The Evolving Global Talent Pool Lessons from the BRICS Countries

In 2005, The Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce of the State University of New York, launched a research
project to study the dynamics of global scientific and technical talent.

Through the efforts of a global team of researchers, each with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the role of talent in driving economic growth, technological development, and innovation, the project has completed a series of comparative studies of talent pools in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Singapore (BRICS for short).

The team is especially grateful to the IBM Corporation for its vision and its assistance in supporting this very important and often complex
collaborative initiative.

When examined as a whole, the data and analysis contained in this project has surfaced the following conclusions and recommendations. 1 Talent has become a increasingly key strategic asset for both nations and corporations. BRICS countries are at the forefront of expanded investments in education that are designed to increase the supply and improve the quality of high-end technical talent.

More specifically, driven by the growing imperatives of innovation and competitiveness as well as sustainability concerns, each of these
countries has come to the realization that possession of significant human resources in science and technology (HRST) is both a national
economic priority and technological necessity.

In the meantime, driven by a similar combination of strategic business needs, including the requirements for greater innovative capabilities, corporations around the world are seeking to identify and harness “brainpower” across the globe as they seek to deepen and expand their knowledge creation assets.

While factors such as cost remain important drivers underlying the globalization of corporate activity, access to talent has become the new mantra for companies whose competitive success increasingly depends on the sustained creation and commercialization of new products and services.

2 While overall HRST figures suggest a relative fit between the supply and demand of talent, real-life circumstances suggest otherwise. Indeed, a talent shortage exists in the BRICS countries despite significant national efforts to increase the output of educational institutions in terms of science and engineering graduates.

As the data in the five studies suggests, the prevailing mismatches between supply and demand are likely to become more severe within the next ten years.

In essence, the talent shortage is largely manifested in a shortage of qualified talent. Many of the HRST are not adequately educated for the
jobs that are available; at the same time, many of those with degrees in science and engineering are not employable in the areas of their training.