IT sector creates majority of jobs in Brazil

The sector generated 16 percent of all jobs that require a degree in the last three years — but lack of skilled professionals persists.

The information technology (IT) sector is responsible for the largest slice of the jobs market for degree holders in Brazil, according to research.

A study released today (July 3) by the Applied Economics Research Institute (Ipea) in Brazil suggests that out of the 304,300 positions created in the last three years, 48,700 jobs were IT related.

Nursing was the second career on the list, representing 9 percent of all highly skilled jobs created, followed by PR, advertising, pharmaceutical, and secretarial positions.

Brazilian association of IT companies Brasscom hopes that information technology and communications firms will account for 6.5 percent of Brazil's GDP — in that projected scenario, about 750,000 new professionals will be needed, according to the trade body.

But those skilled IT professionals are hard to come by. According to the Brazilian Agency for Promotion and Export of Software (Softex), there was a shortage of about 75,000 skilled technology professionals in 2010, and that deficit is expected to reach 200,000 in 2013.

In the meantime, foreigners are seizing this current window of opportunity. In 2012, Brazil granted 73,000 work visas to highly skilled migrants, a 13 percent increase on 2009 numbers. The key areas targeted by foreign professionals are technology, engineering, oil and gas, civil construction, and infrastructure.