Roundtable on the State of the IT Industry
Did you miss it? A very interesting and useful IT event took place on October 24, 2017, at The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), discussing the state of the IT industry, both locally and globally. Many topics were shared and discussed including the demand for IT jobs, new IT trends, and reviews on digital transformation. The speakers included Mr. Yad Kamal, CEO of Avesta Group, and Mr. Raed Bou Hamdan, co-founder of Click Iraq. The event was introduced by Dr. Hemin Latif, chair of the IT department at AUIS. He emphasized the importance of these events and how they can bring insight and knowledge for students. Hearing from IT experts with industry experience, students can be better informed on the IT job market and its changing dynamics. Dr. Latif announced that the IT department has established a board of advisers with professionals from the local industry. Mr. Yad Kamal discussed the state of the IT market in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, both public and private. He said that the government organizations are using simple IT techniques and tools, therefore it’s a good opportunity for new graduates. Mr. Yad then gave a presentation on the jobs with the highest demand in the IT market. He mentioned that the standard jobs in the market include network administrators and help desk support. The jobs in high demand are web and mobile development. He also encouraged and concentrated on technical sales as it is in high demand. Professionals should have a technical background, product information, and good marketing skills: “Avesta Group and many others pay very good salary for people with this skill and experience, and they are rarely found in the market,” he said. Our other speaker, Mr. Raed, showed clear statistical information on how the digital transformation has progressed so rapidly in a short period of time. He stated that the digital transformation allows connecting people, access to information, and most importantly, creating new jobs. Mr. Raed discussed how data analysis has become something that many IT companies invest in and there are many careers for anyone interested in that field. He also discussed how people are using and reacting to digital technology according to their ages, “The younger generation is more into product and visualization, while the older generation wants the experience. Most of the new products that are released match the desires and mentality of the new generation,” said Mr. Raed. This was the first IT roundtable discussion in Fall 2017. There was a good turnout of IT faculty, students, and alumni. Attending the event, Professor Katongo Lukwesa commented, “I believe this is a great opportunity for the AUIS community to interact with employers and innovators who will give meaning to a lot of things that are studied in the classroom.” Article by IT Department communications intern, Mr. Aran Kamaran.