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Cognizant to double investment in technical education

Company's CEO has asked its employees to pledge to learn one new skill each quarter.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 15, 2019, 04.10 PM IST
Brian Humpheries
Humphries indicated that employees who were more engaged and consistently upskilling tended to stay longer with the company.
Drawing the focus back to reskilling initiatives to bolster growth, CEO of New Jersey headquartered Cognizant, Brian Humphries said that the company will double its investment in technical education next year. Humphries has also asked employees to pledge to learn one new skill each quarter and to mentor one colleague each quarter.

ET has accessed a copy of the email sent to employees. Humphries indicated that employees who were more engaged and consistently upskilling tended to stay longer with the company.

Despite a number of resources for e-learning and upskilling, including a library of 50,000 self-paced courses on Cognizant Learn, the company may ramp up spends on upskilling initiatives, according to the mail. “We know we can do even better, so we expect to double our investment in technical education next year,” the chief executive had said.

The company has been focussing on rationalising its top heavy pyramid structure giving more preference to fresh,upskilled talent.

Referring to the available material within the company’s in-house skilling platform Humphries said executives could widen their knowledge on subjects like IoT, digital engineering, smart sensors and edge artificial intelligence, among others.

He also said that Cognizant had increased the compensation for entry level executives recruited from Indian campuses and is providing them internships to students in their final semesters to improve their technical readiness before they graduate and join the company.

“We’re also focussed on attracting and retaining tomorrow’s top talent...We’ve increased the compensation for entry level trainees from engineering campuses in India who will be joining us next June.”

He added, “We’ve decided to provide internships to all students from engineering campuses across India to whom we make job offers. This will improve their readiness to take on technical roles once they graduate and join our company.”

The suggested pledge to take up a new skill and to mentor other employees was an effort to maintain high levels of investment in skills and training as the company is looking to get back to its bellwether tag, through newer, digital and innovation led contracts suggested analysts.

Kamal Karanth, co-founder of staffing company Xpheno said that upskilling courses have become a top priority rather than optional growth enablers within IT service companies.”The focus is to get entry level employees to a billable level faster. Even on a HR-level, the prescribed skills to be learnt are tracked.”

Individuals who have completed more courses on internal platforms got higher incentives this year, a Cognizant employee told ET.

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