GNcareers, from Gulf News

Closing the yawning skills gap in IT skills

Closing the yawning skills gap in IT skillsImage Credit: Supplied

They may sport the latest tech gadgets and keep updating them, but there aren't enough young UAE nationals coming through with the hard skills for IT related jobs.

''Schools tend not to emphasise the importance of skills for work and the potential of certifications to help individuals develop their careers,'' said a spokesperson for Pearson VUE. ''This may impact the number of nationals pursuing IT certifications outside the school system.

''A further challenge is that some sectors and skills are not currently supported by professional certifications... or pathways from education into employment.''

This has meant that expatiates are dominant in job placements, with government IT services being a possible exception. ''Migrants applying for jobs in the region have often gained their skills from learning overseas where the awareness and potential impact of professional certifications and credentials are higher,'' said the spokesperson. ''The skills agenda is driven more from the school level and the access to training and assessment is wider.''

A recent survey of 30,000 plus IT professionals by Pearson VUE found six in ten Middle Eastern IT exam candidates said the qualification would have a 'positive impact on their professional image'. More than half saw their first professional benefit within six months of achieving a certification and a fifth experienced the benefits immediately.

Over four in ten said that it helped them make the move to a career in IT.

And the best way for UAE nationals to close the gap would be to raise awareness of ''how to acquire and certify their own skills, and access to the profession-specific learning and assessment,'' the spokesperson said. ''This would make nationals more attractive to private sector employers and increase opportunities for nationals seeking private sector employment.''

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Source: Staff Report,