Battling for bytes

Battling for bytes


The demand for employees with tech know-how and computer skills is rapidly expanding in Cambodia. Everyone from restaurant owners to corporate executives demand graduates who not only possess industry-specific skills but also the ability to apply those skills using modern technologies.

While this demand is increasing exponentially, universities are not able to integrate e-learning into their curriculum, which leaves a gap between the actual skill sets of college graduates and the skills necessary to become a productive member of a company or organization.

“I can see that most of the university graduates only know about the theory but they lack practice,” said Mike Gaertner, the chief operation officer at CIDC Information Technology.

“The main challenge is education. I think Cambodia has enough resources compared to Vietnam and Thailand. I just feel that students never get to do a real project, so they do not know how to develop themselves with the technology,” he added.

While universities are struggling to provide students with real work experience, the Center for Information Systems Training (CIST), provides a 2-year intensive training course for high school graduates who cannot afford university. Their selection process is extraordinarily thorough, however, for those who make it in, a career in technology is almost a sure thing. “Eighty percent of our students get jobs with a proper salary and conditions within a month,” said Nimol Sahak, the company department coordinator for CIST.

Much of CIST’s success is a result of the two internships that all trainees must do before graduating. “Internships are very important because they link to job opportunities and they are a way that students can gain skills and enrich their knowledge,” explained Nimol Sahak.

Many school officials recognize the urgent need for their students to gain tech skills in order to compete in the global job market, however it is expensive to invest in the technology itself, as well as the human resources training necessary to put the technology to use.

Among Cambodia’s universities, the Institute of Technology (ITC) is generally regarded as the best for tech training, however Rathavy Mony Annanda, the head of the school’s computer science department, explained that even ITC is struggling to prepare graduates for the work force.

“We want to provide better training, but with limited resources how can we do that?”

On a more optimistic note, he predicted that the government and the private sector will realise the importance of investing in technology schools as tech-skills are an essential part of any organization.

Although universities may not have the capacity to provide all of their students with access to computers and e-learning opportunities, many students have taken it upon themselves to gain that technological know-how to get a leg up in the job market.

“Young teenagers are studying computers and using Internet,” said 23-year-old Ros Piseth, who studied information technology at Build Bright University in Phnom Penh. Ultimately it is the engaged and enlightened young Cambodians who will build a technological infrastructure in Cambodia. But where the money come from?

“Investors will see us here and come,” explained Ros Piseth.


  • Former opposition leader tells soldiers, Cambodians to unite to fight CPP

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy has called for a popular uprising after the July 29 national elections to force a change of government. He called on the armed forces and people to stand united to fight the ruling Cambodian People’s Party-led

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Court told to act against former opposition leader for insulting King

    Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana has ordered the Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor to begin legal proceedings against the Cambodia National Rescue Movement (CNRM) president, Sam Rainsy, for “insulting” the King, Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin told The Post. The “insult” was determined after