Mexico: Top Destination for Engineers?

Over the years, Mexico has had its fair share of negative headlines due to drug trafficking, violence and more recently because of the recent elections. Mexico is painted as a dangerous country that should be avoided. Unfortunately, this outdated, negative view is one that many Americans, as well as others around the world, still hold on to despite the fact that it doesn’t come close to matching the reality. Don’t believe me? Keep reading and I’ll see if I can change your mind.           

It may be surprising to many that when it comes to producing talent in engineering, manufacturing and construction, Mexico ranks as the 8th highest in the world. When interviewed in June, former president Bill Clinton weighed in on the issue, “All we read about is the violence and the drug war,” said President Clinton. “The truth is that the previous president built 140 tuition-free universities. Two years ago, the Mexicans produced 113,000 engineers. We produced 120,000. They’ve had very brisk growth.” This growth that the former president mentions doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon either. From 2005 to 2012, the percentage of students graduating with degrees in engineering increased from 15.5% to 21.3% and is still continuing to grow steadily.

But what about their educational system? Some people who are not familiar with the Mexican educational system may be uneasy hiring recent graduates for fear that their education doesn’t match the standards of the US. But those people need not fear. Tec de Monterrey, which is regarded as one of the top producers of engineers has become well-known throughout the entire world for producing talent. The school has 30 campuses across 25 different cities nationally and has now partnered with Heinz College of US-based Carnegie Mellon University to offer joint master degrees in several different areas.  

Still not enough to convince you? Guadalajara is so dedicated to turning out quality engineers, programmers, and developers that they have started implementing programs in middle schools that connect students with tech companies who want to learn more about CSS, Java and other programming languages.

The tech industry is so strong now that Guadalajara has been dubbed “The Silicon Valley of Mexico” and it’s easy to see why. Since 2014, nearly $120 million dollars have been invested in about 300 different startup companies with much of the funding coming from venture capitalists in the US. Between government subsidies and affordable talent in the area, many major multinational corporations such as IBM, Oracle, Intel, HP and Dell have already jumped on the bandwagon and have satellite offices in Guadalajara.

In case you need one more little push to be convinced, think about culture and location. The cultural differences between Mexico and the US are far less than between the US and countries like India or China. Due to Mexico’s proximity to the States, shipments coming from Mexico can be delivered anywhere in the states within a day or two. Time zones are another major bonus. Guadalajara is only one hour behind the east coast and two hours ahead of the west coast. Meaning no more middle of the night phone calls with teams in India.

And in case you think this is just another blog post from someone sitting in their office in the US, I have lived in Guadalajara for a year and Mexico for the better part of the last three years, along with my SIG colleague, Hailey Corr who has lived in Mexico for seven years.  We have seen firsthand the generosity, brilliance and dedication of this next generation of talent. So the next time you’re considering outsourcing talent, don’t forget to think about Mexico and all that it has to offer. Hasta luego. 

Brittany Miller, Marketing Analyst, SIG

Brittany Miller is a marketing analyst for SIG and the LatAm Alliance, with an emphasis in building online communities and supporting education in the U.S. and Mexico, where she currently resides. Brittany has taught middle and high school biology, chemistry and health sciences. As a type 1 diabetic, she has always been interested in science, cause and effect and the intersection of medical science and technology. She translates that passion into blogging about millennial issues, human health issues and the disruptive technologies that affect both. Brittany has a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University in California.