Skills building

Today, the Asia Pacific region – and especially its least developed economies – has a crucial shortage of the properly trained and experienced Internet engineers, technicians and managers needed to overcome these challenges. Just as we all need well-trained doctors to help keep us fit and healthy, the Internet needs well-trained professionals to keep it stable, reliable, efficient and most importantly, secure.

This is the single biggest challenge facing the Internet in the region today. The Internet cannot continue to grow securely and efficiently unless we invest more in capacity building. By 2019, the region will have the most Internet traffic from mobile devices in the world. Another report on Pacific Island economies shows how recent submarine cable installations have resulted in an explosion of capacity. Across the Pacific, international Internet bandwidth jumped more than 1,500% between 2007 and 2014.
“At the end of 2012 there was a shortage of over 250,000 professionals with networking skills in the region (excluding Greater China and Japan). It predicted this shortage would grow to more than 450,000 networking professionals by the end of 2016 and from there, continue to worsen.”

The Evolution of the Networking Skills Gap in Asia / Pacific by technical analysts IDC.

Technical professionals are on the frontline of the Internet’s infrastructure: constantly challenged to build new services, adapt to new technologies, increase capacity, and deal with security threats; all while also ensuring reliable and efficient 24×7 operations. This is a huge challenge, and one that grows in importance as our dependence on the Internet grows.

A report from technology analysts, IDC, warns of a shortage of such technical skills saying: “The Asia Pacific trends show an increasing need for people with network skills in emerging technologies and for well-trained teams that focus on higher value-added activities”.

The single biggest factor limiting the positive impact of the Internet – despite this success – is the capacity of service providers to properly design, build and manage their networks. To achieve a secure, reliable and efficient Internet, the managers, engineers, and officers responsible, and their respective communities, must all have the technical skills – the capacity – to run and manage their networks to a recognized global standard of best practice.