This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

June 27, 2012

Global Shortage of Islamic Financial Professionals

There are many shortages of skilled workers worldwide; we call them "pockets of workforce crisis". This Herman Trend Alert is the first of many we will feature over the next few months.

According to Chief Executive Officer of the AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Finance, there is a critical shortage of 50,000 Islamic Finance Experts to serve the emerging market of Islamic Banking and Finance. During his speech, Muhammad Zubair Mughal at the recent "Moscow Halal Expo", added that due to the recent international financial crises in conventional banking and finance, society is looking for an alternative. The economic crises have had much less impact on the Islamic finance industry, thus it perfectly positioned to have greater success.

He said there is an immediate need for education in Islamic banking and finance internationally. At this time, 38 universities in the world are producing approximately 5000 graduates of Islamic banking and finance every year, while the demand around the globe is actually 10 times more. Recently, financial institutions have tried to take conventional bankers and training them in some of the essentials of Islamic banking and finance. He believes this approach is not working.

To establish a strong Islamic banking and finance system, graduates must have complete knowledge of Islamic banking and finance with full command of Shari'ah*, Fiqah**, and Islamic financial products. The Quran expressly forbids borrowing money or collecting interest.

Mughal believes that a four-pronged approach should be adopted to educate large numbers of professionals in this field: 1) Universities or Colleges must graduate well-trained students in their Masters and Post Graduate Diploma programs in Islamic banking and finance. 2) At the post graduate level, offer one-year diploma and six months certificate courses on these topics. 3) Provide online programs to raise awareness of the topics worldwide. 4) Public workshops, trainings, and publications in the field should encourage grassroots recognition.

Given the explosion of Islamic populations around the world, it is easy to understand this growing shortage. Not only will the demand for Islamic banking professionals intensify, however it will also create pressure on conventional banks to diversify their employee populations as well as their product offerings.

*Shari'ah means Islamic Law, derived from the direct teachings of Mohammed.

**Fiqah means knowledge of Islamic Law as it applies to finance and banking.

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