Byline – Developing a Skilled IT Resources Pool Is the Key to Economic Revival

By Umair Azam, Founder and CEO, Integration Xperts
Education Concept new Skills computer keyboard

In a rapidly evolving world, technology has taken centre stage in our everyday life, affecting our work, family and social lives. While we have already been using information technology at our workplaces for a few decades, we have become heavily dependent on our computers and smartphones to communicate and share our lives virtually with our family, friends and colleagues.

This shift in human behaviour towards Information technology has expanded the IT industry exponentially over the last few years, providing opportunities to developing nations with a majority of young population. Such countries are prioritising IT talent development to tap these opportunities.

International Labor Organisation (ILO) predicts that graduates with IT skillsets will be the most sought-after workforce in IT, banking, healthcare, manufacturing and education, which have started to rely heavily on information technology for their day-to-day operations.

According to World Economic Forum research, economies with a young population having good IT skills are progressing steadily and increasing their income per capita. IT has also created more job opportunities for the trained workforce, not only in the countries they reside in but remote work, helping them earn foreign exchange.

 Pakistan is among the few nations with a significant IT resource pool of skilled workers contributing to the national economy. The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) says that the IT industry in Pakistan has been growing around 10-15% every year for almost a decade and estimates that by 2025 the industry can generate over $6 billion in revenue and create over 250,000 jobs.

However, developing IT talent in artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning, cloud computing and robotics is crucial to put Pakistan on the world map as a significant IT player. Moreover, only technical skills are not enough as the graduates also need to possess soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking, which are essential for success in the technology industry.

 The government realised this need and has launched several initiatives to train youth and promote skill development in the country. Recently, the IT Ministry collaborated with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), P@SHA, and some leading tech companies to launch a world-class training program, “Tech-Lift”, for 4,000 IT graduates. Many private sector organisations are also playing their role in building the needed IT skillset in the upcoming workforce and devising training programs for young graduates in order to improve their abilities and stay current with technical changes. These firms offer internships and job opportunities to trained IT graduates, helping expand the IT resources for the country.

 At Integration Xperts, we are trying to play our part too. We have developed ‘The Integration Xperts Future Leadership Program’ that focuses on developing IT and soft skills in the young generation and preparing them for leadership roles in the technology industry.

The Integration Xperts Future Leadership Program recruits and trains recent local graduates in cloud applications for finance, enterprise resource planning, human resource management, customer relationship management, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital commerce, and mobile application development. Qualified candidates are offered positions at IX to develop a talent pool of a few hundred highly competent professionals over the next several years. These future leaders will be exposed to and gain hands-on experience in their chosen industries.

The program also provides opportunities for participants to hone their leadership skills like effective communication, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolving that are a prerequisite for success in any industry and environment. Participants will also be given leadership responsibilities inside the organisation, providing them with practical experience leading teams and managing projects.

In conclusion, programs like Integration Xperts’ Future Leadership Program are critical to developing IT and leadership skills in young workers in the technology business. Having developed a well-rounded skillset that includes both technical and soft skills, participants in the program are better prepared to succeed in leadership roles in the technology industry. IT businesses in Pakistan should also focus on and engage in such efforts to generate a future-ready workforce capable of contributing to the national economic recovery.