Nearshore software development professionals from Colombia: a growing trend for US business
The demand for IT professionals is growing within the United States, to the extent that companies are finding themselves grappling to secure the appropriate talent to meet their needs. In this critical juncture, Colombia stands out as an emergent, nearshoring hub for software development experts with skills and experience.
Globally, a staggering 78% talent deficit prevails within the tech sector, as evidenced by the findings of a survey conducted by ManpowerGroup. Moreover, the prognosis for the American market does not appear any more promising.
A report published by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) reveals a glaring shortage of 2.1 million IT professionals in the United States. Moreover, this dearth is expected to escalate further, reaching 3.5 million by 2030.
This daunting outlook will force companies to look for help in other geographies. In recent years, Latin America, Colombia in particular, has steadily emerged as a go-to destination for software development expertise and here’s why:
Highly skilled, English-speaking professionals
According to the Colombian Ministry of Education, 333,024 students successfully completed technology-related programs from 2010 to 2021, making the country the third in Latin America in terms of qualified workforce –ahead of sector hubs such as Brazil or Argentina.
Furthermore, the country ranks 14th in the 2021 Global Innovation Index (GII), and 1st in Latin America.
The professional talent shortage in North America also skyrocketed IT salaries within the country. According to Glassdoor, one of the largest job and recruiting sites worldwide, the average salary in the US for a tech industry worker is 102,068 USD.
Colombian professionals, with the same degree of proficiency and experience as their North American counterparts, cost less to hire, as shown in the five of the most sourced tech roles in the region:
North American companies can save up to 70% of staff costs should they decide to nearshore software development talent from Colombia.
Government efforts to boost the IT sector
Recognizing the transformative potential of technology-driven industries, the Colombian government has initiated a series of strategic measures aimed at attracting international investors and encouraging partnerships in this burgeoning field.
María Claudia Lacouture, Executive Director of AmCham Colombia, highlights the efforts of the government and how they have impacted foreign confidence in the country’s stability and suitability for doing business.
“The U.S. State Department highlights Colombia as an optimal destination for attracting capital that offers ideal conditions for companies”, asserts Lacouture.
Other government initiatives in support of the IT sector include:
- In 2019, the government launched the “Colombia Digital 2025” plan, which aims to make Colombia a leader in the digital economy. The plan includes a number of initiatives to boost the IT sector, such as investing in education and training, creating a favorable business environment, and promoting the IT sector abroad.
- In 2020, the government launched the “Programa de Transformación Digital” (Digital Transformation Program), which provides financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses to help them adopt digital technologies. The program has so far benefited over 10,000 businesses.
- In 2021, the government launched the “Centros de Innovación y Desarrollo Tecnológico” (Centers for Innovation and Technological Development), which provide support to businesses and entrepreneurs in the IT sector. The centers offer a variety of services, such as training, mentoring, and access to capital.
Nearshore software development services to the South American country present another strategic advantage where, in terms of business hours, Colombia is just 1-2 hours ahead of the United States. So, remote teams get to work during their onshore counterparts’ usual work schedules.
Should company executives prefer to travel and see their nearshore team’s performance firsthand, they’re merely a couple of hours away from doing so.
Colombian society has been widely influenced by American culture – from TV and movies to music and mainstream figureheads.
This cultural affinity has made it easy for Colombian professionals to work with their colleagues in the United States. More significantly, it has propelled thousands to adopt English as their second language.
According to the Digital Skills in Latin America and the Caribbean study, conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Colombia’s average number of bilingual talents in the sector is way higher than most in Latin America: 46% to 25%.