Voice of the Youth Radio witnessed the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) SOFTCON, the first ever conference about software in the country, last October 10 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati.
Software technology as one of the solutions to the increasing unemployment rate of youth in the country was one of the things discussed during the event. According to Mr. Mario Montejo, Department of Science and Technology Secretary, the ICT/BPO industry has the potential of generating 520,000 jobs in 2016. With software technology, Education of Filipino students developed as an aid for schools and universities.
In a study conducted by the UP School of Statistics (UPSS), it was projected that only 33% of the graduating students in the country meet the demand for Basic Skills that support employability. As explained by the Dean of UPSS Dr. Erniel Barrios, graduating students fare better at Behavioral Skills, but with only 50% of the graduating population meets the demand. He also suggested that the academe must integrate with industry.
The President of PSIA, Joey Gurango, encouraged the youth to start pursuing a career in technopreneurship. Aside from the rising business and technology industry of the Philippines, Gurango also advised that the youth stage is the perfect time for risk-taking about ventures that came up to a partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (ICTO-DOST) and established Spring.ph, an incubation program for software startups. It aimed to put the Philippines on the map when it comes to software products. He added that 300 technology start-ups were currently in the Philippines where various programs and campaign events had organized under the Spring.ph initiative to increase this number.
Such events include Launchpad, a quarterly business proposal competition where groups of aspiring candidates will compete for mentorship with some of the best coaches in the industry through business pitches. As The Sauce Newswire Director, Martin Conboy remarked that it would be ideal to leverage the social characteristic of Filipinos by injecting the distinct Filipino experience into the software created in the country.
Such innovative software’s had displayed in the SOFTCON.PH 2013 exhibit where participants of the conference had given the chance to try out startup products and services and to interact with the entrepreneurs behind them. One of the applications showcased in the exhibit was Tom Taps, a software that specially caters to children with special needs. It integrates communication and scheduling tools with interactive features such as games and modules. Orchestrack was also featured startup that designed for advertisers, agencies and broadcasters of radio, TV and online streaming content to help them monitor their performance.
Interestingly Gurango revealed that there is a huge excess of funding available for start-ups, only problem is only a very few of those are feasible and worthy enough to be given the grants. This makes it more important to engage the Filipinos, especially the youth in pursuing a career in the field of IT.