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Gabriel Cogo (Brazil) - The Lack of Professionals in Brazilian IT

Everyone's talking about how Brazil's economy is getting stronger, and how its growth is generating thousands of new opportunities for people to get wealthier. This is even true in the IT business. The majority of IT related companies based here are expecting high incomes over the next couple of years. However, all this excitement has brought a new problem: the lack of qualified professionals to fill all the blank spots.

The principal reason is that there aren't enough students graduating from college to take all the jobs that are available, and even as graduates apply for the job, they don't have enough experience to match the job needs. There have been numerous meetings between the government, colleges and private initiatives to find the best way to tackle this problem, but none of them have reached an agreement.

One of the biggest complaints of the private sector is the content given to IT graduates. It thinks the curriculum places too much emphasis on theory, and not enough on practice. This is putting inexperienced workers on the market that aren't ready to face routine day-to-day tasks. The universities response is that it's not their job to do this, and that companies simply want complete professionals without having to spend any money training them. This reveals another problem, the lack of good salaries to attract and keep the best professionals. The truth is most IT professionals prefer government jobs to working for a big company, not only because it pays better, but also because it gives the worker more stability.

All these issues are real now. And the people responsible for making the necessary changes are not moving quickly enough. The worst result possible would be if Brazilian IT falls behind the competition, despite all the good projections made for the next years in the country's technology sector.

Perhaps the problem can be solved by creating more universities and improving the ones that exist already. Maybe a junction between the colleges and private initiative could provide this. However, the only certain thing is that the solution will only come if the government and private companies work together for a better education, and to prepare the current information technology students to meet the challenges that we face everyday at our jobs.

Gabriel Cogo has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from UFRGS and has worked as a SAP Consultant for Gerdau SA.

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