Skill development plays a vital role in transforming the next generation of professionals. It gives students the opportunity to explore new technologies that can not only impact their future employability but guide them into understanding the possibilities that technology can bring in solving real world problems.
The Pakistan User Group, led by MVP Faisal Fareed, recognised the need of equipping students with practical knowledge and skills in Microsoft Business Applications.
The Pakistan User Group
Faisal Fareed, a Business Applications MVP based in Australia, previously studied at the University of Karachi, saw a gap to empower students to grow their skills with the Microsoft ecosystem. Faisal, along with his team of community leaders (Umair Siddiqui, Muhammad Atif, and Muhammad Mustajab) at the Pakistan User Group, launched a pilot education program to bring business application skills direct to students studying at the University of Karachi.
“By providing students with hands-on experience and practical knowledge in these applications, we aim to prepare them for successful careers and enhance their employability,” said Faisal.
Business Applications MVP, Faisal Fareed Scaling impact through new partnerships
After a successful pilot course at the University of Karachi, Faisal and the leaders of the Pakistan User Group saw the potential in scaling their impact to other students in the region with a focus on skilling students in Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Azure.
The team received substantial positive feedback and interest from the wider education sector, which led to a new partnership to expand this course with FAST University. The program was launched in August 2023 as part of the official university curriculum for students.
Faisal explains, “we subsequently initiated a collaboration with FAST University. Looking ahead, our plan is to extend this course to additional universities and higher education institutions in the coming year”.
Expanding the technical skills of university students through a curriculum based course, and providing exposure to business application tools will positively impact the future of students as they transition into the workforce.
Faisal, who is an industry leader that actively recruits new talent and the director of 1Dynamics, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 consultancy organization, describes firsthand the meaningful outcomes of this program. “A significant disparity exists worldwide between students and the industry. Companies are seeking candidates who can seamlessly join projects without the need for extensive training or a foundational understanding of Business Applications (BizApps).”
Faisal continued, “the Pakistan User Group is actively addressing this gap by offering students valuable insights into Microsoft Business Applications and how these technologies can be an ideal fit for their careers. This initiative has yielded positive results, as evidenced by the successful completion of final year projects by University of Karachi students”.
Training conducted by the Pakistan User Group for the University of Karachi
Addressing diversity & inclusion
The initiative to partner with universities to skill our future leaders in business applications, also highlights the importance of driving diversity and inclusion outcomes to make technology skills more accessible to students.
Faisal explains, “diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles that we highly value. In our program, we have taken steps to ensure diversity and inclusion. For instance, we have actively sought out speakers from diverse backgrounds and have implemented inclusive content development practices. As a result, we have seen increased engagement and broader perspectives. We are committed to continuous improvement and are open to learning from successful diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
Tips for other community leaders
Filling the skills gap by empowering the next generation and increasing their capacity to succeed in their careers is one way we can continue to make a difference as a wider community. If you are passionate about sharing your technical knowledge or grow scalable skilling programs in your local student communities, Faisal shares his top advice on how you can support others.
“I would suggest community leaders to lead by example, offer mentorship and resources, promote collaboration and inclusivity, and remain patient and open to feedback. Empowering future leaders is a long-term investment that can lead to a stronger and more vibrant community and we as a community (Pakistan User Group) stand firm on this vision”, says Faisal.