Engaging in a conversation about the actual state of Information Technology (IT) education and recruitment in Puerto Rico is an urgent matter. As we all know, Information Technology (IT) is vital to the economic growth of any society, including Puerto Rico.
By all means, recruiting and retaining this kind of human capital is essential for companies like Fusionworks who transforms the business landscape of the markets they operate in by helping organizations become more innovative; efficient and competitive in a global scale by combining both business knowledge and technology expertise. However, for many years, recruiting and retaining IT professionals has been one of the biggest challenges faced by our industry.
Recently, Fusionworks joined efforts with various organizations in Puerto Rico to address this subject, among them, the Puerto Rico Information Technology Cluster; the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) local chapter, RockSolid Technologies and TrueNorth Corporation.
As a matter of fact, this joint effort pursues the development of Information Technology (IT) professionals in Puerto Rico. It helps to establish the needs and create actions using data to support the strategies to follow.
About the study on Information Technology (IT) Education in Puerto Rico
Regarding Information Technology (IT) Education, Professor Arnaldo I. Ramos-Torres from the University of Puerto Rico has been studying this matter from the academic perspective and research, especially on the supply and demand of Information Technology (IT) candidates graduated from programs of different universities on the island. For the purpose of education itself, he has been instrumental in collecting and analyzing the data and put it at the service of our industry.
In effect and as a partial result of his research, Professor Ramos-Torres has found that if we include Associate and Graduate degrees, these numbers get even higher:
Yearly demand for computing graduates has been estimated by the Puerto Rico Labor Department at 740 positions, which is much less than the number of graduates. The previously stated situation is highly contradictory, so it deserves careful analysis.
Evidently, the logical questions are: Why are employers having difficulties recruiting if enough graduates are produced and they offer competitive salaries and benefits? Are these graduates migrating to the United States? Are they unemployed, sub-employed or employed in other jobs? Do they have the skills required by the open positions? Are these graduates more oriented towards support activities, instead of development activities?
Regardless of the reasons, the truth is that the situation about Information Technology (IT) Education we face is really difficult.
What employers say about Information Technology (IT) Education
Employers can be of great help to address the previous situation, as they can provide advice, tools and strategies to increase the quantity, improve the suitability, and increase the retention of IT graduates.
Same, the solution should not be just to increase the supply, but also to make sure this supply is well balanced between the different computing disciplines, that it complies with the characteristics requested by employers and that graduates stay to work in Puerto Rico. Otherwise, we may end up having a larger supply, but not necessarily suitable, balanced or available to meet the demand.
For this reason, you need to read this study. We offer a complete approach on the reasons and possible solutions regarding the Puerto Rican brain drain in IT.
What you will find in the study:
- Current Situation
- Availability, Demand and Supply of IT professionals
- Quality of Graduates
- Graduation and Retention Rate
- Academic Programs
- Employability Rate
- What we Propose
- Implementing what we Propose