IT sector seen hampered by lack of qualified professionals

- Tuesday, April 19, 2011

IT sector seen hampered by lack of qualified professionals

The shortage of professional IT project managers and analysts in the workforce is a problem that many Latin American countries are facing, but Chilean IT association Acti has taken steps to try to address the issue.

"The problem seems to be the lack of business orientation at most [Chilean] universities, which tend to concentrate on technical education instead of practical training," said Natalia Vega, general manager for Chile at consultancy IDC.

"Human capital is increasingly scarce; demand is greater than the offer. This and the lack of good IT professionals make indispensable the creation of a portal that brings together professionals and companies from the sector," said Hernán Orellana, Acti's general secretary.

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In response, and in partnership with online recruitment job site Laborum.com, Acti has launched a portal called Profesionales TIC. The launch comes just a week after the association kicked off the MBA Contest 2011, in association with state development agency Corfo's innovation program Innova Chile. The idea with that is to encourage IT entrepreneurship on the college level.

Increasingly, IT professionals tend to work as independent contractors on projects, and as a consequence these professionals lack representation, Orellana said. "Those working independently do not have the representation they need to gain access to benefits, from training to information. With this portal we want to open a door to all of them."

Regarding this matter, one criticism of the new portal was the lack of a specific section that allows contractors or independent companies to participate in tenders.

After five months of testing, the new portal allows IT sector professionals to search for job opportunities by becoming members. "It's a very useful tool that provides not only job opportunities, but also the chance of meeting new people within the sector by using our blog and regular information about Acti activities, like seminars, workshops and forums. We also have more than 40 benefits, from health discounts to English classes," Orellana said.

The new website - available at a yearly subscription of around 35,000 pesos (US$74) - can be especially useful to developers, analysts and graduates from the IT arena.