There is a common misconception among the public that the Global Services Sector (GSS), or its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) segment, is mostly comprised of call centre customer service agent jobs. These false ideas have been spread and fanned by social media about call centres in Jamaica, however, the picture they paint is far from the truth.

Call centres belong mainly to the BPO segment in the GSS and offer opportunities for persons at all levels, including high school graduates that may be low skilled. While employing thousands of persons in this category, BPO firms provide on-the-job flexibility and training to develop employees and prepare them for promotions. The career growth possibilities are real as many customer service agents transition into other roles, such as human resources, supervisory and managerial positions.

Historically, Jamaica’s outsourcing sector developed mainly from the BPO segment of the GSS, however, outsourcing has expanded over the years to include Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO). These two segments of the GSS provide higher valued jobs that require specific knowledge and/or expertise. The GSS, therefore, offers a wide range of opportunities for Jamaicans at all levels of education and from a variety of fields.

The job opportunities within the GSS are expansive across a range of disciplines such as marketing, research, finance, law and software development. For example, KPO firms provide accounting and financial analysis services, allowing professionals within these fields to work within the GSS. KPO also offers opportunities for persons in the legal fraternity within Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO).  Additionally, ITO provides opportunities for those specifically in the tech field, including digital marketing, web development, data mining and even cloud engineering. These are all areas within outsourcing that need more attention and visibility, underscoring the fact that the GSS is a wide and diverse sector.

As job markets evolve globally, necessity has driven the invention of practical solutions and the GSS has blossomed into resolving challenges where they emerge. This has propelled expansion into, not only accounting, finance, IT and law, but dynamic fields such as science and medicine.

The sector has now expanded to accommodate those with vision and imagination, whether they possess limited formal skills and experience, or are experts and leaders in their respective fields. As such, it offers a unique opportunity for high school graduates and industry leaders alike, leveling the playing field is a way that can only be considered revolutionary.

Everyone has a place in the GSS – the high school graduate on entry into the working world, the tertiary graduate with their associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree qualification, or the seasoned professional with the experienced skillset. Whatever one’s qualification, the GSS is the perfect place to start or continue one’s career.

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A 5-year project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank that will provide Jamaicans with access to training and better jobs in the global services sector, namely in knowledge process outsourcing, information technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing.

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