Latin America's rise in tech and data science 

Latin America is fast becoming a big deal in the tech and data science world. This growth is changing how the region does business and putting it on the tech world map. The reasons for this boom include great schools with a focus on tech, quick learning of new technology, and a love for new ideas. 

Nonso Onowu on December 08, 2023 Average reading time: 4 min
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Latin America's rise in tech and data science 

This tech rise in Latin America is a big chance for companies that want to grow. Now, businesses all over the world are seeing that Latin America has a lot of smart people in tech, data science, and business. That’s why more companies are looking to hire from LATAM. 

What makes Latin America’s workers stand out are their strong skills, their knack for thinking up new things, and their ability to quickly adjust to new stuff. This makes Latin America a really important place for businesses that want to stay on top in the ever-changing tech world. 

Insights from Coursera’s Global skills report 2023  

According to the 2023 Global Skills Report by Coursera, Latin America boasts a high number of skilled workers, especially in technology and data science. The report analyses 100 countries and emphasizes the importance of skills in business, technology, and data science for economic growth and job creation. In the world of technology skills, Mexico (97%), Colombia (95%), and Argentina (93%) lead the region, as shown below:  


For data science, Brazil (99%), Argentina (96%), and Mexico (90%) stand out. Latin American students are more likely to invest in data science skills like data analytics software (2.4 times more likely) and technology skills such as programming principles (2.12 times more likely). 

Highlighting individual countries  

Colombia: A tech powerhouse with room for business skill enhancement

Colombia, standing at 19th globally, showcases impressive prowess in technology, making it a standout in the tech sector. However, the country recognizes the need to bolster its business skills to complement its tech dominance. Colombian students are particularly keen on enhancing their data science skills.  

They are 2.81 times more likely to invest in data analytics software and 1.83 times more likely to focus on programming principles compared to their global counterparts. Additionally, there’s a growing interest in developing leadership-related business skills.  

This trend indicates a strategic shift towards creating a well-rounded workforce that is not only technically adept but also proficient in managing and leading in the business domain. 

Mexico: Growth in certifications and strong communication skills

Mexico, ranked 25th, is witnessing a significant surge in professional certificate enrolments. This trend reflects a commitment to continuous learning and skill enhancement among the Mexican workforce.  

While there is a general need for improvement in business skills, Mexico shows exceptional strength in specific areas.

Communication skills stand out with a 93% proficiency rate, indicating effective interpersonal and corporate communication capabilities.  

Similarly, accounting skills are notably strong, with a 73% proficiency rate. These strengths in communication and accounting suggest that Mexican professionals excel in areas that are critical for business operations and financial management. 

Brazil: Data science leader with focus on leadership skills

Brazil, ranking 28th globally, excels in data science, boasting the world’s second-highest score at 99%. This remarkable achievement underscores Brazil’s focus and expertise in data-driven fields.  

Alongside this technical proficiency, Brazil shows a high growth rate in professional certificate enrolments, reflecting a dedication to continuous professional development.

Despite these strengths, there’s an identified need for Brazil to enhance its leadership-related business skills.  

Focusing on these areas will equip Brazilian professionals not only with technical know-how but also with the ability to lead, strategize, and innovate within the business landscape.  

Leading countries in skills proficiency  

In the global rankings for skills proficiency, Switzerland stands out as the leader, showcasing a workforce with high-level skills. This top position highlights the country’s excellence in developing skilled professionals.

Following Switzerland, several European nations like Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium are also ranked highly.

These countries are celebrated for their strong education systems, which not only lead to high student satisfaction but also ensure that their graduates are ready for the job market with well-developed skills. 

In addition to European countries, Asian nations such as Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong are also prominent in the rankings. These countries are known for their focus on technological advancement and innovation. Their high positions in the rankings reflect their dedication to developing advanced skills in technology, further emphasized by significant investments in tech and a cultural commitment to ongoing learning and skill development. 

Notable high performers  

Countries like Denmark, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Finland, and Bulgaria also rank highly, pointing to the widespread proficiency in skills across Europe. The inclusion of countries like Ukraine and Colombia is particularly noteworthy, indicating their strides in enhancing their workforce’s skill set despite various challenges. 

Countries at the lower spectrum  

On the other end of the spectrum, countries like Uganda, Algeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, and Nigeria rank lower. This part of the ranking reflects the challenges these countries face, including limited access to quality education, economic constraints, a lack of digital infrastructure, and in some cases, political and social instability. These factors hinder the development of a skilled workforce, impacting these countries’ positions in the global skills landscape. 

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