-skilling with Selenium for automation testing. They can follow it up with DevOps if they are interested, which is a great career path. When assessed among Edureka learners, in the last one year, we have observed that a significant number of women are interested in embracing Selenium.

If they are open to up-skilling with other technologies, which they can consider to fast-track their career growth; they can look at new-age technologies like AI, RPA, Blockchain, Big Data, Cloud Computing, DevOps, Data Science etc.

BW CIO: With automation taking over software jobs, where will jobs for women in tech lie?

Vineet Chaturvedi: Although IT hiring prospects for 2018 is upbeat, skills will be the key driver. In fact, a report states that by 2020, 60-65 percent of the workforce in the IT sector and 50-55 percent in the automotive sector would work with radically different skill sets. If these new skill domains can be mastered early, women will have greater job options to choose from. It’s a myth that there are not enough jobs. There are plenty of career opportunities for professionals who have the relevant skills.

Skills in Robotic Process Automation (which does not require much coding through UiPath), Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain (which has many uses other than cryptocurrency), DevOps, Data Science (which was called as the sexiest job of the 21st century by Harvard Business Review) and AWS Architect training to name a few can fast-track career growth for women and men alike.

These are career tracks that have a lot of opportunities today and skilled talent is hard to come by in these technologies. We have in fact observed the number of women learners slowly increasing over the last couple of years, so it gives us hope.

It must be understood that to learn these core IT skills, a structured training program led by industry-expert instructors with plenty of hands-on is required.

BW CIO: Which tech skill areas do women need to adapt to stay relevant?

Vineet Chaturvedi: The top trending technologies for 2018 are given below. Women should think of up-skilling in these technologies to stay relevant in the current competitive environment and to future-proof their career.

* Artificial Intelligence
* Blockchain
* Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
* Cloud Computing
* Angular and React
* DevOps
* Internet of Things (IoT)
* Intelligent Apps (I-Apps)
* Big Data
* RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
* Data Science
* Automation Testing.

BW CIO: Why are there fewer women coders? Do women find challenges in the coding job?

Vineet Chaturvedi: In India, women’s share in the engineering space has gone up to around 40 percent at the education level. However, sadly, this does not reflect in the employment numbers. In fact, the number of women in the technical field, especially software engineering / programming, is still abysmal. Not many women take up STEM jobs.

Lack of awareness might be one of the major reasons. While most Indian companies have their recruitment geared towards attracting female talent, the statistics are still dismal, especially when it comes to gender ratio in managerial and leadership roles. It could be because women prefer job roles that help them pay attention to home and family.

Another reason might be the uncertainty of long-term tenure due to family responsibilities. As many as 45 percent of women graduates from Tier 1 universities move out of core engineering roles after close to eight years, according to the Belong study. After quitting engineering, these women mostly move to marketing, product management or consulting, as these areas allow them a better work-life balance.

It’s also a dogma that women are good at detailing and hence, have a cognitive trait that makes them good testers, no reason at all to limit expanding their skills though. In general, manual testing is preferred by women because it's mostly entry-level and does not need hard core programming skills. As this allows flexibility and non-intensive workdays, it seems to be popular among women.

They chose courses, ranging from Big data to AI, to Data Science, DevOps, AWS, Blockchain and Selenium. Many of them said they did not have the time or in some cases the resources to up-skill, and I’m glad we could help them. In conclusion, we sense the tide turning and more women are showing interest in expanding their skills in and outside of testing, which is an encouraging trend to see.

Any tech professional, not just women, should learn new-age technologies to stay relevant and take advantage of emerging opportunities. This is where the demand lies.


Tags assigned to this article:
women Key Techs edureka

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