Employers are in dire need for digital skills beyond Office applications

UAE, May 11, 2014 - ICDL GCC Foundation, an organisation dedicated to promoting digital skills and cyber safety for-all across the Gulf region, has revealed that fresh university graduates and job seekers must possess diversified and more ICT skills than ever before, to ensure readiness for today’s job market. According to the European Commission Digital Agenda, 90 per cent of jobs will need at least a reasonable level of ICT skills by 2015, adding that the GCC region is no different from the European market in integrating advanced technologies into the workplace.

ICDL pointed out that today’s job market requirements are no longer limited to the basic computer knowledge of the commonly used office applications. It, now, focuses on one’s proficiency in cloud computing, IT security, social media, online collaboration tools and project planning. That said, progress at the school and higher education levels are required to keep up with the region’s fast technological progress, to enable the educational system to provide graduates with the demands of the 21st century workplace.

The ICT landscape is changing at a rapid pace, evidenced by the introduction of technologies relevant to cloud computing, cyber safety, IT security, social media, collaboration, and web meeting. Employers in the public and private sectors are pushing to leverage these technologies in order to become more cost-efficient and customer service-oriented. These changes have also brought about drastic shifts in the GCC’s job market.
In a world where even job seeking is increasingly changing, a job seeker must possess the skills to leverage ICT in the job search. A job seeker must be able to use the available online search tools, upload a CV on the various job portals, and utilize the popular social media platforms.

According to a digital literacy survey provided in 2013 Prince’s Trust Report, one in 10 unemployed young individuals cannot even send their CV online, while more than one in six believe they would be in work today if they had better computer skills. With this alarming problem facing the world’s job seekers, let alone our own, the education system must prepare teachers to deliver the needed skills to students and must incorporate practical ICT training in the curricula before students graduate.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “Being ready for today’s job market requires a bit more than knowledge in using the Internet, email and the common office applications. Employers are demanding ICT skills that are aligned with the latest technologies, they are employing. The education system in the GCC must keep up with these technological developments and fully understand the region’s job market demands to ensure that graduates are ready with the skills to be able to take the first step in their careers.”

“ICDL GCC Foundation has been working in collaboration with qualification and educational regulators to implement various internationally recognized computer certification programs that help UAE Nationals to be skilled, re-skilled and up skilled in line with the latest international trends in ICT training and certification. As the GCC countries moves towards knowledge-based economy, it is imperative the Nationals are trained with the latest digital skills for functional industry experience to give a boost to the policy of Nationalization”, Ezzo concluded.

Driven by the emerging trends and latest technologies, ICDL has revealed recently a new structure for its ICT certification offering prospective employees as well as employers the flexibility, diversity and relevance to acquire the ICT skills they need. The New ICDL has been widely reviewed and accepted by schools around the world and particularly in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.

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