Brazil is Global Bright Spot
Economic reforms put tech industry in hiring mode
BY PEGGY ALBRIGHT
If there’s a global bright spot for information technology jobs, it’s Brazil. The country has a bustling economy and thriving IT sector and it needs thousands and thousands of IT professionals.
The Federative Republic of Brazil is South America’s largest and most populous country and the world’s fifth-largest country in terms of land mass and population. Furthermore, it’s the world’s seventh-biggest economy, and with a 7.8 percent growth rate last year, exceeds many countries in the world.
Brazil is tied with India as the second-most-popular country for business investment, said Mauro Peres, who leads IDC’s research services and thought leadership for IT, telecom, and vertical market services in Brazil. And its economic momentum will be helped even more by its preparations to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. In preparation, the country is investing billions in infrastructure, tourism facilities, transportation, and security services and systems.
Double-digit growth rate
Because the IT sector serves all sectors, the World Cup and Olympics will help generate jobs, said Antonio Gil, president of Brasscom, the Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communica
tion Companies. “Brazil is a land of opportunity,” he said.
According to Gil, Brazil’s IT market, not including communications, amounted to (US) $80.1 billion in 2010. His organizations estimates that the IT market is growing at a rate of about 13 percent per year and that by 2020, it will represent from (US) $150 to 200 billion to become the world’s fifth-largest IT market.
IDC’s research provides a comparable view. Peres said his firm anticipates a 12 percent annual growth rate for Brazil’s IT market—double the worldwide IT market’s 6 percent growth rate.
Brazil is expected to pass Japan to become the world’s third-largest PC seller, driven by purchases among the lower middle class, whose improving incomes are allowing them to buy their first PCs. The country is the world’s fourth-largest for mobile phone and telecom sales. Residents are computer-savvy and heavy users of the Internet and social networking sites, and these characteristics will increase as more people gain access to broadband services and the financial means to connect online.
IDC characterizes national IT markets based on the relative consumption of hardware, software, and services. As an IT market begins to grow, it requires hardware for infrastructure, and as it matures, its investments in hardware slow, and spending on software and services increases. Brazil is in the middle phase of the maturation process, Peres said, because hardware drives about 60 percent of its market. In comparison, 80 percent of China’s immature IT market is spent on hardware.
There’s much more growth in Brazil’s IT sector to come, in other words, and as the Brazilian market matures, it will shift more and more to software and services. “Applications in financial services, e-government, energy, manufacturing, and agriculture are among the most sophisticated that you can find,” said Brasscom’s Gil.
Hot market for talent
This bustling IT business in Brazil has created a tremendous market for IT professionals and the country has been gaining attention as a hot market for talent.
Right now, the country currently employs around 1.2 million professionals in IT, according to Gil. But the country needs to find IT professionals to fill about 70,000 to 80,000 new jobs per year and this level of annual demand is expected to continue for at least a few years. Based on research conducted by Brasscom, 2010 IT hires were systems analysts, computer support analysts, systems programmers, equipment maintenance technicians, help desk staff, network analysts, computer operators, tele-processor network operators, automation analysts, and Internet programmers.