Photo- Joydeep Chatterjee - Managing Consultant, ICT Team Malaysia, Randstadt.
As Malaysia continues on its journey to become a high-income nation by 2020, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry is playing a significant role in the realisation of this vision.
The industry is expected to contribute 10.2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2015 and up to 17 percent or RM294 billion (US$92.96 billion) of the gross national income by 2020, according to the national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). At the same time, RM126 billion (US$41.74 billion) is expected to be garnered from ICT initiatives under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).
Over recent years, Malaysia's ICT industry has seen significant transformation. Malaysia is now ranked 36th out of 70 countries, in terms of Digital Economy Rankings and is one of the top three Shared Services Outsourcing (SSO) destinations in the world, with the ICT industry contributing much to this growth.
In achieving the goal of becoming an 'inclusive and sustainable' high-income nation, demand for ICT professionals in Malaysia is predicted to grow. According to MSC (Multimedia Supercorridor) Malaysia, the country's national ICT initiative to attract global technology companies and to groom local talent for the industry, there will be a 47 percent increase in job creation between now and 2015.
IT skills that will be in demand
On the horizon, we see a surge in demand for mobile application developers, solution architects, and cloud computing and virtualisation specialists. Given today's globally integrated economy, bilingual IT support specialists will be highly valued.
Other skill sets expected to be sought after by Malaysian employers this year include IT auditing, lead software development, business intelligence analysis and WebSphere application development.
While these technical skills are vital, 'softer' skills in project management, and business process and quality improvement are also growing in demand. These skills enable the smooth delivery of projects which is crucial for Malaysia's economic development.
The ability to adapt to changes quickly and using existing resources to find solutions to problems is a trait that employers are looking for, especially as change is constant in the IT and business landscape.
Malaysia is on the right track to ensure a steady stream of talented ICT professionals. The proposed allocation of RM3.7 billion (US$1.22 billion) this year to train students in technical and vocational fields is a good example of how Malaysia is seeking to hone new skills to be in line with the future needs of the industry.
With such measures, as well as a variety of different digital initiatives under the GTP and ETP, Malaysia's robust ICT industry is on track to help accelerate its high-income nation vision by 2020.
- Joydeep Chatterjee is managing consultant, ICT Team Malaysia, Randstadt, which is a Fortune Global 500 company, offering global recruitment and HR services with Asia Pacific operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Australia and New Zealand.
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