Cisco Laments Dearth Of ICT Graduates In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cisco Laments Dearth Of ICT Graduates In Nigeria

Posted: Jul 14, 2015 at 12:28 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Okwuke  –  Lagos 


As Cisco Networking Academy instructors gathered for the annual two-day conference, which held recently at the University of Lagos, Cisco lamented the dearth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Graduates in Nigeria. 

It stressed the need for governments to urgently deploy policy and training programmes to help solve the growing gap in skilled networking professionals.

Taking Nigeria as a case study, Cisco estimates that 30 000 to 70 000 skilled information technology workers are needed annually, however tertiary institutions are not producing enough ICT graduates to meet this demand.

The global shortage of skilled Internet Protocol (IP) networking professionals will be at least 1.2 million people in 2015, according to INSEAD Business School’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2014 co-authored by Cisco.

According to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index, Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast: 2014-2019, mobile data traffic is expected to grow 11-fold over the next five years in Nigeria, which is a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 63 percent – two times faster than expected fixed IP traffic growth. This highlights that connectivity is accelerating at a fast pace in the country therefore creating a growing need for skilled ICT professionals.

The lack of young ICT professionals is not limited to Nigeria – increased connectivity, the Internet of Everything, rising digitisation of all business activity, globalisation of trade and travel, and economic growth globally has created the same problem in a number of countries globally.

“Specific programmes and targeted policies are needed to expand the total pool of qualified people in Nigeria, as well as globally. More effort is particularly needed to expand the pool of qualified networking talent by: increasing the number of new Networking employees (graduates); encouraging and enabling mid-career professionals to transition to ICT and Networking; and increasing a country’s total talent by encouraging immigration,” said Mr. Dare Ogunlade, General Manager, Cisco, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The policies and programmes created to achieve these results should: Integrate more technology training into educational curriculum. Expand efforts to increase the number of trained ICT professionals from universities, vocational programmes and technical training centres, particularly by integrating elements of computer science (CS) and IP networking into general education curricula at the primary and secondary levels.