A survey of the IT Industry, IT Graduates, Higher Educational Institutions & freelancers has revealed shocking figures.
According to the report, the survey conducted on the IT industry shows that half of the IT graduates have expressed interest in pursuing opportunities abroad. In the last year, only 9 percent of IT graduates were able to get an overseas job.
The results of the survey report are presented in the IT Export Strategy Report. The report has been prepared by the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and other international partners, including faculty from the University of Oxford.
According to the report, the job prospects for IT graduates in Pakistan’s IT industry are bright as the employability rate of IT graduates within a year of passing out is about 63 percent. In the survey, 54 percent of IT graduates reported their skills to be relevant and 38 percent somewhat relevant to their jobs, which indicates a positive correlation between education and job requirements.
According to the survey, 78 percent of IT graduates are working for IT businesses and 48 percent of graduates are working in development and programming roles. 42 percent of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are planning to gear themselves predominantly toward introducing Artificial Intelligence and 38 percent of HEIs are planning to introduce Cyber Security in research and teaching.
According to the survey, lack of expertise, international exposure & industry-academia linkage are major obstacles in research & development in IT education.
The survey revealed 23 percent of HEIs reported a lack of international exposure, and 15 percent of HEIs reported a lack of expertise. Also, 13 percent of HEIs reported a lack of partnership with international institutions and 11 percent talked about a lack of linkage with industry.
According to the report, there’s a lack of adequate IT research programs in HEIs; 55 percent do not have research programs which results in fewer publications and limited exposure for Pakistan in international journals.
The report revealed that 66 percent of IT businesses are not achieving desired growth due lack of experienced staff to deal with international clients for the export of IT services. 82.3 percent of the IT businesses surveyed in respect of debt financing, remarked their experience of raising debt finance as “very difficult” to “somewhat difficult”.
There is a potential skills gap in the IT Industry. There is a mismatch between the skills required by IT businesses and the skills available in the market is reported by 75 percent of businesses surveyed. The average experience of 85 percent of freelancers is less than 3 years. Meanwhile, 59 percent of freelancers reported inconsistency in finding clients and 41 percent of freelancers reported a lack of payment gateways as major stumbling blocks.
65 percent of the freelancers cited flexibility in working hours as the primary reason for freelancing, while 43 percent cited better pay as another reason. 26.5 percent of IT graduates reported affordability as their major challenge to education.