Report: Latin America Running Short on Skilled ICT Workers

BY STAFF REPORT

Countries in Latin America are struggling to keep pace with a growing demand for skilled  labor in the information and communication technology sector, posing a key barrier to the region’s economic growth, says an IDC report commissioned by the U.S. networking company, Cisco.

There will be a shortage of nearly 300,000 networking/ communications professionals in the region by 2015, the study revealed.

The report has warned that the lack of skilled professionals may limit the countries’ ability to adopt new technologies, adding that increasing the number of skilled ICT professionals should be a priority to accelerate economic growth, improve productivity, and create new jobs.

The report titled ‘Networking Skills Gap Latin America’ has analyzed the availability of skilled ICT professionals in Latin America between 2011 and 2015.

In 2011, Latin America lacked approximately 139,800 professionals with networking skills (those needed to plan, design, manage and support the networking technologies in an organization). These figures, Cisco says, represent a skills gap (calculated as a proportion of total demand) of 27 percent in 2011 and 35 percent in 2015.

“As Latin America experiences the rapid emergence of new technology trends like cloud, mobility, video and the Internet of Everything, this skills gap presents a real challenge for the region’s economic development,” said Jordi Botifoll, president for Cisco in Latin America.

Rapid adoption of networking technologies by organizations throughout the region is continuously driving demand for these skills, causing the gap to widen at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 percent from 2011 to 2015.

“An ample, vibrant community of skilled ICT professionals is fundamental for Latin America’s companies in order to incorporate advanced technologies in their productive processes. It will lead to an improvement in productivity and consequently enable them to compete effectively in the world market,” said Andres Maz, executive director for Advanced Technology Policy at Cisco.

As the outsourcing trend is growing stronger in Latin America, Cisco believes a growing number of companies will obtain new networking skills from a service provider rather than training internal staff.

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