Enormous skills shortage looms on horizon

Industry predicts Middle East to experience 30 per cent shortfall in networking engineers over next four years.
By Peter Conmy
Sat 12 Aug 2000 04:00 AM

Industry predicts Middle East to experience 30 per cent shortfall in networking engineers over next four years.

In the Middle East the demand for high-level technology training to enable businesses and public sector organisations to maintain their competitive edge continues to escalate.

The growing demand for trained IT professionals throughout the world has created a niche for organisations specialising in IT training.

Numerous organisations offering IT training to meet burgeoning demands for trained IT professionals will participate in Gitex 2000, being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, October 28 to November 1, 2000, and share information about new courses available and the latest IT technologies designed to help corporations, governments and small and medium businesses keep their training needs on track.

According to Rowland Griffiths, Regional Director of Cisco Systems Middle East, the region’s greatest challenge is to find people with the technical skills that can implement the “new world” networks that are thrusting the economy into the 21st century.

30% shortfall

“A research project undertaken by Information Data Corporation (IDC) earlier this year, commissioned by Cisco, studied the networking skills requirement in Europe and the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the UAE.

"In almost all of the countries studied, and all of the Middle East countries, there will be a shortfall of about 30 percent over the next four years.

"This means that for every 10 network engineers required by Middle East organisations to implement technology systems, there will be only seven available. The situations in the Middle East is further compounded, as companies in Europe and the US do their best to lure away the region’s best and brightest IT professionals to fill their needs,” said Griffiths.

Internet Quotient

In June 2000, Cisco launched the Internet Quotient (IQ) program which enables executives and leaders from around the world to learn online.

The Internet Quotient program supplies online information and is supplemented with a bimonthly printed magazine that addresses Internet strategies from customer care and workforce optimisation to supply chain management.

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