The New Tech Outsourcing Leaders: Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania?

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Brainbench Opens up Testing for the Bench Games: Global Knowledge Testing Program Finds High Concentration of Technical Skills in Eastern Europe

An international competition to complete online employment skills certifications has revealed astonishing breadth and diversity in the world’s workforce. The contest currently underway until April 4th, was developed and conducted by Brainbench, the global leader in online skills and employment assessments, to assess job skills and knowledge on a global scale. Dubbed the “Bench Games,” the competition has exceeded all expectations in the first week, with more than 100,000 testing certifications spanning more than 150 countries – from Moldova to the Marshall Islands. They have also shown some surprising results that challenge commonly-held views about concentrations of the world’s technical talent pools:

• Eastern European nations such as Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria, and Belarus lead Western countries such as the U.K., Australia, Germany, and France in total certifications.

• As a percentage of total population, Latvia, Estonia, and Bulgaria lead the world (along with some extremely small nations such as San Marino and American Samoa.) Traditionally tech-savvy nations such as Singapore, Israel, and Sweden score farther down the list.

• Within the U.S., Virginia, Delaware, and Vermont rank highest as a percentage of total population. Oklahoma and Kansas make the top 10, while California, and New York don’t rank in the top half.

• Top-ranking nations include those with Slavic, Arabic, and Turkic majority languages, but very few Asian countries other than English-influenced India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

• As in 2003 and 2004, the United States, India, and the Russian Federation still lead the list in total certifications, while California and Texas are the largest overall within the U.S.

The tests are conducted in English, which according to Brainbench’s President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Russiello creates both limitations and insights. “Much of Eastern Asia – most obviously China – is missing from this picture. Of course that’s partly a test bias due to the English limitation, but many non-English-speaking countries still show up in very high numbers,” said Russiello.

“We’re used to hearing in the press about technology skills being outsourced and concentrated in Asia, primarily India,” continued Russiello. “But considering how relevant English is to things like programming languages, the strong results across nearly all of Eastern Europe are fascinating. Looking at the numbers makes you rethink some of the usual assumptions about the global workforce skills pool. And within the US, it makes you wonder if states with large non-English-speaking populations may eventually be left behind as centers of advanced skills labor sources.”

The contest was created using Brainbench’s core technologies for online job skill testing and certification. For two weeks, participants worldwide can take online tests of their skills, knowledge, and aptitude in over 400 areas covering a range of Information Technology specialties as well as areas of Finance, Health, Administration, Call Center, Written and Verbal Skills, and General Business Applications. During the contest period, the tests are available free of charge to anyone registering with Brainbench, including their 6 million existing users. Approximately 100,000 tests have been completed in the first week.

Daily Leader Board results are posted on the Brainbench website (http://www.brainbench.com) showing overall country stats, percentage of population comparisons and soon the individual leaders. Brainbench is planning to release an updated Global Workforce Skills report and analysis of the Bench Games in June 2005. They expect a total of approximately 500,000 test results, including those conducted in 2004. “With five times the sample size,” said Russiello, “we’re really looking forward to what we can learn when we get all the data. One of the findings is sure to be a new perspective on the outsourcing debate.”

About Brainbench

With more than 6 million registered users and more than 600 different assessments, Brainbench is the global leader in measuring the individual skills, abilities and personality traits that drive a company's bottom-line success. Brainbench helps clients test, track, and improve their employees' vital job characteristics, using the industry’s largest ISO 9001-2000 library of tests. Their online assessment solutions improve hiring, retention, training success, customer satisfaction, and profitability for organizations such as Wells Fargo, Key Bank, TEKsystems, Department of Homeland Security, EDS, H&R Block, IBM, Interwoven, Manpower, Qwest, TAC Worldwide, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), NASA, and Verizon. Strategic Investors include Manpower and Thomson Corporation. For more information visit http://www.brainbench.com.

Direct web address for the Bench Games Leader Board:

http://www.brainbench.com//xml/bb/landing/offer/promotion.xml?contentId=2313,

Contacts:

Donna Lehman                    

Mike Littman

MarketUP for Brainbench                

Brainbench

510-525-1474                        

703-674-3332

dlehman@market-up.com                 

mike.littman@brainbench.com

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Donna Lehman
MARKETUP
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