The agriculture sector requires technology and loses professionals to other segments

Credit: TV.Síntese

The agriculture sector is a huge demand for technology and there is a challenge in Brazil to increase connectivity in this field. Mariana Rolim, CEO of Brasscom, emphasizes that only by advancing in preparing industry-focused professionals will this goal be achieved. For this, it is necessary to increase the number of people taking courses focused on the field of technology.

Currently, only 53 thousand students graduate annually in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), while the demand is 159 thousand specialists. The Brasscom CEO points out that it’s important to have strategies in place to increase that number. It is expected that in the future and after implementing some of the proposals formulated by the authority, the number of graduates will reach 237 thousand, exceeding the demand of 159 thousand annually.

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For the country to achieve this goal, it will be necessary to develop a strategy. Brascom analyzed several curricula of various university courses to check whether these courses offer topics related to information technology. According to the presentation of subjects, scores were given for each course, which ranged from 0 to 5, with 5 being the course most closely approximated to technology training.

“Our suggestion is that the session that does not present all these topics should start by merging them,” he said.

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Mariana noted that technology courses have the highest dropout rate. The percentage of students who did not complete the course was 33%, followed by science with 28.3%. Engineering 28.1% and Mathematics 24%. “We are able to benefit from the strategy precisely because of the weighted average dropout rate for all of these courses. So we have reached a rate of 28.8% which is lower than the technology rate. Thus, we are scaling up our strategy,” added Mariana.

Regarding ethnic diversity, Mariana reports that there are 167,000 students in technology courses, only 14.8% of whom are women. She points out that there is still a stigma to break, which is that women can’t get into technology. Another rate that should be improved, according to Mariana, is the rate for people with disabilities, who take science and technology courses. Today, there are only 1,350 students in technology with disabilities, the largest number of them with physical disabilities with approximately 33% of students, followed by other disabilities such as hearing, visual, etc. Among people with disabilities, women represent 3.6% and men 86.4%.

Brascom also identified that the greatest demand for technology professionals is mobile web developers. But for this training, the workload is between 500 and 800 hours, which ends up being high and thus high dropout rates.
Another point made by Brascom is that the dropout is related to the social and economic hardships of the population. In addition to the shortcomings of the curricula in technical subjects, in addition to the absence of subjects that focus on social and emotional skills.

Based on these data, the entity created a program for accelerating technological training, which aims to train professionals in this sector. The director asserts that the project’s ambition is to train 157,000 students in web development in 4 years. “We know technology changes all the time, but we can solve this problem by making adjustments to the curriculum. This curriculum contains 264 hours of topics, including the technical part that focuses on algorithms and programming, as well as majors that focus on social skills. and emotional with an integrative project.”

According to Brasscom, a pilot project was launched last year and results are already starting to show, with a low dropout rate. 100 students were trained and the dropout rate was 17%. Now, “Brasscom is doing the analysis to see if it needs to adjust the curriculum, as well as analyzing how students are developing in companies.” The next step for Brascom is to find resources so that this project can be massive.

Regarding the curriculum’s shortcomings, Brascom has already published reference curricula for the IT field, in social and emotional skills, and in the second semester it will publish on communication and technology. According to the director, the agriculture sector has undergone technological reforms in recent years with the use of sensors and drones, and all this has resulted in the generation of a large volume of data that needs to be constantly processed and analyzed. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new professionals who know the technology in the agriculture sector.

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