Why are tech jobs in demand in the Middle East?

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It is known that the technology sector is currently facing huge challenges both internationally and locally.

Many IT companies are cutting staffing, while most of the big names are making thousands of their employees redundant.

However, there are still some areas of growth within technology and in some cases, there is a high demand for certain specialized skills.

We are facing a skills shortage locally, which has resulted in many international candidates moving to the region for new opportunities.

With large infrastructure projects such as hotels, shopping malls, entertainment and residential developments showing no signs of slowing down in the area, there is still a need for connectivity, physical security and software to support them.

This demand has been rising steadily over time, also due to the growing population and the desire for data, with the implementation of technology such as 5G.

In the past few days, the Emirati telecom and technology company e& announced a $400 million investment in the Careem Super app, which is a huge deal for a Dubai-based company that was founded just over 10 years ago.

It proves that regional telecom providers are financially healthy, with many large-scale digital transformation programs happening across the GCC.

Cyber ​​security is probably the biggest growth area in the technology industry, and it is an increasingly important field in the Middle East.

The growing threat of cyber-attacks and increasing reliance on digital infrastructure means an increased demand for cyber security professionals in the region. There are many other factors driving this demand.

government initiatives

Many governments in the Middle East are investing heavily in cyber security as part of their national security strategy.

They also reveal initiatives to promote the development of the cyber security industry, which is creating job opportunities in the region.

Most governments want to localize their IT infrastructure, data centers and talent, which leads to an increased demand for jobs.

Army and defense

Cyber ​​warfare is real and countries are investing billions to protect themselves and prepare for any threats.

The growth and development of artificial intelligence for applications such as drones has increased exponentially in recent years, but there will be many other uses for this technology.

Even soldiers, airmen, and marines will rely heavily on the use of the best technology available.

Public Safety

Similar to the defense sector, public sector workers such as police and rescue workers also use secure means of communication, similar to mobile network technology.

These networks will be modified or replaced in the coming years, which requires huge investments.

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Increased cyber threats

The Middle East has been the target of several high-profile cyberattacks in recent years, such as the Shamoon malware attack in 2012 and the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017.

This has led to an increased awareness of the need for stronger cyber security measures and contributes to the demand for cyber security professionals.

These threats will only continue. So the demand for cyber security jobs will also increase along with it.

digital transformation

The Middle East is undergoing rapid digital transformation, with many organizations embracing new technologies, such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

This creates new vulnerabilities and risks that must be managed by cyber security professionals.

Again, the desire to maintain support locally rather than abroad will only increase the need for these skills.

Giant projects

NEOM, a leading business and tourism destination being built in Saudi Arabia, has an area larger than Kuwait and is set to receive huge investments in the field of information technology over the coming years.

There are many similar mega projects, and once completed, there will be continuous ICT support contracts for decades.

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The growth opportunities in the Middle East are second to none and there does not appear to be a slowdown.

Overall, the demand for cybersecurity professionals in the Middle East is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, making it a promising field for those looking to pursue a career in this field.

If recruiters were to source some of these skills from around the world, it would be a good idea for tech professionals in the Middle East to improve their skills and try to get into the cybersecurity ecosystem.

Students and alumni should also be encouraged to explore opportunities in this field.

John Armstrong is the founder and managing director of JCA Associates

Updated: April 21, 2023, 5:00 AM