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The demand for tech talent is at its highest, as countries, including those in the Middle East, set ambitious digital transformation goals.

Cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud, and AI, are among the skillsets being looked into by tech companies for their digitally inclined workforce. From this comes a great potential for new value creation and continuous innovative approach.

Traditional employees are becoming less appealing to the eye of entrepreneurs as individuals who are specialized in the advanced technologies are expected to shape the modern way of working and define the future economic outlook.

To cite an example, Saudi Arabia aims to be one of the top five countries globally in AI and requires 25,000 specialists’ jobs in data science and AI before 2030. At the midst of a new golden age, the Middle East is on a path towards harnessing the full value of technology to benefit wide range of communities and industries.

With software and technology becoming mission-critical for businesses throughout the economy, having the right tech talent is needed for companies to remain competitive in the market. Having said that, individuals must also rise up to the challenge and be equipped with the latest ICT skills needed to have an edge in the thriving job market.

Hyperscalers, tech start-ups, and non-tech companies are also winning a larger share of tech talents worldwide. Companies that adopt a winning talent strategy will have a powerful advantage as success is now not only dependent on technology products but also the skilled manpower. 

Without a doubt, adequate ICT talent is required to accelerate digital enablement plans across the region, and promoting talent development is a shared responsibility of public and private sectors. This will benefit the society as a whole as we enter a more intelligent era.

ICT Skills Empower Digital Ambitions

According to a McKinsey survey, 87% of companies say they have or will have skills shortages within the next few years. And by 2030, this skills gap could cost the global economy $8.4 trillion in lost annual revenue.

This shows how important it is to find, hire, and upskill global tech talents. Traditionally, having ICT skills only pertains to a person’s ability to send an email, make a video call, conduct research via the internet, or install software in devices. As we see the need for diversifying talent clusters and the modern digital era becomes more interconnected and mobile-centric, digital skills must be developed to accomplish tasks, founded from their basic education and advanced training later on.

ICT skills become an integral part in youth’s curriculum as they immerse onto a digital-based learning. In the Middle East, national governments and telcos, among other advocates, are ensuring that learners have the access to technological resources that allow them to become proficient in all ICT skills. This is crucial for higher levels of their education and in their careers.

Among the STEM subject coverage being taught nationwide is ICT, where the concept of using computers is broadened and is more focused on the way in which digital information is communicated. Interactive digital classrooms, collaborative cloud communications technology, skill-based studios and demo areas help the students in becoming hands-on and fluent with the latest technologies.

As these students progress and become suitable to work, their digital ambitions can be fulfilled with their ICT skills. These can be used to innovate business operations, improve customer’s online journey, attract more customers, and create opportunities that are more advantageous.

ICT Skill Areas for 2022 Onwards

From advanced robotics to cloud computing, cyber forensics, and blockchain, there really is an enormous field of skill sets to cover as tech talents spread to more fronts than being developers, data scientists and software engineers, among other technical roles.

The digital talent gap is still wide but by exploring new means of open collaboration and knowledge-sharing, competitive jobs and opportunities for innovation will continue to emerge. If you already have basic ICT knowledge but you want to improve your skills, here are some of the in-demand ICT skill areas that could be useful when demonstrated for tech job roles:

  • DevOps. In today's cloud environments, developers and operations support personnel practice harmonizing and integrating DevOps throughout the entire lifecycle. Be knowledgeable and build expertise on source code management, configuration, CI/CD, containerization, and infrastructure-as-a-code.
  • Industrial Internet of Things. IIoT includes the subset of IoT systems and applications that are deployed in industrial environments such as the manufacturing, energy, agriculture, and automotive sectors. You must thoroughly understand cyber-physical systems (CPS), intelligent assets, data communications, and advanced predictive and prescriptive analysis.
  • Automation. Automation powers everything and builds trust through reliability and quick, calculated resolution. It is a must to have a know-how on scripting; APIs; containers and Kubernetes; network awareness; testing, observability, and monitoring; prototyping; and other cognitive skills to intelligently document, locate, classify, extract, and validate data.
  • Cybersecurity. With businesses increasingly moving online and shifting to the edge of cloud, the demand for cybersecurity is high. A good cybersecurity professional must possess skills on operating systems and virtual machines; network security control; coding; cloud and IoT security; security incident handling and response; and laws and regulations, etc.
  • Cloud. Leading cloud platforms have its pros and cons and you must be able to differentiate between providers based on the different types of workloads to be done. A knack on programming languages; database management; AI/machine learning; data and application migration and deployment; and performance testing, metrics and analytics is critical.

It is important to continue learning and improving in the technology scene; where the only constant event is change. With change comes the requirement of additional knowledge and skills that would serve as the cornerstone for a forward-looking solid and smart economy.


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