As the economy slowly beings to rebound, IT professionals could well find greener pastures working overseas.
The single most penetrating arrow you can add to your quiver as an IT professional is international experience. Technical skills are important, but they’re a given, considering your profession.
International experience, on the other hand, is hardly discussed in the world of IT. Somehow it seems only relevant to the “business side” of the house. To make an even finer point, while any stint abroad is good, working in a developing country will ready you more for tomorrow’s world than anything you can do in a domestic setting.
There are two fundamental issues here. First, the world economy has shifted to a multipolar model in which there are many hubs of activity, wealth creation and IT-led innovation. Second, the conditions in developing countries create a dynamic environment. IT fits in there following the notion that necessity is the mother of invention. Both of these aspects point to fertile ground in regard to aspirations of IT professionals around the world.
Let’s look at how the world of business and the world of IT have evolved and continue to evolve:
Thus, there’s clear opportunity for gainful IT employment in the developing world. It would behoove IT professionals to go where the action is. Get ready to pack your bags.
To the second point (that IT is more innovative in the developing world), there a few other factors worth considering:
These facts lead to a startling conclusion: You can be potentially more creative and inventive with IT in a developing country than in the industrialized world. This leads to a third set of factors:
What better way of doing both at once than moving abroad, doing innovative things with technology, and being recognized by your community as having done something groundbreaking. The media has played a role in creating barriers between IT professionals in different countries. IT professionals in India and China have been portrayed as stealing jobs from those in the developed countries. Instead of commonalities and camaraderie, people found contention and callousness.
We need an internationalization of IT, a community of like-minded and similarly skilled practitioners and thinkers working on complex problems. The first step to getting there is the migration and exchange of IT professionals from country to country, to rebuild the context and innovative spirit that often gets lost in the mix.
During the last decade, IT professionals have been under tremendous pressure to prove their worth in organizations struggling to find their place in a quickly globalizing and competitive world. The profession has stood up to the challenge well, but it still has more to do in order to maintain its integrity.