Is there a significant pool of technological talent in Mexico?

March 30, 2023
Emilio Beteta

By: Santiago Ferrer Oll

Our objective is to try to find a coherent answer to the question: Is there or is there not technological talent in Mexico? Why or why not? There has been quite a stir about the shortage of technological talent in Mexico and Latin America, we want to know how true this is and why.

Technological Talent Status in Mexico

  • According to INEGI, there are 976,000 people trained in information technology, 43% of them have a career related to Computer Science and the rest in Information Technology.
  • According to an analysis by the Get on Board platform, less than 50% of applications for digital positions were successfully hired last year.
  • Mexico has a deficit of more than 50 thousand programmers, the Mexican startup Academlo.
  • It is estimated that the demand for IT talent will grow by 16% per year, according to figures from the IDC consultancy.
  • According to Codifin, a leading IT training and recruitment startup, 68% of Mexican companies cannot find collaborators with the necessary skills.

These data are the ones they are using to justify the argument that "there is NO tech talent in Mexico" But by doing a simple analysis comparing the percentage of tech talent over the economically active population of different countries we can see a different story.

Country PEA IT Talent % IT Talent / PEA
USA 158 Thousandlions 4.4 Thousandlions 2.78%
Germany 43 Thousandlions 900 Thousand 2.09%
Mexico 60 Thousandlions 976 Thousand 1.63%
Argentina 21 Thousandlions 130 Thousand 0.62%
Colombia 24 Thousandlions 135 Thousand 0.56%

According to a study by Qubit Labs, Mexico graduates 110,000 IT professionals per year. Which would be enough to supply the growth of 16% plus open vacancies.

While demand has increased considerably thanks to the effects of the pandemic, there isn't a lack of people in these areas. According to the data collected, we have more IT talent than Germany, 2x Argentina, and 3x Colombia.

So, what is happening? Investigating a little more I found some interviews with the main technology recruiters in Mexico. This is what they have to say about it:

  • Claudia García, AB InBev: in the last 3 years, 500 positions with different technical specifications, emphasizing profiles that know a lot about technology, but also about marketing and sales. "In Mexico and Colombia, we struggle a lot to find this profile and it is the same syndrome in all business areas."
  • Tabatha Arredondo, Stori: There are three specific positions (D-Box, iOS developers, data science) for which it is extremely difficult to find qualified personnel in Mexico. The ones that exist, she says, are very much fought between the different companies that require that talent to develop their business model. D-Box, iOS developers, data science.
  • Ena Torres, Mercadolibre: Share that it is difficult for them to find talent as developers, specialists in cybersecurity, machine learning, or data science.

So it's not that there aren't people, there are people prepared with university degrees in computer science and systems engineering. But they don't have the skills and knowledge that the market needs.

If Mexico wants to become a competitive country, it needs a large amount of investment in education by the government and companies, to close the knowledge and opportunity gap.

But modern companies that seek to give access to this knowledge are also in need. This is just what the Mexican startup Codifin is looking to do. Codifin's objective is to reduce the inequality of opportunities that exist in Mexico through the training and placement of collaborators in key positions for the development of Mexico in IT companies software development.

Now, we are going to analyze 4 factors that cause the deficiency of Tech talent in Mexico.

Universities cannot advance at the same speed with which the Tech market advances. The digital world indeed moves at a high speed, the open-source nature of the web means that anyone in the world can create or improve any software technology.

In turn, university models are quite archaic, slow, and bureaucratic, especially in public universities. On average, universities change study plans every 6 to 4 years, something that is not sustainable in a market that changes every semester.

Companies don't have training programs to teach these skills Companies complain a lot about the lack of specialized talent, but they don't do much to train them either. In my opinion, I believe that the lack of initiative towards training is due to fear caused by talent theft. The turnover in these areas is impressive.

Shortages and high demand cause aggressive competition for specialized talent. But I also believe that companies should worry less and do more. There is a risk of turnover, but if you offer good salaries, culture, benefits, training, and a good career plan, you can retain tech talent.

This effect can be seen in the outsourcing of tech talent in Mexico. According to the Austin Software study, Argentina contributes 30% of the total talent hired in Latin America, followed by Colombia, with 27%, and Uruguay (24%), Chile (11%), Mexico (4%), and Peru (2%).

We can see that the top 10 countries with the best English are the first 3 countries with the highest export of tech services in Latin America. This is no coincidence; besides that, they can communicate more easily, and they are better prepared.

English is the variable that is blocking all technological development in Mexico. Without English, there are no specialists because all specialized knowledge is generated in this language.


We can conclude that there is a shortage of specialized talent in Mexico, not because of a lack of tech talent, nor because of high demand, but because of a knowledge gap caused by the few updating of educational models, the lack of tools, the little training and above all because of the bad level of English that we Mexicans have.


Many Startups realized the enormous knowledge gap that exists in Mexico and Latin America, which is why they have created business models that attack 3 of the 4 problems: Education, Tools/Access, and Training.

For example, Codifin is dedicated to tech recruitment and solving access through personalized boot camps, which gives them all the tools and knowledge to find a better job.  And not only that, but they also work directly with companies to place this new specialized talent.

This is good news, but on the other hand, there are few Startups focused on the 4 problematic, English. We not only need better and more ways to teach the language, but we also need companies and startups to focus their resources on teaching and practicing the language, giving Mexicans access to self-learning through the Internet. We have all the information in the world in the palm of our hands but what good is it if we can't understand it?