PHNOM Penh’s Centre for Information Systems Training (CIST) said it will warn of a growing mismatch between the information technology education sector and the needs of employers at a workshop Thursday.
It will also point to the potential of the sector to provide high-quality jobs and drive economic growth given appropriate government and private sector incentives, CIST Director Vincent Drouillard said Monday.
The workshop is scheduled to present findings of a survey of IT usage in private companies with more than 10 employees conducted in July to help CIST develop its own curriculum to better meet workplace needs and help graduates find jobs.
Drouillard said the research, which is to be released in full Thursday, showed that the 32 higher education institutions providing IT education in Cambodia were not meeting workplace demand. Just a quarter of graduates last year were trained as technicians, with the rest obtaining graduate degrees, but almost half of all the jobs in the IT sector were entry-level jobs in IT support and system and network administration.
“Usually these jobs are technician jobs in which two years training is more than enough,” he said. “We train technicians, and they should be the ones taking these kinds of jobs.”
He also warned that only around 1,000 new IT jobs were created every year. Current trends predicted there would be 3,671 graduates in 2012, more than double the 1,732 produced last year.
“If it stays the same, in 2012, roughly two out of three IT graduates will be unemployed,” he said.
CIST’s company department coordinator, Sahak Nimol, said the research showed computer usage in the workplace was growing 20 percent a year, mostly driven by growth in the banking and telecoms sector. However, just 15 percent of companies completely outsourced systems and network jobs, preferring instead to use in-house specialists.
“This is very low compared to developed countries,” she said, indicating huge room for development of a business process outsourcing industry in Cambodia.
Drouillard said if Cambodia could develop a domestic outsourcing sector there was no reason it could not export services around the world as India has done on a massive scale, creating much-needed jobs.
“Clearly, the takeaway from this workshop should be concrete actions that the IT sector can take, together with government and so-called civil society, to improve the IT sector,” he said.