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‘Technology will create more jobs than it automates’

Devanshi Singh, an alumna of Apeejay Kharghar and Web Developer at Citrix, says there’s need to raise awareness about data protection and privacy

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Hailing from Gurugram, Haryana Devanshi completed her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka. She bagged a job offer during campus placements with Citrix, an American multinational cloud computing and virtualisation technology company. She has been working with Citrix Systems for more than 6 years’ now. In her current role, she is responsible for designing and building websites. In a candid interview, the techie talks about the life skills she acquired at Apeejay, why the IT industry is attracting a lot of women, the fear of automation in work, and more. Edited excerpts:

What are the life lessons you have learned at Apeejay?

I have learned so many meaningful life lessons that have left a lasting impact on me. Talking about my journey with Apeejay, I studied in the school from class 6 to 12. My father was in Railways and being a government employee he had to often shift cities. He got transferred to Mumbai and that’s how I got enrolled in Apeejay Kharghar. After some time, my father switched to the private sector and that’s how I ended up completing my schooling from Apeejay.  First of all, I like to talk about the life-long friends I made in school. The teachers were highly supportive and encouraged us to actively participate in extracurricular activities. I have been part of the Prefectorial Board since 9 and that exposure taught me how to effectively deal with people and work coherently in a team. The exposure I got through extracurricular activities boosted my confidence and public-speaking skills. Our teachers also used to pay explicit attention to pronunciation. I would like to specially highlight the efforts made by our English teacher, Ms. Judith John, in this regard. As a result, I can now conduct meetings with ease and give compelling presentations. The rich experience that I got in my school prepared me well for my career.

According to data from 451 Research, a technology industry research firm, women now make up 34% of the IT workforce in India. Tell us why the IT industry is attracting a lot of women?

I think one of the reasons for it is that the IT industry offers a lot of flexibility. Flexible working arrangements help women maintain a work-life balance and manage their multiple personal and professional priorities. Secondly, the IT sector in India is growing by leaps and bounds, so there are plenty of opportunities to make your mark. India’s technology services industry is slated to achieve $300-350 billion in annual revenue by 2025. The remuneration is also attractive compared to other sectors. I also believe that students get inspired by many Indians or Indian-origin CEOs who are ruling the technology industry.

According to you, what’s the future of IT in India?

I see a bright future. It’s said that in the future every company will be a tech company. As we can see around us, technology is driving change in almost every major industry and COVID-19 has sped up digital transformation and technologies by several years. However, there’s a misplaced fear among people that rapid advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation will drive significant automation and destroy jobs in the coming decades. I believe automation doesn’t generally eradicate jobs. It eliminates dull, tedious, and repetitive tasks. Technology will continue to evolve and will offer plenty of opportunities. It will create more jobs than it automates. These newly created jobs will require new skills so it’s important for businesses and governments to collaborate on massive reskilling and upskilling initiatives. Employees too on their part must stay tuned with the latest technology trends and keep on adding new skills. We also have to reduce the digital divide.

Is data protection being taken seriously by businesses and consumers?

Data privacy and security are becoming increasingly important in this digital age. That’s why, India may soon draft a new privacy bill. Based on my experience, I can say that businesses are slowly taking data privacy laws quite seriously. In fact, a lot of start-ups are venturing into the field of digital security.  However, there is a need to raise awareness among people on the issue so that they exercise their data rights under existing privacy laws.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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