Cognizant to hire 20,000 ‘digitally ready’ freshers — with higher starting salaries of ₹4 lakh per annum


  • American IT multinational Cognizant is planning to hire over 20,000 digitally-skilled technology graduates in 2020 in India.
  • The tech major is also scaling up the average compensation for campus freshers by 18% — to ₹400,000 per annum.
  • Cognizant is looking to strengthen its core areas — data, digital engineering, cloud, and the internet of things.
After a massive structural rejig with layoffs and cut costs last year, American IT multinational Cognizant is back to sprucing up its employee base. It is looking to hire over 20,000 Indian tech graduates in 2020 who are ‘digitally-skilled’.

It is also scaling up the average compensation for campus freshers to ₹400,000 per annum. This is an 18% surge from last year’s campus placements last year.

“We continue to be a net hirer of engineering, science, management and other graduates as well as experienced professionals. With more and more students in campuses becoming digitally ready, we have announced a 30 percent increase in our hiring of engineering and science students for 2020,” the company spokesperson said.

It is also expanding in India. Last week, Cognizant became operational in Mangaluru with its new facility that can accomodate 1,100 employees. The company presently has nearly 80 clients in India across industry verticals.

According to Brian Humphries, CEO of Cognizant, India is an attractive market. “The acceptance rate for offers we have made in about 100 premier engineering campuses is more than 80%, reflecting increased confidence in the company. This is much higher than recent years,” he said.

Cognizant’s core areas — data, digital, cloud, and IoT

Expanding the base of engineers and tech graduates is a part of its strategy to build on new age businesses — by hiring those with digital skills. Its digital revenue has been growing by more than 20% year-on-year. It is hence looking to strengthen its core areas of — data, digital engineering, cloud, and internet of things (IoT).

The hiring comes right after extensive job cuts in Cognizant in 2019. As many as 7,000 mid and senior level jobs were axed — accounting for 2% of its global workforce. The company had said that nearly 5,000 employees will be redeployed into other job roles.

“To improve cost structure to partially fund these investments and advance Cognizant’s growth agenda, it has made the decision to remove approximately 10,000-12,000 mid-to-senior level associates worldwide from their current roles in coming quarters,” Karen McLoughlin, CFO of Cognizant had said. The job cuts were expected to help the company save $500 million by 2021.

Reskilling is a priority, says Cognizant

Cognizant is also looking to re-skill its employees in new-age technologies which are its business areas. “To ensure we have the right digital skills in a supply-constrained environment, we have doubled our investment in Cognizant Academy in 2020. To accelerate our digital momentum, we believe we need to hire or reskill approximately 25,000 resources in 2020, and we have started to operationalise this," Humphries said.

As companies restructuring to usher in a digital era, skilling projects however run parallel to job losses.

See also:
Learn or leave — tech majors are either reskilling employees or slashing jobs

Benching, firing and re-deploying — the story of 20,000 employees at tech majors
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