Digital Dubai, at its pavilion at GITEX Global 2022, has unveiled the results of its Digital Skills Employer Survey – the first of its kind and unprecedented in scale, designed to identify the current and future demand levels and needs for digital skills in the digital economy field in the Emirate of Dubai.
The Digital Skills Employer Survey canvassed 15,812 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) employees in 17 different economic activities across 522 establishments in Dubai. It was developed in an effort to identify the availability of digital skills in the private sector, along with current and near-term demand for them in Dubai. It also aims to identify gaps in digital skills with respect to predefined ICT skills categories, and understand the upskilling and talent development methods used and their connection to digital skills gaps.
Hamad Al Mansoori, Director-General of Digital Dubai, said,
“We are living in an era of rapid technological development, where every day, a new breakthrough transforms every aspect of our daily lives. Digital skills are at the very core of this transformation, and as we continue to make progress in our digital transformation and smart city plans, the sector becomes more essential than ever. With that in mind, and in line with Digital Dubai’s mandate to develop the digital economy, we launched the Digital Skills Employer Survey, targeting a sample of establishments operating in Dubai, to accurately identify our future requirements for digital skills in the digital economy.”
For her part, Bushra AlBlooshi, Head of Research and Innovation at the Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) – one of the entities under the Digital Dubai umbrella – noted,
“The Digital Skills Employer Survey is a ground-breaking project with tremendous potential. The sheer scope of the study – the first and largest of its kind in the world – offers us invaluable insight into the ICT sector in the emirate. The survey offers a tremendous added value given the central role that digital plays in our mission at Digital Dubai to digitize all aspects of life in the emirate, all the while ensuring that we have the right digital skills to plan and balance the supply and demand for digital skills in the market.”
Additionally, Tariq Al Janahi, Deputy Executive Director and CEO of Happiness and Positivity at the Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) – another entity under Digital Dubai – stated,
“In line with the Digital Dubai strategy, which calls for a careful assessment of the technical and functional requirements of the labor market across all sectors, our teams at Digital Dubai and the Dubai Statistics Center collaborated to execute the Digital Skills Employer Survey – the first of its kind and largest in scale – to paint a clear and realistic picture of these requirements as told by the real stakeholders in the market.”
An overview of the current digital skill level reveals that employers are overwhelmingly confident in their employees’ digital skills, with 99 percent expressing confidence – a notable 59 percent of which saying they are “very confident”. The survey also revealed the three areas with the highest scores for competence level at present, which are Software & Applications, ICT Technical Support, and ICT Infrastructure & Operations.
While Software & Applications is projected to remain at the top in terms of competence level for digital skills in the future, the survey estimates that the scales will shift away from Technical Support and towards Data & AI, Cybersecurity, and Digital Marketing, signaling further maturity in the market and increased adoption of advanced Fourth-Industrial-Revolution technologies.
The top areas with ICT vacancies in the period ahead will still be Software and Applications and Technical Support for digital skills, with growing demand in ICT Infrastructure and Operations, Data & AI, and Cybersecurity.
The survey went on to explore recruitment activities for ICT professionals, where it identified the main sources of applicants to be internet job portals and social networks, followed by internal transfers and promotions, and recruitment agencies. Meanwhile, the top three criteria for hiring in the field were technical skills, work experience, and academic qualifications.
The study also examined the training provided for ICT recruits and professionals across participating organizations, where employers largely expressed confidence in their organization’s digital skills and ability to share them with their team. This portion of the report focused on requirements for digital skills at the entry level and compared them against requirements for the higher levels, identifying the most preferred methods to receive training among ICT professionals to be online courses, e-learning, and podcasts.
News Source: Emirates News Agency