At the start of 2014, the world had about 11 million professional software developers and 29 million people considered to be “ICT-skilled” by research firm IDC. While this sum is huge— those 29 million skilled in information and communications technology would make up the 44th most-populous country if grouped together — many in various fields still feel there is a shortage in various markets.
Some 11.6 million of those 29 million reside in the United States, India, and China, for example, while the rest of the Americas are home to about 3.2 million. Outsourcers looking for further growth in the nearshore market would like to see that sum increase throughout Latin America, and the region’s academic institutions, while improving, are going to have train more workers.
To further project the progress to come, Nearshore America’s highlights some of the significant educational factors that are pushing forward a tech-focused work force. Information regarding annual graduates, current enrollment, college education population, World Economic Forum’s ranking on the quality of Math/ Science education, Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Math score ranking, and public spending on education has been analyzed below for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, and Mexico.
There is plenty of good news in the region. Mexico has ramped up its educational efforts to the point that it is now the world’s 8th-largest provider of annual graduates in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, and construction. Areas like Guadalajara are now known for good education while the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education has teamed up with the world-class program at Carnegie-Mellon University to offer a joint master’s in information technology.
Other areas in South America are similarly starting to produce large number of grads. Brazil’s University of São Paulo and the University Estadual of Campinas rank as the top two computer science schools in the region, and Chile’s public initiative to push technology studies, “Enlaces” (Links), has been a huge success. The World Bank has called it the “most lauded and studied” ICT-promoting government program in the developing world.