Demand for Saudi IT Specialists Outstrips Supply

Dean of Information Technology at Al-Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University: “Saudi youth is leading the way to knowledge-based economy in the Kingdom”

Saudi Arabia has impressive penetration of smartphones compared to global average

Al Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 27, 2016 – Development Plan focused on narrowing the technology gap between the Kingdom and other industrial countries by 2020, and to promote the transition to a knowledge-based economy, the Dean of Information Technology at Al-Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University has called for students’ enhanced involvement in IT in order to meet the job market’s needs in Saudi Arabia.

According to Al-Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University, the IT sector in Saudi Arabia has become a key driver for many other economic sectors, and the Kingdom is set to witness an IT boom in coming years. A University believes that relevance of IT and the spread of satellite communications, computer networks and Internet will together reinforce the pivotal role of the IT sector in the Saudi national economy.

Dr. Waleed Abdulaziz Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University Information Technology, stressed the need to encourage young people to work in the IT sector to keep pace with the growth of Saudi Arabia and ensure its global competitiveness. Al-Jandal said that boosting the qualifications of young people in IT will ensure sustainable economic growth and enhance the country’s competitiveness on a global scale. This comes at a time when the demand for Saudi nationals specialising in IT outstrips supply.<

“Saudi Arabia is an active global player in this industry. It has been a member of the International Telecommunication Union since 1965, the organization that plays a leading role in the ICT sector globally. We are delighted to see the youth’s willingness to study IT to boost the growth of this sector in the Kingdom,” added Dr. Al-Jandal.

Al-Jandal stressed that IT enhances the quality of economic, social and cultural activities, and brings communities closer. The Saudi Government has paid great attention to IT, as highlighted by many national plans such as the 7th Five-Year Plan, the Science and Technology National Policy, the Saudisation of ICT sector, and the National Communications and Information Technology Plan.

The School of Information Technology at Al-Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University has recorded major achievements in the areas of networking, Internet, operation, technical support and applications, information security and media. Also, its students were recognised in various national and international platforms, including the recent Cloud Computing course held in Jeddah. Around 8 students scored above 95%, a rare incident at the global level.

Relatively, Saudi Arabia is very advanced internationally in the field of smartphones’ penetration, as it has over 100% penetration of smartphones compared to the global average of 86.7 percent.

“There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between labor market requirements of IT professionals in Saudi Arabia and awareness among parents and their children about the importance of this sector. We keep up to date with all the Ministry of Education programmes to make sure we apply the latest information and communication technologies in the education field, and have made many international and regional achievements in this domain,” concluded Dr. Al-Jandal.