In the last few weeks, IT Decisions has had some interesting conversations with IT decision-makers at multinational firms about the characteristics of their Brazil IT operations compared to similar technology centres around the world.
Many Brazilians start work at 18, rather than heading off to a leafy university town to drink excessively and study full-time – when not suffering a hangover. Full-time university education is something that is taken for granted in many countries and leads to highly-educated young people at 21 or 22 seeking a job without ever having worked anywhere other than a fast-food restaurant or bar.
Also, many Brazilian parents idealise the university experience and, if they can possibly afford it, they try to ensure that their own child can take three or four more years in education without needing to work, but for most it is straight into work at 18, with college in the evening and a degree after four or five years.
Looking at this from the point of view of the industry, it’s better to get young people out to work as soon as possible. As Jacques Depocas, center head at HSBC Global Technology pointed out, he can hire fresh graduates at 23 years old who already have four or five years work experience. Real experience writing real software at a real company in the real world, not ‘work experience’ programs or ‘internships’.
And this is in stark contrast to India where a report from the national hi-tech trade body Nasscom today indicates that only 25% of Indian college graduates are ready to work in the IT industry, and only 15% are ready for back office jobs.
The IT companies in India are collectively spending over $1bn to train graduates just so they are fit to work. Many firms are actively seeking out students who did not study engineering or IT because smart students from other disciplines can be more quickly brought up to speed than an IT graduate who is incapable of working in a team.
Much of the IT industry training effort in Brazil has been focused on the need to improve English language skills across the industry, but thanks to the large amount of students who start work while they are still teenagers, there is no need to train graduates how to work in teams, communicate with peers, or show up to the office on time.
Many Brazilian companies have probably not realised how fortunate they are – in India this is where IT companies need to start with their new graduate employees.
Photo by Shavar Ross licensed under Creative Commons