Thursday, June 20, 2024

Online school puts focus on working students, undergrad workers

The Mapua Malayan Digital College (MMDC) is kickstarting a campaign to engage more non-graduate employees by encouraging them to pursue a college degree as job markets continue to evolve and shift toward the digital world.

Dr. Dodjie Maestrecampo, president and CEO of Mapua Malayan Colleges Laguna and Mindanao

With the “Step Up sa Pangarap” movement, MMDC will be hosting a three-day virtual summit from May 10-13, gathering a roster of speakers comprised of leaders of industries and key opinion leaders (KOLs), as well as former working students who will provide testimonials on how their coaches and mentors were able to equip them with the necessary skillset needed in the new landscape of work.

“The job market in the Philippines is constantly changing and evolving. This market is influenced by factors such as economic trends, technology, and global events like the pandemic. As new industries emerge and existing ones change, the country needs to invest in knowledge and information as our resource. We need qualified college graduates even more who can work and thrive in this challenging environment,” said Dr. Dodjie Maestrecampo, president and CEO of Mapua Malayan Colleges Laguna and Mindanao.

Maestrecampo shared a few key developments that have surfaced in several job markets: a continued growth in demand for talent in the technology industry that is driven by expanding digital transformation initiatives of enterprises, the increased reliance of businesses on the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector as a cost-effective way of outsourcing their operations, the rise of gig economy and project-based work for freelancers, bolstered sustainability efforts across industries, and the surge of healthcare services procurement sparked by the pandemic.

Talent shortage has been a long-standing challenge for the tech industry and the reasons behind this shortage persist to this day. These include the rapid pace of technology’s evolution which require skilled professionals to keep constantly keep up with them, a general lack of qualified candidates with the necessary technical skills due to a lack of emphasis on STEM education initiatives, fierce competition for talent among companies, and even visa restrictions which affects hiring the right talent who are overseas.

Demand for professionals in data analytics, information security, software development, and business development is projected to expand significantly by 2025, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.

However, there are challenges for individuals looking to enter or advance in these fields — the skills gap between the technical skills graduates possess and what the industry needs, and the fact that non-graduates may have limited career advancement options due to the lack of a college degree.

Additionally, a survey by MMDC conducted through Manila-based consultancy firm TheNerve, revealed that career opportunities were identified as the primary factor for prospective students considering returning to college, offset by a few obstacles like difficulties in balancing work, personal life, and school, insufficient time to travel to a physical campus, and limited financial capabilities.

There are three tracks available for participants during the ‘Step Up sa Pangarap’ summit – ‘Step Up sa Career’ which will highlight the importance of upskilling in career advancement, ‘Step Up sa Buhay’ for time management strategy sharing and tips on achieving a work-life balance for working students, and ‘Step Up sa Pera’ for financial management and education investment priorities.

While the MMDC is still tight-lipped on the complete roster of speakers joining the summit, interested participants can get a good idea on which companies will grace the event based on the roster of partners and sponsors that include the IT and Business Process Association Philippines (IBPAP), the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), McDonald’s Philippines, Concentrix, and Genpact.

“As a company with close to 50,000 employees, and the first QSR that has practiced direct hiring since we began operations in 1981, we have seen how this, together with development opportunities like the Step Up sa Pangarap Program, allows our crew to grow and develop to become future leaders. At McDonald’s, we believe that providing the best employee experience results in a better experience for all,” said McDonald’s Philippines corporate relations director Adi Hernandez.

Meanwhile, IBPAP chief policy and regulatory affairs officer Celeste Ilagan shared that their organization is working with the government and the academe to ensure that the individuals are given every opportunity to develop their skills and stay competitive, driven by the objective to expand the Philippine IT-BPM industry into a $59-billion market with 2.5 million full-time employees.

“The plan is to further accelerate our efforts in talent development through more initiatives like Step Up sa Pangarap and stronger collaborations with partners like MMDC,” she continued.

Beyond the virtual sessions, participants are encouraged to submit entries to the “Step Up sa Tagumpay” Awards where they will highlight how they plan to apply the concepts they absorbed from the summit, with the most compelling stories awarding participants with MMDC scholarships.


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