ICT-ISC is responsible to take the initiative forward working with all relevant government bodies and ministries. The Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) is responsible for preparation of course curriculums, following the development of the competency standards. They also bear the responsibility of implementation and execution of the program at national level, utilizing the different academic institutes and training centers – both public and private.
We, the industry stakeholders were included to set the standards – keeping in mind not only the present industry needs but the future trends and requirements of the industry. All the parties involved worked together in cohesion with the sole intention of producing a practical and quality document for implementation at the national level.
‘Competency Standards’ are divided into 3 parts. First is ‘Generic Competency’ – that verifies the cognitive skills of the individual. Second is ‘Sector Specific Competency’-which confirms that the individual has the know how to get into this sector. And Third and final part is, ‘Occupational Competency’- which confirms that the individual is eligible to perform in his assigned job role.
At the workshop I came to know, that the government has identified a few sectors from where the next major contribution to economic growth is expected to happen. Undoubtedly, ICT is at the top of those sectors. Within ICT, Digital Marketing has been further identified as an important sub-sector amongst others like Software Development, Cloud Computing and Cyber Security. To my surprise, Digital Marketing was prioritized at number three. The reason, I was surprised was not that I had any doubt in my mind about its importance. But, rather I was skeptical whether a government body or an association close to the government would understand its importance. And I was so wrong!
If the sectors are to deliver the expected growth, they will require adequate and skilled human resources. Currently there are no readily available resources, whom the companies in marketing or a digital marketing agency can employ right away. There is no accredited institute that provides proper digital marketing education. The few, that provide small-scale training – lack proper understanding of the sector and do not cover most of the knowledge skills required. Also, there are no set standards, best practices or benchmarks to be tested against.
The good part is, after concluding the workshop – all the members of the sub-committee came out confident that a comprehensive standard of competency for digital marketers could be developed and be referred as a benchmark. It is going to help all the stakeholders in the digital marketing fraternity – the marketers and the agencies, the employers and the employees, students and academia alike.
In recent days we have seen and influx of seminars, workshops, lecture sessions taking place centering on digital marketing; some explaining the future course of marketing, some portraying a dream career or some to make digital gurus in 3 days – organized by different legitimate and not-so-legitimate organizations. While all these helped in generating awareness and enthusiasm among different interest groups; no one came forward (not to my knowledge) with a meaningful solution that matters the most – human resource development. This is where the ICT-ISC has surpassed everyone, although working silently.
Preparing competency standard is only the beginning. Based on this curriculum – course materials have to be prepared, training centers need to be enlisted, trainers need to be trained, assessors need to be developed. There is still a long way to go! But I have full confidence in the extraordinary people working on this. With the right implementation of this strategy – we should not have a problem with inflow of quality resources, which we always complaining about.
It was a wonderful experience taking part in this much needed initiative and learning about the silent but vital task being performed in every sector, and more importantly knowing the beautiful people working relentlessly behind the seen keeping country’s course towards growth.
Gratitude: Mr. Shafquat Haider – for helping in improvisation of this article.