Stories

India's squeezed tech workers

AP

Indian tech workers — for decades a backbone of the U.S. IT sector, and a big presence in U.S. university STEM programs — are facing a reckoning in the U.S. and at home, and are having to up their skills to adapt.

  • President Trump's proposals to curb immigration favor high-skilled, high-paying jobs, and target Indian IT outsourcing companies like Wipro and Infosys, which rely on H-1B visas to bring workers to the U.S.
  • The rise of automation and machine learning technologies will reduce some IT jobs, leading to layoffs.
  • Countries like Vietnam and the Philippines are quickly developing tech workforces that compete with India for outsourcing.
  • An increasing need for in-house tech collaboration is leading some U.S. and European firms to turn from outsourcing to local talent.

Why it matters: These shifts are a cloud hanging over one of the most vibrant sectors of the Indian economy: Indian IT — coding, creating and testing software, entering data, customer service — creates $150 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly 4 million people. The tech and political trends challenge all of this.