A deep dive into Pakistan's talent market

pakistan talent

In the world of outsourcing, which we recently reviewed, countries like India and the Philippines have generally hogged most of the limelight. Indeed, these markets have emerged as leading outsourcing hubs over the last few decades. However, with our years of experience operating in Pakistan and serving international clients’ talent needs, we believe that Pakistan is one of the world’s most underrated outsourcing markets and potential future global hubs.

Pakistan ticks many of the right boxes for outsourcing, beginning with its well-educated and young talent pool. The higher education system is growing quickly and improving in the quality of its research output, and producing higher numbers of graduates with diverse skills each year. The can-do attitude of the young workforce and an already well-established IT and freelance ecosystem combine with these factors to make Pakistan an excellent choice for outsourcing.

The higher education system

 Pakistan’s education system has flourished under the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), which specifically supervises teaching quality, funding, and research output. The HEC has tirelessly worked to build a sustainable, diverse, and globally competitive tertiary education sector. HEC’s concentrated efforts have led to various Pakistani universities being recognized as rising stars across various disciplines, putting many of them in the top QS Asia University rankings.

For instance, the National University of Sciences and Technology ranks at number 334 globally for electrical engineering according the QS World University Rankings 2023, and number one in Pakistan. Similarly, the Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the top private research universities of Pakistan, has been ranked in the top 200 universities in the Asia University Rankings 2022. All in all, this marks Pakistani universities among the top Asian universities that generate a pool of talented and well-educated graduates.


Research capabilities and technical skills  

The HEC has implemented a comprehensive strategy to promote a sustainable and forward-thinking research culture in higher education institutions. The objectives are the personal growth of students and capacity building of universities through human resource development, and faculty and researcher exposure to international academia. Strong networking with international universities has strengthened the research potential of students and enabled the creation of research and teaching labs. As a result, since 2016, research outcomes have improved, increasing the publication of articles by 6 times, especially in journals with an impact factor. The HEC’s efforts are helping improve the technical and research skills of Pakistani graduates, particularly in technical domains such as engineering and computer science, which augurs well for the future suitability of the market as an offshore hub for technology outsourcing and development.

A young, motivated, and culturally aligned workforce  

Pakistan has one of the world’s largest pools of potential young workers, with about 130 million individuals below the age of 25. This young workforce is energetic and comprised of fast learners, who can provide innovative solutions to issues by adapting to advanced technology and knowledge. They have the potential to put in extra effort to provide efficient solutions and timely deliverables to ensure that quality of work is maintained. According to research carried by the PEW research center, 81% of Pakistanis believe that hard work pays off.

Another major advantage of outsourcing to Pakistan is that the workforce has sufficient command over the English language, and can use it in business settings. Research by the World Atlas shows that Pakistan has the third-highest number of English speakers in the world, who can communicate in it as a second language, hence making it easy for them to confidently converse with international clientele. Fluent communication is fundamental to any business process, and like the other factors described thus far, Pakistan has an added benefit in this department as well.

Pakistan’s IT and digital ecosystem

According to a Kearney 2019 report, Pakistan was ranked among the top emerging digital hub locations, surpassing renowned countries like the Philippines, China, and India in terms of financial viability. Similarly, the IT industry of Pakistan is one of the fastest growing IT industries in the world. Over the past three years, the IT ecosystem in Pakistan has expanded by about 70%. It is estimated that about 25,000 graduates with degrees in software engineering and information technology enter the employment market each year, and are being increasingly absorbed into technology outsourcing. Till date, there are more than 2,000 registered IT businesses, coupled with numerous state and private continuing education programs to enhance the knowledge of future engineers.   In addition, recent infrastructural and capacity building investments by the public and commercial sectors have added to Pakistan’s potential to become a future software and technology development hub.  


Pakistan’s freelance market

Pakistan is one of the global leaders in the freelancing economy, with its skilled freelancers being a major force on top global platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. The programmer market of Pakistan has batched the third rank, following USA and India respectively in providing talented and skilled freelance programmers to the world. Similarly, according to a study conducted by Forbes to examine the top fastest growing freelance markets in the world for the year 2022, Pakistan was ranked at number four, definitely making it a hidden gem of outsourcing. This huge pool of skilled talent, that has already gained experience of serving international customers, presents a tremendous opportunity of being aggregated into outsourcing firms with a high potential of being scaled up.   

The Bettersource advantage

In conclusion, Pakistan’s talent pool consists of well-educated and well-versed youngsters willing to tirelessly work for clients, making it a reliable choice for outsourcing. The promising outlook of tertiary education, the hard-working attitude of the young workforce, and the established IT, digital, and freelance ecosystem makes  Pakistan an all-round excellent option for global firms to outsource any function or process. Bettersource has years of on-the-ground presence in the country, and had developed a deep knowledge of the market. Through our strong relationships with universities and other talent hubs, and our own specialized recruitment teams, we select top professionals who can seamlessly integrate with your international teams. This is why we continue to serve Australian clients from diverse industries, who have multi-functional outsourcing needs, with the highest standards of quality and delivery.

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