Mexico Needs Talent to Become Leading AI HubBy Cas Biekmann | Wed, 12/29/2021 - 15:10
Data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that Latin America will need 225,000 experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) related technology by 2023. Considering Mexico’s development opportunities, the country could become a frontrunner in AI. Still, local talent needs to adapt to meet these new needs.
Mexico’s position in this market is clear, said Hugo Cen, CEO and Founder of the US-based AI Lab School for programming, to Expansión. “We have a dynamic market, a strategic proximity to the US market, a time zone aligned with large technological development centers such as Silicon Valley and a talent pool of more than 12,000 new graduates in information science and technology per year,” he said.
But getting 225,000 experts in a field as specialized as AI is challenging for any country, Mexico included. Even Mexico’s so-called unicorns, a term used for startups valued at over US$1 billion and therefore often an attractive place to work at because of the salaries and development opportunities these companies could offer, struggle to find data scientists and AI specialists. “(There are) six vacancies available at Kavak, one at Bitso, two at Clip, seven at Konfio, zero at Incode, three at Merama and four at Clara. This list contains the number of jobs available in the seven companies considered to be unicorns in Mexico,” wrote Leon Palafox, Director of AI for Grupo Salinas in El Financiero.
Industry experts acknowledged the issue of the growing gap between jobs offered and skills on the market at Mexico Business Forum 2021 ECHO. “Some years ago, between 50 and 54 percent of companies faced issues to attract talent and the number went up to 75 percent, according to ManPower Group. This means that academia, schooling and preparation has failed to cover industry’s demand,” said Lissy Giacoman, CEO & Co-Founder of Vinco.
Experts therefore agree that academia and specialized training therefore should be increased to attract the talent necessary to become an AI giant. “Techcrunch, one of the most important digital magazines for technology and startups, pointed out in a publication that the US should see Mexico as a main provider of talent, a reality that has been on the rise since 2020,” Cen said. Mexico’s position as a talent pool is therefore more or less established. The missing piece of the puzzle, however, remains to be filled.