Colombian Brain Drain

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The brain drain or human capital flight of Colombia goes especially to U.S.A and Spain, according to a report published by El Tiempo and based in some researches conducted by the National Bank of Colombia (Banco de la República) and the Organization for the Cooperation and Economic Development. However, the Colombian trained and talented individuals (referred by others as “human capital”), do not practice their own skill in the host countries and they are found very often as taxi drivers and other jobs far from their talents.

According with William Mejía, a resercher of the Alma Mater Foundation of the Colombian Coffee Axe, only a few number of Colombian professionals abroad are working in what is their skill. For David Khoudour-Castéres, editor of an investigation in Spanish, “In search of the new Dorado, analysis of the Colombian migration phenomenon“, with those doctors who abandon their country to work as taxi drivers abroad, the lost is for both nations, the one they let behind and the one they settle.

In a report of Lina Cardona and Carlos Medina for the National Bank of Colombia, the skill of those Colombians who left the country in the 1990´s was superior to the rest of the Colombian population at the time. Most of them where very young people meaning that they let Colombia in their most productive moment.

The studies show also that the Colombian professionals who are more bound to migrate are those of the health areas to U.S.A and Canada and designers to Spain. Other area of Colombian brain drain are enginery and technology, key areas in the development of a nation. The third group is made by social scientists.

Khoudour-Castéras said that this situation is worrying for a country like Colombia where superior education is not yet considerable. Moreover, in a number of ten “brains” that move abroad, only one or two return.

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