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Young Workers Optimistic about Careers, Positive about Technology

Infosys research reveals disparity between developing and developed countries’ youth outlooks, as the world confronts the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Davos, Switzerland – January 18, 2016: Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services, today announced research findings that provide insight into a generation that is positive about technology, divided economically about their career chances, and unsatisfied with their current formal education. 

The research report, Amplifying Human Potential: Education and Skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commissioned by Infosys and conducted by independent research agency Future Foundation, polled 1,000* young people per country, aged between 16 and 25, in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Overall, while youths across all surveyed countries understood the role that technology will play in their careers and the need to advance their own skills, there is a clear disparity in technical confidence and job opportunities among developed and emerging economies.

  • Recognition of the importance of technology: Respondents acknowledged the role of technology skills in securing good career opportunities, with clear majorities in both emerging (74% in India and 71% in China) and developed countries (60% in France and 59% in the UK) stating that computer sciences subjects were key education tools
  • Concerns over technology skills and confidence: In emerging economies such as China and Brazil, 68% of respondents are concerned that a lack of technology skills will make it increasingly hard for young people to advance their career prospects. This, in part, could provide motivation for those young people to seek out the technical skills they need — currently some 78% in Brazil and India are confident that they have the necessary skills for a successful future career. In contrast, the sentiment is lower in developed countries, including 53% in France and 51% in Australia
  • Technology skills and knowledge surging in emerging markets: The data further shows a large technical knowledge gap between emerging and developed economies. For example, there is a 30% gap between Indian young men (81%) and their counterparts in the US (51%). Among female respondents, the gap is 28% between India (70%) and the US (42%), and 37% with the UK (33%)
  • Job opportunity pressure: In developed economies, the youngest workforce feels acute pressure to find a well paid job. According to the research, 76% of young workers in France believe their job prospects are worse than those of their parents’ generation. This is in stark contrast to the emerging economies surveyed, where a minority of youths, for example 49% in India, believe their job opportunities are worse than those of the previous generations

Data also indicates that the disparity between emerging and developed economies’ technological understanding is linked to developed markets' long-established education, employment and economic strategies. Emerging economies surveyed have less institutional inertia to contend with, having embarked on their economic rises more recently, and therefore can more flexibly embrace emerging technology. Emerging markets have also accelerated investments in education, buoyed by economic growth.

  • Capabilities of existing education systems: In the US, 45% of those polled considered their academic education to be very or quite old-fashioned, and that it failed to support career goals, compared to 37% in China. In the UK and Australia, 77% had to learn new skills themselves in order to do their jobs, as their school or university education had not prepared them for the workplace, compared to 66% in India

The workforce of tomorrow also understands that as technology increasingly takes away routine tasks, they will need to pursue lifelong learning to develop new skills and focus on “soft" skills that computers will not be as adept at handling.

  • Learning is a lifelong journey: Between 78% (Brazil) and 65% (China) of 16-25 year olds are willing to completely retrain if required. Around 80% of young people across all markets concur that continuous development of skills is essential to be successful in work
  • The need for development of right-brain skills (or ‘soft skills’): Apparent across all regions is the role that communications, relationship-building and problem-solving abilities play in modern, technology-driven workplaces. While academic achievement was prioritized by between 50% (South Africa) and 36% (Germany), communications and on-the-job learning and problem-solving polled far higher. Communication skills polled between 86% (Australia) and 79% (Brazil), while on-the-job learning polled between 85% (Brazil) and 76% (Germany)

Finally, the study showed that job security was important for today’s youth, with the majority of them uninspired to work in volatile start-up ventures. Many, especially in developed economies, are reluctant to set up their own enterprises. Instead, they prefer employment with established large and mid-size companies. And the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers remains prevalent, but it is much starker in developed countries than developing countries.

  • Unresolved gender gap in technology skills: Young men, across all countries surveyed, are more likely to have existing IT knowledge and the desire to advance these skills. In emerging markets such as India (81% male to 70% female) and China (68% male to 59% female) as well as developed economies such as the US (51% male to 42% female), the gap is far less pronounced with higher levels of perceived competency in the emerging economies. However, in other developed economies such as France (49% male to 24% female), Germany (49% male to 26% female) and the UK (62% male to 33% female), the gender gap in technology skills is significantly wider

Overall, young people are aware that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will usher several disruptive forces in the job market: from the next-generation Internet of Things and Big Data, to work environments that will be drastically changed by automation, artificial intelligence and similar technologies. Today’s youth understands that it must be agile, open to learning and capable of operating in a global environment to build a long-term career path.

Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys, said, “Young people around the world can see that new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will enable them to reimagine the possibilities of human creativity, innovation and productivity. To empower these young people to thrive in this great digital transformation, our education systems must bring more focus to lifelong learning, experimentation and exploration – in addition to bringing computer science and technology more fundamentally into the curriculum. Every one of us can reimagine our circumstances, innovate and create, but our education systems must instill new ways of thinking, whichinclude finding the most important problems to solve, collaborating across diverse groups and learning from quick failures — so that each one of us can find our own meaningful, purposeful work.”

For more information and a full copy of the report, please visit: http://www.experienceinfosys.com/humanpotential
* 700 surveyed in South Africa


About Infosys

Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services. We enable clients, in more than 50 countries, to stay a step ahead of emerging business trends and outperform the competition. We help them transform and thrive in a changing world by co-creating breakthrough solutions that combine strategic insights and execution excellence.

Visit www.infosys.com to see how Infosys (NYSE: INFY), with US$ 9.2 billion in LTM revenues and 193,000+ employees, is helping enterprises renew themselves while also creating new avenues to generate value.

Safe Harbor

Certain statements in this press release concerning our future growth prospects are forward-looking statements regarding our future business expectations intended to qualify for the 'safe harbor' under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties relating to these statements include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties regarding fluctuations in earnings, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, our ability to manage growth, intense competition in IT services including those factors which may affect our cost advantage, wage increases in India, our ability to attract and retain highly skilled professionals, time and cost overruns on fixed-price, fixed-time frame contracts, client concentration, restrictions on immigration, industry segment concentration, our ability to manage our international operations, reduced demand for technology in our key focus areas, disruptions in telecommunication networks or system failures, our ability to successfully complete and integrate potential acquisitions, liability for damages on our service contracts, the success of the companies in which Infosys has made strategic investments, withdrawal or expiration of governmental fiscal incentives, political instability and regional conflicts, legal restrictions on raising capital or acquiring companies outside India, and unauthorized use of our intellectual property and general economic conditions affecting our industry. Additional risks that could affect our future operating results are more fully described in our United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings including our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 and our Forms 6- K for the quarters ended June 30, 2014, September 30, 2014 and December 31, 2014. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. Infosys may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date. The company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the company unless it is required by law.


For further information please contact:

Asia Pacific
Sarah Gideon
Infosys, India
+91 80 4156 3998

EMEA
Paul de Lara
Infosys, UK
+44 2075162748

Americas
Pilar Elvira Wolfsteller
Infosys, USA
+1 510 944 4596


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