Zuckerberg’s metaverse finally has a real impact after numerous announcements without anything tangible behind it, and it fully affects Spain. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has chosen our country to open various facilities aimed at developing this digital universe, a project for which it has announced that it will create around 2,000 new jobs distributed, mainly, between Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha, the latter location where it will build its new and enormous data center for southern Europe.
Meta has explained that these contracts will be carried out in the next five years, as the facilities to which they will be linked become available. Thus, those of Zuckerberg, in addition to building the Talavera de la Reina data center, are going to double the size of their offices in Madrid, they are going to open an innovation laboratory in the capital (Meta Lab) and they are going to lay new cables transoceanic
In the statement in which it has reported on all these projects, Meta emphasizes that it has chosen Spain because “it is at the forefront of European technology” and has two strong technology centers in Madrid and Barcelona and two other smaller ones but in strong development in Valencia and Andalusia. In addition, it also underlines that investment in startups in the sector “that solve all kinds of problems” does not stop growing.
An opinion that, according to the facts, seems to be shared by other large technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google or IBM, companies that have also chosen Spain as the headquarters for important projects and facilities that will require abundant labor. What will make the war of talent that is currently being experienced in the sector in our country inevitably intensify.
Senior talent is already scarce
The commitment of the big technology companies to Spain is good news for the country’s economy, but it will delve into a problem that is already shaking the technology sector in our country: the lack of labor, especially senior profiles. As we already have in Xataka, in recent years small and medium-sized companies in the industry have faced increasing difficulties in recruiting highly qualified and experienced employeesand the arrival of these multinational megaprojects is going to deepen that wound.
To the hiring announced by Meta, about 2,000 in five years, are added those that Amazon has planned in the next ten years to work in its new AWS region of Aragón, about 1,300 according to Expansión. The rest of the technological multinationals have not offered figures, but the magnitude and importance of the projects they are developing show that the number of new employees that they are going to need in Spain will be high.
Without having started with the bulk of the contracts for its three data centers in Aragón, Amazon is already one of the main talent magnets in the technology sector in Spain. During 2021, it hired some 350 engineers, and currently has more than 300 job offers open for IT professionals. Meta, for its part, only has 51 vacancies in our country at the moment.
A difficult problem to solve
Thus, the opening of new job opportunities in multinationals with enormous economic resources will deepen the problem that Spanish companies face in finding senior and even junior talent, especially small and medium-sized companies.
A setback that is difficult to solve in the short and medium term, among other things, because in our country not enough highly-skilled computer scientists are being trained enough to meet a demand for professionals that has grown exponentially. And it is that, as we already have in Xataka, in Spain the places available to study the different branches of computer science at the university have hardly increased in the last decade, remaining at a figure close to 10,000 per year. Despite the fact that these careers have had almost 100% employability for a long time.
The sources consulted by Xataka explain that the number of places have not been expanded due to lack of resources: neither the central government nor the autonomous communities allocate enough money to provide new computer rooms, laboratories and hire more teachers. And without all this, expanding the number of students on the degree seems impossible.
It remains to be seen if the digitization and transformation plans that the Government is developing with European funds provide a solution to this deficiency.
Image | Bryan Angelo
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism