6 Alternative careers for IT professionals after a layoff

IT layoff. Just lost my job. Got a pink slip. Was asked to resign. These are the phrases that are buzzing around IT corridors. What do you do if you lose your well-paid IT job? Look for different options that can provide you with a life of dignity, satisfaction and money. Learn to start over, after being laid off.

The ripples of Trump's decisions have already begun to be felt. The sudden profusion of automation taking over digital services has doubled the trouble. The IT sector is being hit, and this time, unlike the recession, bouncing back seems next to impossible. IT companies have begun downsizing, resulting in the retirement of people in their thirties and forties. Most people do not know what to do, taking lower paying jobs below their calibre is an option, but it can lead to many problems, such as lower self-esteem and depression and a dip in lifestyle.

According to the recent news report, Cognizant has announced the possibility of a 2% layoff. The situation at this point looks quite grim, with BPO and low-skilled IT jobs to be the worst hit. There is also talk of this being a passing phase, but for anyone who can read the future the impact on traditional jobs in this field is going to be immense – with cloud computing and data analytics taking over. The future looks quite bleak and with so much uncertainty hanging in the air it is wise to chalk a plan B, just in case.

Read through some of the options that can help you keep the hearth fired up. Some of the suggestions are spontaneous thoughts, bearing in mind your comfort zone – a few others will take you by surprise.
So, get ready, and decide on your Plan B

Career options in the face of the IT meltdown

Look for a job that actually makes you happy. The good news is, your IT job may have had an expiration period. But technology is here to stay. The following are some of the career changes immediately available to you, with your qualifications, technical experience, and other corporate skills.

Game Programming

You could work with a game designer and bring in salaries north of 5 lakhs p.a. You will need your skills in software engineering, and you could always pick up skills in graphics, computer simulations, physics, network etc. You may even end up designing your own game, and earn more than a game programmer.

Technical Writing

If you think you can write more than code, then you could take up a job as a technical writer. The work involves drafting documents that make highly technical information easier to comprehend for clients and the layperson. As a technical writer, you could be writing in journals, creating newsletters, manuals, patents, corporate white papers, business plans etc. You could earn as much as 4.5 lakhs a year on the job. Plus there is the option of going freelance after years of corporate slavery.

Software Quality Analyst

Software Quality Analysts earn a similar pay scale as technical writers. The job involves verifying the integrity of software through its various developmental stages. It is a good career option if you have software knowledge. All you will need is a certification for a software analyst, such as DQS certifications.


Of course, if you want a big salary of around 1 crore p.a., you could go to management school and get an MBA. An Executive MBA or a part time PGDM is an option. It will open newer opportunities for you.

You will also benefit from the depth and value that a certificate in Project Management can add to your skills. This certification will allow you to climb up the career ladder and take up management roles of greater responsibility in IT projects. Salaries for a PMP (Project Management Professional) qualification are 20 percent higher. Take care of the certification course you choose, since there are many different organisations that offer it and not all are legitimate. Prometric is a reputable option.


If you think you have a knack and interest in educating, you could take up a teaching job at a professional college or technical institute. There are a large number of such institutes cropping up all over the country. Pay scales are reasonably good. You will find out that the additional advantage of working in the field of education, as opposed to the frenetic pace of IT companies, is that the work is low stress, and you also get more vacations.

Technical Trainer

If you prefer to continue in a corporate culture, you could take up a job as a technical trainer. Such a career would involve creating webinars, conducting workshops, training employees at the organisation, and other tasks along similar lines. The pay scale is around 4 lakhs p.a.

These are some of your most relevant career options for you. You will have to make a choice depending on how much money you want to make and what you want out of your work life. After you have transitioned to a new career, you may find out that quitting your IT job was the best thing you did.

Losing a well-paid IT job need not be the end of the world. You can become a freelancer – you could become a programmer or become a technical consultant. You could look for administrative jobs, especially if you have been handling and leading teams.

You can start a business if you can arrange for funds. Many pPeople who were laid off during the recession went into business. Starting a business can be easy, especially if you take a franchise of a renowned brand. There are of course many options that you can consider, but here are two that are quite viable.

Travel Agency Franchise

Travel and Tourism is an industry is not going out of business. People love to travel, see new places and go on vacations with their family and friends. Imagine, if you could ride on along with them, as in making a living, while they enjoy their trips. Here is where a franchise can be your saving grace, in these desperate times. You just need a place and liquid cash to invest. The companies take care of the rest, the training etc.

Recommended Reading :How to become a MakeMyTrip Franchisee

Beauty & Wellness Franchise

People today are conscious of how they look and this makes many of them turn to beauty and wellness clinics. A franchisee of a reputed chain of beauty and wellness clinic can be a wise and lucrative venture. VLCC offers a franchise, and you can get one if you meet the criteria.

Recommended Reading :How to become a VLCC Franchise

Good luck!

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao21 Jun 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

A good article by Ms.Juana. She has given various chances available for a professional who lost his job in IT industry. It will be a good guide to them. In fact I can say that this is useful for many people who are looking for various alternatives for their career.

Another option that comes to my mind is selling computer accessories and computer consumables. These people are from the IT industry, they will know which items they will purchase from outside and take a dealership from the manufacturer and supply to industry. I know some people who are doing this business.

Author: Umesh21 Jun 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

It is a difficult period for IT industry and one has to be ready with plan B and author has very nicely given the various options available.

In today's market scenario starting a new business by using one's own fund or loan from bank is a bit risky. So better option is join some business house and gain experience there and then try to take a partnership in some established business by paying the requisite amount. So the risk of business growth or starting a new business will not be there.

Only thing is that in the beginning the business establishments may not pay you much. It is not necessary that you try only in computer related businesses. When you are going for plan B anything suiting to your aptitude is all right.

Author: Juana21 Jun 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

Srinivasa Rao,

Thanks much for the appreciation. Finding a job after a layoff is crucial. And it is always better to do something that one is proficient in - be it selling computer parts like you said.

A lot of people dabble in the stock market. They say they make some money, but there are risks involved. The job, whatever it is must provide steady income and also be steady. IT professionals are having it tough. Even fresh graduates are not getting jobs.

Author: Juana06 Sep 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 7


An alternative plan is always advisable in industries that do not provide job security. The IT industry works primarily on a contract basis, once the contract is over, you can be laid off. I know of professionals who were laid off without their contract expiring. It is a tough situation.

Workers who get onsite postings are a tad better off, they earn in US dollars or other foreign currencies and manage to save a substantial amount of money. I reside in a housing complex, comprising predominantly of IT employees. I have first-hand information of their struggles and challenges. Everything looks hunky-dory on the outside, but they are perpetually under a lot of pressure, with the sword of Damocles hanging on their heads.

I have friends who deal in the stock market, buying and selling every day. They make a neat profit, on most days. Two people I know have started their own consulting business, and are getting work through their networks. Another person has opened an organic food outlet in a posh locality, and yet another has got into egg business. He gets eggs from poultry farms and retails them.

I know of some people who invested their money in apartments and live from the rents they earn. They let out their apartments to unmarried IT professionals and get multiple rents from one residence. A two-bedroom apartment can be rented out to 4-6 individuals, at Rs.10,000- Rs.15,000 each.

Two friends invested their savings in a piece of land and have constructed apartments on it. They are making a kill, from selling/renting these apartments.

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