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Incentives boosting IT sector job hopes

A talent shortage has long been a bottleneck in the development of the information technology (IT) industry in Hong Kong. But as the government and stakeholders have taken more measures, and offered attractive incentives to IT-savvy jobseekers, graduates looking for jobs in the sector are starting to see brighter career prospects.

In one of the Leadership Forum sharing sessions at the Career Forum, Michael Leung, president of the Hong Kong Computer Society, advised jobseekers to be aware of how they can make better use of their talents with the latest technologies as “Hong Kong is relatively slow in keeping up with the latest IT developments,” he said.

Citing the popular and widely used Octopus Card payment system as an example, he said: “People have been relying on this payment system for years and they are not aware that many places, including mainland China, have begun accepting mobile payments, using their phones.”

With previous experience working in banking – an industry that relies heavily on IT to develop – Leung is convinced that IT is the driving force of the future. “Young people interested in IT have to not only work hard, but work smart. People depend on the support of IT teams to make systems work and to handle everything from e-mail to managing big accounts at all hours of the day,” he said.

He added that IT is the engine that drives development in many industries and that it is constantly evolving. He emphasised the importance of young IT professionals embracing the fast-changing environment, no matter which industries they are in.

“While being computer-savvy, and having skills such as coding or graphic design, is important, it is crucial to have a desire to face new challenges,” he said.

Almost all industries need IT support, and Leung said graduates don’t have to narrow their choice of industry. “You don’t have to work for an IT company to get a good career prospects,” Leung said. “The good thing is that many industries have invested heavily in IT, so we enjoy good benefits and a higher salary.”