PERSPECTIVE:Changing the vector – Part 1

icon_TriageDirectionKnowing nothing about software security, software development methodologies, latest technology trends, web technologies, web protocols or even the most common used web protocol, HTTP.

This is the typical computer sciences major graduate in Jordan. He is clueless, lacking practical knowledge and real connections with the practical world.

Sadly, finding good fresh graduate candidates in Jordan is very hectic. I have experienced that over the last 5 years, as I have been directly responsible of hiring software developers for offshore offices
My latest round of interviews was really depressing. I have interviewed more than 50 fresh graduates, only 2 of them heard of Python1! During their entire study, most of the interviewees barely developed 1 or 2 applications. Some did not even have a graduation project as it is selective!

There is something wrong that leads to a poor graduates’ quality; might be university curricula, teaching techniques or educational culture.

Honestly, I was reluctant to share this, till I read “Shifting Geopgraphy of Offshoring” by A.T. Kearney 2. The report lists the top 50 destinations for providing outsourcing activities worldwide, based on financial attraction, people skills and availability, and business environment.

According to the report, Jordan scores .91 out of 3 for “people skills and availability”, it ranked 36 out of the 50 countries for this metric. Countries like Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Mauritius are ranked higher than Jordan.

To put this into context, the score is based on:
• Size of existing IT and BPO sector
• Contact center and IT center quality certification
• Quality rating of management schools and IT training
• Total Workforce
• University educated work force
• Work force flexibility
• Scores on standardized education and language tests
• Relative IT and BPO sector growth and unemployment rates.

So, what we used to consider an attraction factor – having a skilled resources pool – is not really as good as we think. At least six of the eight measurements are directly or indirectly dependant on the educational system. Apparently, we are not doing very well, at least according to the report. We really need to do something, we need to ” change the vector”.

Fortunately, we still have time to adjust. Jordan overall score is 5.49 out of 10. We rank 9th among the top 50 destinations. Enhancing our stand in “people skills and availability” is possible, yet it needs a lot of effort especially on our educational system.

Said that, I believe we are obliged to take serious action to guide college students and graduates to be productive, knowledgeable and skilled. University, private and public sectors are all sharing the responsibility. I n the second article of this series I will shed the light on some ideas to do so.

1 Python is one of the 3 official languages used in Google, the biggest player in the web arena
2 A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm that uses strategic insight, tailored solutions and a collaborative working style to help clients achieve sustainable results. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors on CEO-agenda issues to the world’s leading corporations across all major industries. A.T. Kearney’s offices are located in major business centers in 36 countries. For more information, please visit

5 thoughts on “PERSPECTIVE:Changing the vector – Part 1

  1. Ahmad Khatib

    thanks for sharing, Frankly speaking after growing in sales, even If I’m in an online/it service company


  2. Moa'ath Hammad

    Thank you for pointing out this.
    Don’t you think that most of our universities really don’t consider the market and technology trends? at the same time changing the curricula or even the way of teaching wont solve this because most of our lecturer, doctors, … are a way far of whats new in technology it self.

    I believe that we (Experienced people, reputable IT companies) should lead the efforts of helping the IT students, because at the end it will contribute directly on our growth in this market and eventually we will change the vector.

    1. Thanks Moath. I agree with you. However, I would say private sector should participate, but it’s the government who should lead and get the private sector involved.

  3. Further discussions on this article can be found on Linkedin

  4. […] an earlier post in 2009, I highlighted the poor quality of IT graduates in Jordan, both in knowledge and practice […]

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