Ortus CIO June Session

by OrtusClub on 11th June 2018

Ortus CIO June Session

Session 6: June 6th, 2018

‘CLOSING THE IT TALENT GAP IN THE PHILIPPINES’ with the ORTUS CIO GROUP

The Ortus CIO Club held its sixth session the past 8th of June, discussing on “Closing the IT Talent Gap in The Philippines”. During this breakfast discussion, CIOs from prominent firms in Manila sat down to speak of the present talent gap amongst young IT professionals and the concerns that it brings up in the IT sector of the country.

The Philippines is undergoing a shift in its business environment, transitioning itself into paperless processing, electronic platforms and embracing the growth of its Information Technology sector. With these new developments, companies find themselves suddenly needing an influx of the right people to manage these adjustments and run it to the best of their abilities. One concern, however, is that despite this growth in technology, there is a noticeable gap in today’s talent pool, leaving IT leaders floundering for solutions.

FOSTERING IT TALENT

One of the bigger challenges discussed during the session was the foundation on which the talent pool of today is built upon. Criticism towards educational institutions was exchanged, stating that although many students are leaning towards the IT field, the curriculum offered to them does not foster the skill set needed by companies at present. Skills such as critical thinking, listening, and comprehension should be a focus even at a young age, they shared, and are traits that are hard to foster if without a strong base. Another skill that is severely lacking in the Filipino youth is the skill of interpersonal communication. Even if they were equipped with the skills needed to survive in an IT environment, thriving in businesses require being able to communicate ideas both efficiently and effectively. This skills gap leaves many unfit for the prospective job roles on demand after they graduate.

Because of this problem, the participants that attended the June session of the CIO group shared how their organizations attempted to solve this particular skill gap. They spoke of 3 targets, the students, the instructors and the governing agencies.

 

THE STUDENTS

Developing the future IT sector at an early age is imperative to the success of the industry as well as the success of any Filipino professional hoping to contribute to the sector. Because of this, organizations find themselves targeting students as early as high-school to help build that interest and discipline needed for their future. Initiating IT competitions, participating in school fairs and giving talks on the IT industry are just some of the ways these leaders find themselves encouraging and molding the youth.

THE INSTRUCTORS

… If you don’t target the instructors as well, the students will be limited by what the instructor is teaching.

The participants shared that one factor that is constantly being overlooked is the competency of the instructors. According to one attendee, professors from state schools are not required experience in the industry in order to teach, leading to professors coming in to teach fresh after graduation, granting them the inability to communicate the needed skill sets demanded by the present IT sector to their students.

THE GOVERNING AGENCIES

One of the factors barring the improvement of the talent pool is the policies that are being instituted by the public office. One of the attendees expressed that the Commission of Higher Education is in charge to the curriculum offered to state schools, a curriculum that is proven to be incredibly outdated and not effective for the preparation of its students. Not only that, but they are thinking of removing the curriculum of Computer Sciences altogether because of the lack of enrollees on record. With all these happening, companies have taken it upon themselves to help in the contribution of the curriculum in order to keep it more up to date and to the standards they wish to see in their own organizations.

Ultimately, the attendees all agreed that the biggest investment that needs to be made is the nurturing of the Filipino youth through their education, not only in the hard skills needed for the survival of the ever-growing IT sector, but also the soft skills needed to flourish and help in its development. Though local talent may be raw and in need of polishing, and though it does take more time and money in comparison to taking in ready-to-use foreign talent, organizations still hold on to the hope that with their help and belief, they can help make the Filipino talent pool a world-class group of innovative individuals eager to contribute and learn.

If you are an IT leader and interested in being part of the upcoming session, please do get in touch with the group admin, Jessica Circi at jc@ortusclub.com

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