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Saudi IT Spending to Soar to SR37 Billion in 4 years ; 30,000 Jobs in IT for Saudis by 2015

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia : 10 May 2010

The Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (“CITC”), Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Ja’fari, speaking recently to Okaz at a recent forum in Riyadh on the challenges and opportunities of  developing IT in Saudi Arabia, predicted a 50% increase in IT spending from SR22 Billion to SR37 Billion by 2014.

However, whilst the increase in IT spending is obviously good news for the IT sector, the shift skywards in spending also requires a shift in the same dierction in the number of qualified IT staff to support the growth.

Mr Al-Ja’fari and his deputy Governor for Information Technology Affairs, Dr. Sulaiman Mirdad both emphasised that there was a shortage of skilled IT workers in Saudi Arabia, with as much as 50% of the Kingdoms companies experiencing IT skills shortages today – a worrying trend that looks like it will only increase over the next 5 years. The skills shortage could be plugged by a concerted effort by the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, the Ministries of Education, Higher Education and the private sector, enabling 30,000 IT jobs to be filled by Saudis.

This would in some way help realise the the kingdoms Saudization strategy which, according to Dr. Mirdad, currently stands at just 21% in the IT sector.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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