Latin America is likely fall short of approximately 450,000 IT professionals by 2019, according to a study by research firm IDC.
The report, also sponsored by the US networking giant Cisco, shows that the shortage in skilled labor is growing by the year due to the slow pace at which new talent is being introduced to the market.
The research firm says there is an urgent need for governments to train thousands people in networking, cloud, mobility, datacenter and virtualization, big data, cyber security, IoT, and software development.
Slow growth in the technology industry, analysts say, will curtail job growth, further undermining the social and economic development in the region.
For example, cyber security is vital to digitalization in Latin America, but the region has so few cyber security experts to support it. According to IDC’s own report, about 86% of companies in the region have a cyber security strategy.
This comes hot on the heels of a report from the International Labor Organization, which warned that a million more people will become unemployed in Latin America by the end of this year.
Overcoming the skill shortage will not be easy for Latin America, writes Cisco’s regional president Jordi Botifoll in his blog post. “On the surface, it seems simple: train more people with the right IT skills. But it’s more complicated than that. There are not enough teachers with the right training. Internet access is limited in the region,” Botifoll wrote. “And, most fundamentally, there is a lack of students who are interested in learning these tech skills.”
IDC says it prepared the report using data from its own previous surveys and interviewing 760 employers across 10 Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.
“By embracing digitization, Latin America can become a leader in the next generation of jobs, social inclusiveness, research, and education. But we need to work together to fill the skills gap,” Botifoll added.