Saudi Arabia tech talent unlikely to meet industry needs by 2030


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Tamara Juburi

Researcher and analyst focusing on the Middle East 


March 20, 2023

Bottom Line:

Saudi Arabia signed investment programs amounting to more than $2 billion in support of tech start-ups during its annual tech conference LEAP, which was held in February. In a push to future-proof its industries, consolidate its position on the international stage, and prepare the next generation of its workforce for the digital age, Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in digital transformation. Under the framework of Vision 2030, the government has announced plans for technology spending to rise to more than 20% of total national spending by 2025, which would make Saudi Arabia the highest tech spender worldwide. Saudi Arabia's ability to mature its tech industry while still meeting subsequent demand for talent hinges on two things: attracting foreign workers to meet labor demands in the short- to mid-term, and ensuring that it can upskill and specialize its local workforce to sustain this talent pipeline in the long term. Whether or not the latter objective can be met will depend heavily on how high-volume government investments translate into meaningful change and whether Saudi Arabia will be able to effectively differentiate itself from its GCC neighbors, who share the ambition to become leading innovation players.

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