Brain gain and new collar jobs, IBM sees tech disrupting PH employment market

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2019 07:19 PM

Brain gain and new collar jobs, IBM sees tech disrupting PH employment market 1

MANILA - The Philippines employment landscape is changing as industries rapidly move into digitalization, the head of IBM Philippines said Thursday.

In place of "brain drain" the country is experiencing a "brain gain," and instead of blue collar and white collar jobs, the most in-demand workers are now in "new collar jobs," said IBM Philippines president and country general manager Aileen Judan-Jiao.

She explained that instead of highly skilled professionals leaving the country to work abroad, more Filipinos are choosing to work in the country because the jobs available here suit their expertise.

With industries such as banking, energy and others embracing digitalization, there are now a lot of projects and jobs available in the Philippines for experts in new fields, which IBM dubs as new collar jobs.

"We are starting to win the game back," Jiao said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

Jiao said new collar jobs require skills that are not necessarily already being taught in college, such as skills in the fields of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and blockchain technology.


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High-level skills such as AI, threat analysis, user interface and user experience design, integration and automation also require exposure to the work environment.

"How would you know how to actually do it when you haven't even seen the real environment where bots work in a command center," Jiao said.

For these jobs, college internships are not enough, and training should start as early as Grade 9 to 14.

One of IBM's projects is helping students at the Taguig City University. She said IBM looks at the subjects being taught sees where it can embed skills needed for the new collar jobs.

The project, called P-TECH or Pathways in Technology Early College High School, aims to prepare young people with the academic, technical and professional skills required for these new collar jobs and ongoing education.

IBM said it is confident that the project will increase the pool of skilled Filipinos needed as companies across sectors ramp up their digital transformation efforts.