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Thursday, 23 July 2009 06:57

Recession impacts certification, training

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The global recession has hit the software certification and training market in Asia Pacific, with companies in the region expected to cut training budgets and reduce investment in the area by around 25 percent.

However, despite the slowdown in investment, Gartner is still forecasting the software certification and training market in the region will grow from US$5.59 billion last year to US$13.58 billion in 2013.

Gartner’s principal research analyst, Asheesh Raina, says that although the software certification and training market has played a pivotal role in developing quality resources and addressing the long-term skills shortage within the IT industry, smaller training institutes and franchise setups in the region are under severe strain and are “finding it difficult to sustain themselves in the current economic climate while larger organisations are also experiencing considerable decreases in revenue.” 

Raina says that training budgets are usually among the first to be cut as part of cost containment efforts with the result that investments have been temporarily suspended and expansion plans deferred.

However, despite the current challenging market, Gartner says it is confident that the ongoing need for qualified IT personnel in Asia Pacific will fuel major opportunities for IT training and certification in the region.

Gartner estimates that around 1.5 million IT experts will be needed by 2012, and Asheesh Raina says that key drivers for this longer term growth include enhancements in collaborative tools and technologies, backed by increasing Internet penetration to deliver online content.

According to Gartner the entire certification and training ecosystem in the region is becoming “increasingly vibrant due to the amalgamation of ‘mega vendors’ such as IBM, Oracle, SAP and HP; public sector undertakings such as HPCL in India, training enterprises such as Aptech, Genovate and NIIT and various niche and small players.”

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Raina says software certification and training growth in Asia Pacific’s key markets is also being driven by a number of different local factors.
 
According to Raina, in Australia the government has identified the need for skilled resources to remain globally competitive and has made US$56 million available for IT training over four years as part of its US$837 million program to ease the skills crisis. 

“Although around 13.5 percent of employed Australians hold relevant qualifications, Australia still faces declining numbers of IT engineers to meet industry need because of demographic trends.  Identifying and establishing this as a national competiveness development area opens up potential future opportunity for IT training and certification providers in the Australian market.”

In Singapore, Raina says investment to expand the IT workforce is also driving the market, with Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) investing US$47 million by 2013 to expand the IT workforce.
 
And, according to Gartner, the Indian IT training market was estimated to be around US$700 million in 2008 and is mainly fueled by the demand for on-site deployment of certified training resources and the maturity and robustness of the domestic economy, with estimates from the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) indicating that the Indian software industry will require 2.3 million professionals by 2010.

Raina concludes that although the training and certification markets in Asia/Pacific will experience a temporary decline this year due to recession-induced budget cuts, the need for trained IT personnel continues to grow and, he suggests, “enterprises and vendors need to work together to collectively deal with this scenario.”


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