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IT students and technology professionals trooped to the Philippine Trade and Training Center in Pasay City for the "Microsoft Career Day 2006: An I.T. Job Fair". Luck and lucrative jobs were not scarce as software company Microsoft Philippines gathered more than 30 Independent Software Vendors, IT solutions and services companies and SME partners to give specialized jobseekers a chance to explore a showcase of job opportunities in the technology industry.

Guest speaker Sec. Arthur Yap of the Presidential Adviser's Office for Job Creation cited the event for its support of the government's job generation objectives: "Our strategy for jobs generation is to enhance, maintain and facilitate successful job applications. Job fairs like these help us bring together companies with available jobs and applicants with the right qualifications."

Mark Yambot, Corporate Affairs Director of Microsoft Philippines added, "We heard that a lot of people are having a hard time finding jobs in IT and yet our customers say the opposite - that there are not enough qualified applicants. We're here because we're confirming that there is a lot of opportunity in the industry."

Information Technology's (IT) popularity as a career has taken a back seat recently to nursing and call center opportunities in the country and abroad. "Microsoft Career Day 2006: An I.T. Job Fair" demonstrates, however, that IT is still one of the country's strongest industries and that demand for these types of IT workers is unwavering. In particular, certified professionals command a higher price for their expertise.
A study done by JobsDB Philippines found that Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) enjoy a salary rate that is forty-three percent higher than Non-Microsoft Certified Professionals (Non-MCPs), given that both MCPs and Non-MCPs share the same educational background, level of position and work experience. Based on the findings, JobsDB Philippines concluded that it is advantageous for I.T. professionals to become MCPs and that possessing such a certificate or accreditation gives them the leverage to obtain higher perks and pay and, by implication, promotion.

Abroad, a report dated February 6, 2006 (read the article) notes that technology jobs are one of the more rewarding in the United States of America. Specifically, .NET (dot net) developers (developers who are expert users of Microsoft's software programming language .NET) can make between Php 3.8M and Php 4.3M ($75,000 and $85,000) a year in the bigger cities. If they pursue a job at a company that seeks someone with a background in a given field (i.e. a firm looking for a .NET developer experienced in using software related to derivatives) they may get a salary increase of 15 percent or more when they switch jobs.

"Microsoft Career Day 2006: An I.T. Job Fair" was sponsored by Accenture, HP, Intel and Trend Micro and supported by the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Jobs Generation, the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), the Pasay City Government, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Pasay-Makati, Philippine Computer Society, and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).
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