The Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry in the Philippines is one of the most lucrative and fastest growing industries in the country. According to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), it generated an estimated revenue of $18.4 billion in 2014 and is pegged at an 18.7-percent growth rate since 2013. In 2016 the IT-BPO revenue is around $ 21.3 billion.
With its growth or expansion rate, opportunities come aplenty. But you are probably wondering now, “What exactly are the career opportunities in the IT-BPO industry?”
The IT-BPO industry also includes various sub-sectors such as Back-Office services and Knowledge Process Outsourcing along with the contact centers under BPO, engineering development (e.g. provision of equipment and development of engineering products) under Engineering Services, data transcription (legal and medical), animation, software development, and game development under the IT and Cyber Services division.
To be more precise, these industry sectors are further defined by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (as cited by the Asian Development Bank and Innovative Development for Entrepreneurship Advancement) as:
1. Contact Centers
Contact centers or call centers consist of inbound and outbound voice operation services. Contact centers perform these for the purposes of sales, customer service, and technical support among others. There are also non-voice operations. Contact centers comprise the biggest portion of the Philippine IT-BPO industry.
2. Back Office or Knowledge Process Outsourcing
Back Offices, also known as shared services centers (SSCs), provide services related to accounting and finance, such as bookkeeping, accounts management, maintenance, claims processing, and asset management). Also included in the SSCs sub-sector is human resource (HR) administration which revolves around functions like payroll processing, benefits administrations, and HR data management.
On the other hand, Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) revolves around the delegation of knowledge-intensive business processes that require significant domain expertise, analytic skills, and judgments and decision-making capabilities to a third service provider.
3. Legal and Healthcare
The legal and healthcare subsector primarily deals with clerical, data transcription functions such as medical and legal transcription, medical coding, and medical billing. This sector is primarily comprised of nurses, medical and legal professionals.
Animation is a lucrative profession for young digital creatives in the country. In fact, the Philippine animation industry generated an estimated of 132 million dollars in revenue for 2014. In common parlance, animation is the process of giving the illusion of movement to cinematographic drawings, models or inanimate objects. This sector is primarily comprised of digital animators, graphic designers, and other digital artists among others.
Trivia: Did you know that Filipino animators were behind some of the world’s most popular animated films? Yes. Filipino animators were behind Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, Addams Family, The Mask, The Jetsons, Dragon Ball Z, Captain Planet, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles among others.
5. Digital Content and Game Development
The digital content sub-sector primarily focuses on the creation of products in digital form. These include music, information, and images. This sub-sector is comprised of creative occupations like animators, editors, designers, game developers, storyboard artists, concept artists, and visual effects artists. These professionals focus on producing movies, commercials, and games.
The Philippines’ prospect in game development has recently gained traction after a number of giant game development firms have expressed their plans to enter the Philippine industry. A dedicated academic curriculum for game design and development is now also being offered in a number of the top universities in the country.
6. Software Development
The software development sub-sector provides services for the purposes of analysis and design, prototyping, programming and testing, customization, installation and maintenance, education and training systems, middleware, software, and application software. This sub-sector is generally comprised of occupations like software programming and QA testing among others.
7. Engineering and Architectural Services.
The engineering and architectural services sub-sector provide engineering design for building and building components, shipbuilding, electronics, and civil works among others. The sub-sector is primarily comprised of engineers. Nevertheless, engineers vary in their functions as the industry requires the services of civil engineers, architectural drafters, and CAD operators for example.
The IT-BPO industry is not just comprised of contact centers. The IT-BPO industry, being the most lucrative and one of the fastest growing industries in the country, is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years. According to IBAP, in 2015 the industry generated 1.2 million direct jobs and US$ 22 billion in revenues. Moreover, the IT-BPO industry has grown to be the second-largest source of dollar income for the Philippines in 2016.
Most importantly, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) also revealed that “should current growth rates continue, the IT-BPM industry will overtake Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) remittances by 2017”. With about 1.3 million new jobs expected to be generated this year, opportunities are aplenty at the IT-BPO industry.
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