Honey E. Gementiza, Jennifer A. Gorro, Sheila Mae C. Navales
Tentative Defense Schedule: September 07, 2007, 10:00am
Panelist : Ms. Novie Joy Pelobello, MSIS and Mr. Exander Barrios, MIM
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The expanding business of information means more jobs in such businesses as software, telecommunications, or public relations. For most highly industrialized countries such as Canada, unemployment is not a basic problem. It's the growing gap between those who have the skills to adapt to the new work place and those who don't: "Canadians cannot avoid coming to grips with the issue of structural unemployment and the growing skills gap that lies its root." Ottawa's Canadian Occupational Projection System agrees with the prediction that fast growth occupations will be in information technology (such as systems analysts and data processing operators), health, and services as diverse as industrial engineering, child care, and food and beverage preparation. Tomorrow's new jobs are likely to share an important feature: many of them will require more education and skills than the jobs they replace.
The Philippines has been acknowledged as the Asia’s source of significant outsource service operations because of its competitive advantages: high quality personnel, lower cost in doing business and proximity to market. The opportunities in the ICT industry such that cyber services is expected to generate a total of 981,000 jobs by 2010.
Locally, Region XI is priming up as one of the country’s top destination for cyber services with Davao City as the hub and “Center of Excellence” in ICT. Davao City ranked high as an attractive ICT Investment Location in the country and was awarded as the “Most Competitive Metropolitan City” for its lowest mark in terms of cost in doing business, and highest rating in terms of livability. The presence of organized industry players in ICT sector coupled with the support of the local government agencies have hasten the development and growth of the ICT sector in the region. Hence, Information and Communications Technology is one of the priority industries identified for development in the Davao Region Industry Cluster Plan 2005-2010 for its significance as a powerful tool for participating in global market, enhancing local development, opportunities and improvement in the delivery of basic services.
The developments in ICT offers a vast opportunities especially in business process outsourcing (BPO), customer care and call centers, medical transcription centers, data animation and visualization, software development, engineering and design, IT outsourcing and Multi-Media and Gaming. However, inspite of the high job opportunities that the BPO can give to the city, concern and doubts about its sustainability of growth and development has been raised as the industry experiences difficulties in meeting the demands of the markets, specifically in the city’s ability to supply skilled workforce.
Accordingly, the human resource development is the most critical area that Davao City faces in the development of its ICT sector and in stimulating the sustainability of its growth and development. The city faces the more profound challenge of educating, training and integrating a large portion of its population who were previously denied the opportunity to move into the emerging information society.
With this regard, DTI and NEDA would like to determine the status of the ICT workforce and whether their skills match with the demands and standards of the industry. Yet, as far as this research is concern, there has been no concrete study that could answer the issue. Hence, the researchers were motivated to advocate a study that would shore up the issues raised by DTI and NEDA in a most probable way so as to help them determine and validate whether the present status of the human resource of the seven sectors of ICT industry matches with the demands and standards of the ICT companies. The researchers consider the three essential factors of the study; Employability (Soft) Skills, IT Technical Skills/ IT Literacy and Customer Service Skills. The Educational Credentials/Profile is also given an emphasis as baseline data for the research study.
The study is important to aid the infusion of skilled human resource in the city. It is timely enough to address the present needs such as of DTI and NEDA and as well strengthen the government-industry-academe linkage in general. If the skills-matching result is affirmative then the present status of the workforce is suitable, otherwise plans for alleviating skills-gap is recommended. It would contribute for possible improvements on the ICT Industry Cluster Plan of NEDA and also assess the problem presently encountered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in their step to strengthen government involvement in producing highly skilled ICT manpower. The study will also help make the industry aware of the present status of their human resource and whether there is a need of plans for developmental training. It will also provide basis and necessary information on the part of the academe for possible improvements on their method of teaching towards their quest of providing competent ICT graduates. Moreover, students will also benefit from this research by providing significant information on their status as students and the necessary qualifications for them to be employed in the ICT companies.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Davao City faces the more profound challenge of educating, training and integrating a large portion of its population who were previously denied the opportunity to move into the emerging information society. To participate in the ICT sector, the city must ensure the development of skills that are on a par with the ICT standards. This will mean improvement to its existing educational and training capabilities as well as preparing its graduates to participate broadly in the information society and to be a productive member of the ICT sector.
The following are the specific questions which would be addressed by this study:
1. What is the present status of the human resource of the seven sectors of ICT industry (Customer Care and Call Centers / (BPO) Business Process Outsourcing, Medical Transcription Centers, IT Outsourcing, Data Animation and Visualization, Software Development, Engineering and Design, and Multi-Media and Gaming) in terms of their:
*Employability (soft) Skills;
*IT Technical Skills/ IT Literacy;
*Customer Service Skills?
2. What are the demands and standards of the ICT companies for their human resource in terms of their:
*Employability (soft) Skills;
*IT Technical Skills/ IT Literacy;
*Customer Service Skills?
3. Does the present status of the human resource of the seven sectors of ICT industry match with the demands and standards of the ICT companies?
This research study intends to develop a projection of the present status of the human resource of the seven sectors of ICT industry in areas here (customer care and call centers / Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), medical transcription centers, data animation and visualization, software development, engineering and design, IT outsourcing and Multi-Media and Gaming). Accordingly, these sectors are to be evaluated in the following aspects: Educational Credentials/Profile, Employability (soft) Skills, IT Technical Skills/ IT Literacy, and Customer Service Skills.
The study also aims to generate a projection of the demands and standards of the ICT companies for their human resource in terms of their: Educational Credentials/Profile, Employability (soft) Skills, IT Technical Skills/ IT Literacy, and Customer Service Skills.
In regards with the data that will be gathered, this study will determine and validate if the present status of the human resource of the seven sectors of ICT industry match with the demands and standards of the ICT companies.
There is a mismatch between the level of competence of ICT human resource to the demands and standards form by the ICT companies in its 7 sectors.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research study will strengthen the academe-industry-government linkage in general. It would contribute to possible improvements of the ICT Industry Cluster Plan of NEDA and as well address the problem presently encountered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in their step to strengthen government involvement in producing highly skilled ICT manpower. Moreover, students will also benefit from this research by providing significant information on their status as students and the necessary qualifications for them to be employed in the ICT companies.
It would also benefit the academic institutions in that our research would give them important basis, guidelines and information for possible revisions or improvements of its curricula in order to promote and produce productive and qualified graduates in the field of IT.
It would profit the ICT industry/companies in that its impact would probably increase the number of qualified human resource and thus result to the reduction of high training cost of personnel and contribute to the development and sustainability of the BPO companies growth here in the city.
And most of all, it would benefit us, the researchers, the future graduates and IT professionals, for it will serve as our guidelines and give us knowledge of what we need to possess in order for us to strengthen our capabilities and improve our weaknesses in order to meet the demands and requirements of the ICT industry and thus increase our chances of finding a job and purposely for us to be hired in the BPO companies.
Theory on the assessment of competency:
The theory of Thomas Angelo, assessment requires working expertise and standards for all quality explicit and public: systematically gathering of evidence on how well performance matches those expertise and standards; analyzing and interpreting the evidence; using the resulting information to document expertise and improve performance.
With this assessment of competency, the strength and developmental needs shall be identified. This improves the productivity and job performance of working entry level professionals of information technology by addressing the developmental needs.
Theory on Working entry-level Professionals:
The study about the assessment of working entry-level of IT professionals, written by Ryan Y. Custodio, the inputs are the skills requirements in technical areas, in work functions of a computer and in the core abilities of the entry-level professionals.
The competency of entry-level professionals of information technology was evaluated using the skills requirements items. Finally, the capabilities, strength, and developmental needs were identified as output. This checks whether there is a significant impact of the level of skills requirements on the level of competence of the entry-level professionals of information technology.
Theory on employability skills:
From the BATEC Workforce Study, this diagram attempts to portray the “star” employee, possessing technical depth in more than one technical area and also possessing employability skills. In the study, data shows that employers say that although educators were doing an adequate job of preparing students, technically they were greatly frustrated that applicants lacked a sufficiently broad spectrum of skills, especially employability skills, necessary to efficiently apply and effectively leverage their technical skills.
Most employers wished the applicants had more of, or what they felt applicants lacked, the communication skills, problem solving skills, greater facility in teamwork and collaboration, ability to manage and motivate ones self, and contextual knowledge of work. One significant finding is that certain IT skills that may be still be prized as achievements by some schools and students are completely assumed by business. In particular, basic user skills and facility with the basic or desktop operating systems are considered.
Figure above illustrates the factors considered in determining the skills-industry matching in ICT industry in Davao City.
The variables of this study are the indicators used to compare the Level of Competence of the Human Resource with the Standards and Demands of the ICT Industry which are the following: Employability Skills, IT Technical/IT Literacy and Customer Service Skills. Thus, through the indicators the researchers will then be able to assess if there really exists mismatch between the competence of the employees and the standards of the ICT industry.
Then the researchers would determine whether the HR skills match with the ICT Industry standards. If the result is match, therefore the determinant factors between the two parties are met.