bridging the IT skills gap.

Looking for work can be stressful, especially when there's so much competition for the best jobs. Technology is one industry where this is not such a problem though; due to a shortage of professionals who are suitably trained for IT jobs, companies providing digital products and services are struggling to find enough people with the skills they need.

Perhaps ironically, the digital skills gap is caused by the growing success of the Dubai tech sector. The technology industry has seen rapid growth in recent times, and it shows no signs of slowing down – in fact, all the indicators suggest that this development will continue to gather pace. The digital sector is creating jobs at twice the rate of other industries, with new roles in areas such as e-commerce, cyber security, and blockchain development being advertised every week.

Because so many new IT jobs are being created, there are no longer sufficient workers available to meet the demand, leaving many companies scratching their heads over how to fill this skills gap and secure the talent needed to sustain the present level of growth into the future.

  

the real issues the IT jobs industry faces.

Take cyber security - an area that requires in-depth knowledge, and one which is growing very quickly due to the increasing need for businesses to protect their digital assets. The UAE’s current workforce doesn't possess the skills and training needed to fill the range of IT jobs that are becoming available, which forces hiring managers to look overseas, while the rapid rate of technological change serves to create more and more jobs that need to be filled.

While this could be seen as a threat to the UAE economy, we’d prefer to view it as an opportunity for those seeking work to move onto a career path that is secure and well paid. New job opportunities are being created all the time, particularly in areas like IT security, software programming, and computer systems analysis.

The UAE is already regarded as one of the digital capitals of the Middle East; Dubai has one of the highest levels of ICT adoption in the region, both by the wider public and the government. Numerous digital transformation initiatives have driven this growth, from the announcement of the first ICT strategy in 1999, to the launch of the Dubai e-government, the Dubai Smart Government and, in 2014, the Smart Dubai initiative.

Numerous implementations, ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT) systems, data analytics, blockchains, hyperloop projects, innovative 3D printing, autonomous vehicles and drones, robotics and artificial intelligence applications, have all been developed and trialled as part of the Smart Dubai initiative. As long as the current skills shortage can be addressed, things are set to get very exciting. So how can digital companies fill their IT jobs with suitably skilled employees, and maintain balance into the future?

 

what can be done to improve the current situation?

The most important area that needs addressing is education and training. Employers need to work alongside schools and universities to ensure that students are graduating not only with the specific tech skills they need, but with the full skill set that will prepare them for working life when they complete their education. Companies can also pick up the slack by offering training to both new and existing employees for the roles they're struggling to fill.

Another issue is that IT jobs are seen as unattractive by many – often, people who have the creative abilities and people skills needed to flourish in this field are put off by the nerdy image portrayed by the media and popular culture. Finally, employers must promote diversity, encouraging the tech-savvy younger generation to get under the hood, providing opportunities to older workers and women – who are massively under-represented in the industry, and offering attractive packages to skilled workers from abroad.

Individuals who are seeking work can also play their part – those in the groups named above will be attractive to employers who recognize the value of a diverse staff, and youngsters who are considering their careers will do well to learn the skills that will enable them to work in the tech field, where job security is high and opportunities for career progression abound. There are a number of job roles that are currently under-served by the workforce, and these are particularly worth looking into.

 

If you want to find out more about the causes of the current IT skills gap, the key issues faced by the technology industry, and possible solutions to the situation, get in touch with our team today. They can assist companies across the Middle East with search and selection in the technology industry. 


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