5 Biggest Tech Talent Hubs In The World
- The rise of global talent hotspots over the past years means that entrepreneurs can recruit engineers from any of the top IT hubs of the world, namely India, Poland, Mexico, Ukraine and Canada.
- Instead of outsourcing work as has been the trend in the past, the status quo for companies is to now to set up distributed teams in a talent-rich location allowing them to take advantage of the breadth and width of tech talent available.
- India is a prime hotspot for companies in pursuit of sustainable and successful digital transformation thanks to a large English-speaking tech talent pool. Setting up a team in India helps companies achieve higher productivity at considerably lower costs, and reduced time to market, and enjoy flexibility in staffing, while attracting a wider pool of domain experts.
- Poland is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Europe thanks to a number of factors, such as having a 5K+ technology start-up talent pool, a strong business infrastructure as well as a helpful 'Start in Poland' program.
- Mexico is known as one of the biggest tech hubs in the world as it produces an extremely high number of engineering graduates every year, and its government is extremely supportive of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.
- A vast technology talent pool, vibrant start-up ecosystem, and strong education system conspire to make Ukraine one of the world's top hubs for tech talent.
- Interest in Canada's talent has certainly increased over the past few years, especially in Toronto. It is North America's fastest-growing technology market and benefits from an abundance of university engineering talent, a diversity of talent thanks to Canada's immigration friendly policies, and a government that nurtures innovation.
With the competition for tech talent as fierce as ever, and a shortage of qualified technology workers expected to become more acute in coming years, entrepreneurs need to step up their game to hire the best talent for their companies. For many startups trying to keep up with the competition, this means thinking outside Silicon Valley.
The rise of global talent hubs over the past years now means that entrepreneurs can recruit engineers from any of the top IT hubs of the world, namely India, Poland, Mexico, Ukraine and Canada, and set up a distributed team. Instead of the usual travails of outsourcing, with distributed teams, leaders of high-growth firms will be able to leverage tech talent to quicken product launch and innovation timelines.
In assessing the attractiveness of each location, entrepreneurs should consider the breadth and width of tech talent available, cultural accessibility of candidates, the availability of supportive ecosystems, and other relevant factors such as time zone differences. To help, here's a quick primer on 5 of the biggest tech talent hubs in the world:
Ripe in technology and talent, India is the prime hotspot for companies both big and small, in pursuit of sustainable and successful digital transformation. Indeed, its long standing reputation as one of the top IT hubs of the world is why companies such as GoJek, among several others, have already set up distributed teams in India.They have been able to achieve higher productivity at considerably lower costs, reduced time to market, and benefitting from flexibility in staffing, while attracting a wider pool of domain experts.
Tier 1 Indian cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad are among the top choices for starting or expanding technology operations in Asia. Bengaluru, for instance, has the largest tech talent pool in India; there are more than two million people working in the tech sector alone. And with top educational institutes for technology such as the renowned IISC and IIIT in Bengaluru, there's no shortage of skilled talent at scale available. Further, thanks to its cosmopolitan culture, growth-oriented and supportive government, as well as strong infrastructure, Bengaluru has fostered one of the most conducive environments for companies looking to scale quickly.
Poland is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Europe thanks to a number of factors. A report by Zinnov states that it is "home to [a] 5K+ technology start-up talent pool". The country has the highest presence of software and technology, and mechanical engineering talent in the region. And its strong educational system, focusing on core math, science, and engineering knowledge, points to the steady availability of talent in the future.
Poland also offers companies looking to set up in the country a strong business infrastructure thanks to a broad range of research and development services, and close to 37 tech parks alone. And lastly, the 'Start in Poland' program makes it extremely easy for entrepreneurs to set up distributed teams in the county.
As a result of these factors, Poland has seen a steady rise in the number of companies setting up shop in the country. Global giants like Microsoft, ABB, Samsung Electronics, Nokia, and Credit Suisse, have been quick to set up distributed teams here. And tech behemoth Google has built its own campus in Warsaw – with good reason. Poland's capital has the largest talent pool in the city but Krakow is also a major talent hub thanks to its proximity to the country's best tech universities.
Goldman Sachs predicted that Mexico – the third-largest country in Latin America – would become the world's fifth-biggest economy by 2050. That the country is well on its way to achieving this should be no surprise. After all, Mexico is at the epicentre of Latin America's technological revolution, receiving up to a quarter of all venture capital funds since 2017.
Two factors have contributed to Mexico's development as one of the biggest tech hubs in the world. First, the country has more engineering graduates than even the United States – Mexico has 16 technological institutes and 12 universities with over 8000 tech and engineering students graduating every year. Companies like Arkency and Automattic amongst others have already set up distributed teams here to leverage the burgeoning talent.
And second, the Mexican government has facilitated one of the most conducive environments for startups to flourish. Since 2014, it has allotted close to $658M to over 620,000 entrepreneurs to create an enticing environment for technology and innovation. In fact, according to data by INADEM, 6000 companies and 73,000 jobs have been created just as a result of these efforts.
A vast technology talent pool, vibrant start-up ecosystem, and strong education system conspire to make Ukraine one of the world's top hubs for tech talent, and an attractive destination for fast-growth firms to set up centers.
Consider this. Ukraine has over 185,000 IT professionals, with over 36,000 graduating on a yearly basis in its tech talent pool. About 57% of graduates have a degree in a STEM field and its developers have an average developer score across all HackerRank challenges of 88.7%. An advantage, in comparison to China or Bangladesh, is that Ukranian engineers are fluent in English, and share Western culture and values.
Additionally, the country boasts over 1500 software development companies alone, with over 2000 up and coming startups, several R&D centres and best of all – an active community of tech and innovation enthusiasts who regularly conduct tech workshops and events.
Interest in Canada's talent has certainly increased over the past few years; the country has seen an influx of global corporations, including Amazon and Microsoft, setting up tech workspaces in the country. Plus, the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor supports over 5,200 startups and over 15,000 tech companies, officially making it the second largest technology cluster in Northern America. And a recent Envoy Global Immigration Trends Report found that American employers are set to continue this trend; 51% of employers surveyed said they were considering Canada for their company's expansion, with 21% revealing they already have at least one office there.
Toronto in particular has been one of the major drivers for the lift in interest and investment in Canada. According to a study by CBRE Group, a U.S.-based commercial real estate and investment firm, Toronto is North America's fastest-growing technology market, and has created more new jobs than San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC combined. Global giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, are among the tech companies setting up hubs or expanding operations in Toronto.
Toronto benefits from an abundance of university engineering talent, a diversity of talent thanks to Canada's immigration friendly policies, and a system that nurtures innovation such as the intriguingly named Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) at the University of Toronto, which helps science-based startups to scale. The latter in particular has led to a lot of technologies in AI and machine learning, which has increased Canada's profile.
Canada's other cities offer plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurs as well. According to CBRE’s 2019 Scoring Tech Talent – a comprehensive analysis of labour market conditions, cost and quality for highly-skilled tech workers – Toronto is ranked first, followed by Ottawa, then Vancouver. Tile, the bluetooth enabled location tracking device, recently announced it would open its first office outside of San Mateo in Vancouver.
While it’s almost instinctual for entrepreneurs looking to scale their business to look towards Silicon Valley, other talent-rich countries have emerged as worthy competitors. Thanks to large and young populations of engineering talent, graduate talent pipelines, government policies and supportive infrastructure, India, Poland, Mexico, Ukraine, and Canada are among the top global tech hubs in the world today. For companies set on working with top engineering talent, setting up a dispersed workforce in one of these countries is the only way forward.
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