(Bloomberg) – India-based IT services firm Infosys (INFY) plans to hire 12,000 employees in the U.S. over the next two years, building on an initiative it launched in 2017 to dramatically expand its workforce in America.
The latest announcement brings the company’s total job commitments to 25,000 over the next five years.
In a statement released by the company, Infosys CEO Salil Parekh said the new positions will “target experienced technology professionals as well as recent graduates from major universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges.”
The jobs will largely include software developers and analysts focused on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud technologies, according to the company.
“Infosys has been intensely focused on creating jobs in the U.S. for the past three years, and I am proud that this new commitment to hire 12,000 American workers by 2022 expands on that previous initiative,” said Parekh. “We are excited to grow our presence in the U.S. as the digital transformation journeys of our clients accelerate.”
The announcement from Infosys comes as firms across the country scramble to keep up with the digital transformation accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a move to remote work and remote learning. In its most recent quarter, digital revenue accounted for 44.5% of Infosys’s total revenue, marking a 25.5% growth year on year.
The company has also made a strategic shift to hire locally in recent years, with the Trump administration dramatically limiting the number of H-1B worker visas issued. Denial rates for new visa petitions rose from 6% in FY 2015 to 29% through the second quarter of FY 2020, according to a new analysis from the National Foundation for American Policy. Fifty-nine percent of H-1B petitions filed by Infosys have been denied so far this year, a 57% jump from just five years ago.
To build out its U.S. workforce, Infosys has launched six technology and innovation centers in Indiana, North Carolina, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Texas, and Arizona over the last three years, aimed at training and developing skills for critical IT service jobs.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Infosys President Ravi Kumar said the push to remote work brought on by the pandemic presented a huge opportunity for employers to expand their recruiting pool, while allowing employers to seek out jobs beyond their immediate region.
Kumar said gig-workers with the most flexible schedules and the skill sets matching the jobs are most likely to emerge as the biggest winners, even without a traditional university degree.
“In the United States, 40 million people have lost jobs, 70% of the people who have lost jobs do not have an undergraduate degree. They either have a high school or associate degree,” Kumar said. “I believe this is an inflection point where we will move from degrees to skills. Just before the pandemic, the change was gradual. You will now find this to be sudden.”
Akiko Fujita is an anchor and reporter for Yahoo Finance.