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Tech Companies Look to Mexico, Bootcamps Follow

Sydney Johnson - EdSurge
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September 29, 2017
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Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM)

It’s not uncommon for U.S. companies to plant roots in Mexico, where lower wages and loose regulations have allured manufacturers for years. Last year the Washington Post reported on the tech boom south of the border, with major global companies like IBM, Oracle and Intel setting up shop in Guadalajara, also known as country’s “Digital Creative City.”

Where technology jobs go, tech training seems to follow. In the U.S., the growth of the coding bootcamp industry - which numbers 95 course providers - was largely driven to fill openings at tech companies. As these opportunities emerge in Mexico, at least one U.S. company that provides skills-based training programs has followed path. Trilogy Education, a startup that partners with universities to help set up intensive coding bootcamps, is partnering with the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Mexico to create a full-time tech training program on the campus.

“We looked at regions across the world and we see companies are continuing to struggle to find employees from a digital literacy perspective,” says Dan Sommer, CEO of Trilogy. “We are expanding to regions where we think [skills] gaps exist and are creating a pain for organizations.”

Manolo Diaz, founder of Yogome, a Mexican startup that makes educational games, knows that feeling well. Diaz studied computer science at ITESM, but felt unequipped with the right skills he needed to land a programming job after graduating in 2001. He claims he taught himself the necessary programming skills through online tutorials and working in the field.

Now, nearly 15 years later and running his own edtech company, Diaz believes the issue persists. The computer science curriculum at many Mexican institutions including his alma mater “is outdated,” he charges. “We hire engineers from Tech Monterrey… but the some of the skills are still not there,” he tells EdSurge.

Diaz is optimistic about bootcamps coming to town, and thinks others will follow. “The demand for engineers in Mexico is really tight,” he says. “I’m struggling to find engineers for my own company.”

Tech hubs in Mexican cities are young but growing. In Guadalajara alone, at least $120 million has been invested into more than 300 startups, mostly from U.S. investors, according to the Washington Post story. And much of the investment began pouring in after 2011.

Read the rest at EdSurge


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