Brazilian information technology companies have an ongoing problem: how to fill vacant professional IT positions that remain open year after year. Essentially, the country’s universities and technical schools are graduating fewer professionals than the market requires. And the information and communications technology (ICT) sector needs more skilled, entry-level professionals.
This situation may become even worse. The Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication (Brasscom) estimates that the country’s revenues from information technology and communications will reach U.S.$430 billion by 2022, raising the country to third place worldwide. Currently, Brazil is ranked fifth with revenues of $212 billion.
“The IT sector represented 4.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, and it is forecasted to represent between 6.0% and 6.5% of GDP by 2020. If this estimate becomes reality, Brazil will require 750,000 professionals to meet demand,” Sergio Sgobbi, Brasscom director for education and training, told RCR Wireless News.
The demand for IT and telecommunications services are rising, so the situation is becoming critical as more new professionals are required to meet new needs. “The demand for professionals is more at the base level than at the more mature, senior professional level. The country has competence at the top,” Sgobbi said.
Sgobbi noted that currently the most sought-after professionals are system development analysts, computing support analysts and programmers. In addition, he said that with the increase in cloud computing and mobility, companies are demanding technical people who specialize in these areas, and they are much harder to find.
The Brazilian labor market needs many more professionals than are graduating. The lack of professionals is even worse in some states, such as São Paulo. In the eight states surveyed by Brasscom, a total of 32,390 people graduated from programs related to IT in 2012, while employers were looking to hire 42,066 people. The forecast for this year is even higher: 32,332 people are expected to graduate while companies are expected to hire 56,413 people.
To address this problem, companies are developing internal training programs, and the government has set initiatives to encourage skilled labor in ICT areas.
Called “Brasil Mais TI”, the Brasscom-backed initiative is funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and supported by the Ministry of Education. It is aimed at young people, starting at age 16, and provides free courses in COBOL, Java and .Net.
In addition, the Brazilian government released some measures aimed at helping companies hire employees, since labor costs in Brazil are some of the highest in the world. The first stimulus package called “Brasil Maior” included a payroll tax exemption on pension contributions in the IT sector.
Prior to the measure, Brazilian employers were required to make social security contributions at a level equal to 20% of their payroll. Brasil Maior dropped this requirement to 2.5% of company revenues. Now, with the new stimulus package, the government further reduced the employer social security contribution to 2% of company revenues.
Note: This story is part of an RCR Wireless News series on the Brazilian labor market.