The tech sector in Colombia is booming and drawing interest and capital from around the world. Colombia is a great place for innovation and development since it has a highly skilled labor population, a welcoming administration, and a thriving startup scene. Every city, from vibrant Bogotá to forward-thinking Medellín, cultivates distinct advantages and presents promising prospects for tech firms and professionals alike.

Market Overview:

Market Appeal The large talent pool, cost-effectiveness, time zone overlap, and rising tech ecosystem.
Most Common Roles
  • Back-end developers
  • Full-stack developers
  • Mobile developers
  • QA testers
  • Data analysts
Skill Density Growing, but varies depending on specific skill and experience level.
Cost Advantage Considerable when compared to US pay, however, keep in mind taxes and benefits.
Ease of Hire Because of their similar cultures and time zones, they may be simpler than other nearshore possibilities.
Time Zone Overlap There is some partial overlap between the Eastern Time Zone (EST) and the Central Time Zone (CST).
Working Week
  • Legally, 48 hours maximum
  • Often 40-44 hours standard
  • 10 national holidays
  • Regional holidays may vary according to the city and region
Hiring Methods
  • Online job boards
  • Outsourcing agencies that focus on hiring IT professionals
  • Direct outreach
  • Networking and tech communities
Cultural Compatibility with US Companies There are certain parallels between communication techniques and work ethics, but it’s important to adjust to cultural variances.
English Proficiency
  • Moderate proficiency (542 out of 1000) 
  • May differ by individual and region
Retention Rates Often greater than the world average, yet data varies by business and industry.
Global Brands Hiring
  • IBM
  • HP
  • Oracle
  • Google
  • Rappi and etc.
Talent Market Capacity
  • Expanding quickly, but skill development is still required to keep up with demand.
  • 340,000 population in the tech industry including 120,000 software engineers.
Employee Tax 29%

Colombia Tech Ecosystem:

International Companies with Offices in Colombia:

  • Accenture: Software development, AI, cloud
  • Amazon: Operations, Customer Service
  • Google: Sales, Marketing, Research
  • IBM: Consulting, Cloud Solutions
  • Microsoft: Sales, Marketing, Support
  • Uber: Operations, Engineering
  • Rappi: Delivery Platform, Fintech
  • Siemens: Energy, Industry Solutions
  • Spotify: Sales, Marketing
  • Teleperformance: Customer Service, BPO

Colombian Incubators and Accelerators:

  • Startup Grind: Global Network, Workshops, Events
  • Wayra by Telefónica: Investment, Mentorship, Access to networks
  • Platzi: Online Education Platform, Startup Acceleration
  • Impact Hub Bogotá: Co-Working Space, Community Events, Programs
  • Rocket Bogotá: Seed-Stage Accelerator, Funding, Mentorship
  • INNpulsa Colombia: Government-Backed Programs, Funding, Support
  • Ruta N Medellín:Innovation Center, Networking
  • CaliValle Startup: Regional Support, Networking, Funding

Overview of the Startup Categories and Key Players:

  • Fintech: Rappi, Nubank Colombia, PayU, Finsocial, ADDI
  • E-commerce: Linio, Mercado Libre, Dafiti, Alkosto
  • PropTech: Habi, LaHaus, Aptly,
  • AgTech: Agromostra, Tappsi, Frubana, iAgro
  • HealthTech: Doctoly, Medu, 1Doc3, Clara
  • Other: Sofware development, EdTech, CleanTech, Logistics

For more information, see IT Companies in Colombia: A Complete Overview

Government Initiatives and Programs:

  • Economía Naranja: Encourages tech businesses as well as creative and cultural enterprises.
  • Offers resources, money, and training to start-ups.
  • INNpulsa Colombia: Provides funds and programs to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Ruta N Medellín: Promotes technological advancement and innovation in the area.
  • Invest in Bogota: Encourages foreign capital to pour into the ICT sector of the city.
  • Digital Nomad Visa: Draws foreign tech talent by offering remote employment options.

For more information, see Colombia Tech Report 2021

Investment Trends and Funding Availability:

In 2022, $2.2 billion was invested in Colombia’s ICT sector, a 24% annual growth.

Softbank, Kaszek Ventures, and Tiger Global are a few of the main venture capital firms that are becoming more and more involved in the Colombian market.

Early-stage business funding is also provided by platforms for crowdsourcing and angel investors.

For more information, see The Startup Ecosystem of Colombia

colombia technology

Colombia Tech Infrastructure:

Internet Connectivity and Bandwidth:

Major cities:

  • Bogotá: Average download speeds of 84 Mbps, widespread fiber optic availability.
  • Medellín: Average download speeds of 56 Mbps, increasing fiber optic penetration.
  • Cali: Average download speeds of 48 Mbps, improving fiber optic deployment.
  • Barranquilla: Average download speeds of 45 Mbps, growing fiber optic access.

For reference, visit Speedtest Global Index: Colombia


  • Internet Penetration: 74%
  • Mobile Broadband Coverage: 60% (4G and 5G)

Government initiatives: 

The National Connectivity Plan seeks to increase broadband access, particularly in remote locations.

Reliability and Stability of Power Grids:

  • Investing in renewable energy sources and grid upgrading will improve overall.
  • There are still obstacles to overcome such as periodic blackouts, particularly in rural regions.
  • Improving grid resilience and dependability is the goal of the government’s Energy Transition Plan.

Co-working Spaces and Tech Infrastructure Facilities:

  • Major Cities: There is an increasing number of WeWork, Spaces, and Selina co-working spaces.
  • Innovation Hubs: CaliValle Startup, Ruta N Medellín, and other places providing tech facilities and resources.
  • Governmental Initiatives: Plans to assist in the establishment of innovation hubs and co-working spaces.


Colombia’s tech infrastructure is thriving, attracting international investors and tech companies. Major cities like Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla have high internet connectivity and fiber optic availability. The National Connectivity Plan aims to expand broadband access, particularly in rural areas. Investments in grid modernization and renewable energy sources have improved power grid reliability and stability. Co-working spaces and innovation hubs like Ruta N Medellín and CaliValle Startup are also growing. However, challenges like rural connectivity and power grid stability require further development. The government and private sector are collaborating to address these issues. For more information, read The World Bank In Colombia

Tech Talent Market Capacity:

Meeting Demands:

  • Number of IT Professionals: Over 150,000 people work in IT, and the number is growing at a rate of 6% each year.
  • Education: Over the last ten years, the number of tech graduates from universities has doubled.
  • Technical training: To increase the pool of potential, 28% of Colombian students receive technical training.

For more information, see Software Development in Colombia

Specialized Talent:

  • Focus: Strong presence in front-end, back-end, and mobile development.
  • Emerging Expertise: Growing talent in AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity.
  • Bootcamps and Upskilling Programs: Addressing specific skill gaps in niche areas.

Scalability and Future Growth:

  • Young Population: There is a large talent pool because 55% of the population is working age.
  • Governmental Initiatives: Plans to draw in foreign talent and advance STEM education.
  • Expanding Startup Ecosystem: Promoting creativity and generating new employment prospects.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Competition: Local availability may be impacted by the worldwide demand for tech talent.
  • Gaps in Skills: There may not be as much specialized ability in fields like cloud computing and AI.
  • English Proficiency: While still developing, language abilities may be a hindrance in certain situations.


Colombia’s tech talent market is growing rapidly, with over 150,000 IT professionals and a 6% annual growth rate. For more information, visit World Population Dashboard: Colombia. The country’s universities have doubled in tech graduates in the past decade, and 28% of Colombian students undergo technical training. The market is focusing on front-end, back-end, and mobile development, with emerging expertise in AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity. However, challenges include global demand, skill gaps in niche areas, and limited English proficiency. Despite these challenges, Colombia’s tech talent market presents a promising future.

Colombia Leave Policies:

Types of Leave:

Vacation Leave:

  • Legal Requirement: Following a year of service, a minimum of 15 paid working days.
  • Additional Accrual: Individual contracts may allow for the negotiation of up to 12 additional days.
  • Payment: Based on the employee’s most recent salary.
  • Minimum Use: Each year, at least 6 days must be used.
  • Accrual: Remaining days can be accumulated for a maximum of 2 years.

Sick Leave:

  • Legal Requirement: The Colombian social security system covers the remaining days with the first two days paid at ? salary.
  • Duration: No legislative time restriction, although employers are not liable for any time after the social security coverage period ends.
  • Documentation: For prolonged absence, a doctor’s certificate is required.

Maternity Leave:

  • Legal Requirement: 18 weeks of fully-compensated time.
  • Extension: An extra 8 weeks without pay.
  • Paternity Leave: 8 days of paid time.
  • Payment: Paid by the Social Security system of Colombia.
  • Job Protection: Upon return, the employee’s position is guaranteed.

Other Types of Leave:

  • Bereavement Leave: 5 days
  • Marriage: 3 days
  • Study Leave: Negotiable according to the contract

Tip: The specifics of leave policy can change depending on collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts. However, employers must display/share their leave policies with the employees.


Colombia offers a generous leave policy, balancing work and personal time. Key benefits include vacation leave, sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, and other types of leave. The policy covers a minimum of 15 paid days after 1 year with additional days covered by social security. Other types include bereavement, marriage, and study. However, it is compulsory to consult official sources for the latest updates since policies tend to very based on individual contracts and agreements.

For more information, see Colombia Employment Law

Holiday Schedule in Colombia 2024:

National Holidays:

  • January. 1: New Year’s Day
  • January. 6: Epiphany
  • March 19: St. Joseph’s Day
  • March 28: Holy Thursday 
  • March 29: Good Friday 
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • May 13: Ascension of the Lord
  • June 3: Corpus Christi 
  • June 10: Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul
  • July 20: Independence Day
  • August 7: Battle of Boyacá
  • August 15: Assumption of Mary
  • October 12: Columbus Day
  • November 1: All Saints’ Day
  • November 11: Independence of Cartagena
  • December. 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December. 25: Christmas

Regional Holidays:

Caribbean cities celebrate various holidays such as Carnival, Flowers Festival, Cali Fair, Black & White Carnival, and Holy Week Processions.

Information regarding regional holidays can be found on the government’s websites, local media, and chambers of commerce. 

It is crucial to consider regional holidays as they can lead to business closures, reduced workforce availability, supply chain disruptions, and cultural sensitivities.

Impact on Business Operations and Business Hours:

All government offices and the majority of businesses are closed on national holidays.

The holiday schedules of banks and other financial institutions are usually the same.

On certain holidays, there can be restrictions or disruptions to public transit.

Hospitals and airports, for example, continue to operate during modified hours.

On the day before significant holidays like Christmas and New Year’s, a lot of companies close early.

When employees labor on official holidays, employers are obligated to pay them double their compensation.


Colombia’s 2024 holiday schedule includes 18 national and regional holidays, affecting business operations and daily life. Key holidays include New Year’s, Easter, Labor Day, Independence Day, and Christmas. Regional holidays vary by location and may cause business closures, transportation disruptions, and cultural events.

Common Benefits:

Standard Benefits:

  • Mandatory Social Security Contributions: Companies are required to pay into Social Security, Medicare, and employee pensions and disability insurance.
  • Health Insurance: Workers have a choice between subsidized (funded by the government) and contributory (funded by both the employer and the employee).
  • Paid Leave: Paid leave includes maternity and paternity leave, 15 days of vacation time, variable-duration sick leave, and other approved absences.
  • Minimum Wage: Subject to annual revisions and varies by sector and area. 

Additional Benefits:

  • Transportation Allowances: To help defray the cost of commuting, particularly for staff members who work outside of urban areas. 
  • Meal Vouchers: To reduce food costs and promote employees’ well-being. 
  • Life Insurance: Certain companies offer life insurance to give their beneficiaries financial stability.
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Remote work, hybrid models, and flexible work hours are becoming more and more popular.
  • Gym Memberships: Encouraging the well-being and health of workers.
  • Educational Assistance: Support for professional growth or reimbursement of tuition. 

For more information, see Employee Benefits in Colombia

Factors Affecting Benefits: 

  • Industry and Company Size: Generally speaking, larger businesses and some industries have more extensive benefit packages.
  • Regional Variations: Depending on the area and cost of living, benefits may change.
  • Individual Contracts: Work contracts may allow for the negotiation of particular advantages. 


Colombia offers a mix of mandatory and optional employee benefits, reflecting its evolving labor market and cultural priorities. Standard benefits include mandatory Social Security contributions, health insurance, paid leave, minimum wage, transportation allowances, meal vouchers, life insurance, flexible work arrangements, gym memberships, and educational assistance. Factors influencing benefits include company size and industry, regional variations, and individual contracts. Benefits may vary depending on location and cost of living and may include tuition reimbursements or support for professional development.

colombia talent

Colombia Talent Hubs:


  • Cost of Living: The moderate cost of living is greater than in other Colombian cities.
  • Quality of Life: Life quality includes access to nature, a wide range of cultural activities, and a well-developed infrastructure. 
  • Tech Community: The largest and most varied IT community, featuring a wide variety of foreign businesses, events, and co-working spaces. For more information, visit Startup Grind in Bogota and Invest in Bogota.
  • Transportation: Transportation options include a vast bus network, the TransMilenio rapid transit system, and an expanding bike network. 
  • Tech Scene: Growing in e-commerce, FinTech, and software development, with increasing proficiency in data science and artificial intelligence.


  • Cost of Living: Generally inexpensive, lower than in Bogotá.
  • Quality of Life: Distinguished by its creative energy, beautiful weather, and outdoor pursuits.
  • Tech Community: Dynamic startup sector, Ruta N Medellin Innovation Center, strong emphasis on innovation.
  • Transportation: Integrated public transportation network; metro system.
  • Tech Scene: Software development, FinTech, AgTech, and a growing AI and health tech presence are the main areas of focus.


  • Cost of Living: Cheaper than Bogotá and Medellín, this city is appealing to those on a tight budget. 
  • Quality of Life: Life quality includes a pleasant temperature, a thriving salsa scene, and cultural attractions. 
  • Tech Community: Expanding network, CaliValle Startup project, and tech community gatherings.
  • Transportation: Infrastructure improvement and the MÍO bus rapid transit system are related to transportation. 
  • Tech Scene: Diverse, with e-commerce, software development, and logistics as its main areas of strength.

Tip: Barranquilla is an emerging tech hub for expanding business opportunities, focusing on the Caribbean and Carnaval celebrations.


Colombia’s tech talent hubs are diverse and attracting investment. Bogotá is the largest and most diverse hub, offering a moderate cost of living, diverse cultural offerings, good infrastructure, and access to nature. The tech community is strong in FinTech, software development, e-commerce, and AI. Medellín is lower than Bogotá and generally affordable, known for its innovative spirit, pleasant climate, and outdoor activities. The tech scene is focused on software development, FinTech, and AgTech, with an emerging AI and health tech presence. Cali is lower than Bogotá and Medellín, offering a warm climate, vibrant salsa scene, and cultural attractions. Emerging hubs include Barranquilla, which focuses on Caribbean business opportunities and Carnaval celebrations. Read An inside look at Colombia’s hottest cities for engineering talent for more information.

Payment Methods:

Standard Payment Methods and Currencies:

Currency: Colombian Peso (COP).

Most Frequent Methods:

  • Payroll: Bank transfers (ACH), sometimes cash depending on company size and location.
  • Freelance Contracts: Bank transfers, online payment platforms (PayU, PayPal).
  • International transactions: Often involve USD or EUR alongside COP.

Tech-Specific Platforms: The adoption of specialized platforms like Deel for international payments is growing.

For more information, see Banco de la República.

Tax Implications and Deductions:

  • Income Tax: progressive system with different rates according to income bracket.
  • Social Security Contributions: Required deducted for healthcare, disability insurance, and pensions.
  • Tech Deductions: Deductions for the tech business are limited and may be used for home office expenses or professional development courses.

For more information, see Dian (Colombian Tax Authority).

Common Payroll Practices and Frequency:

  • Frequency: Usually every two weeks or every month.
  • Pay Slips: mandated by law, containing information on net pay, deductions, and gross salary.
  • Tax Withholding: Employers are in charge of deducting social security and income taxes.
  • Digital Platforms: For efficiency, payroll software, and online systems are being used more and more.


The IT sector in Colombia is distinguished by a wide range of payment processes and techniques that are impacted by legal requirements as well as cultural preferences. The currency utilized is the Colombian Peso (COP), and the most popular ways to pay are through online payment processors like PayU and PayPal, freelance contracts, and bank transfers. In addition to COP, USD or EUR are frequently used in international transactions. The number of Deel specimens for international payments is increasing. A progressive system that required deductions for healthcare, disability insurance, and pensions, and fewer alternatives for home office expenses or professional development courses are just a few of the tax ramifications. While the IT sector may provide attractive benefit packages and competitive salaries, businesses and employees alike must be aware of payment options, tax ramifications, and payroll procedures.

Talent Acquisition

Recruitment Channels and Platforms:

  • Online Job Portals: LinkedIn, La República, Cloud Devs, Soy Colombia
  • Recruitment Agencies: Especialistas Temporales, Adecco, DNA Human Capital.

Professional networking:

  • Attend tech events and conferences such as Campus Party, Medellín Innovation Week.
  • Engage with professional groups such as ColombiaDev, ASCOLDE.
  • Make use of the networks of alumni from colleges with reputable IT departments.

Hiring Practices and Interview Processes:

The process involves initial screening, technical interviews, cultural fit interviews, and salary negotiation, evaluating skills, experience, and market data to determine the best candidate.

Visa Requirements and Work Permit Procedures:

  • Permits and visas are needed for foreign workers.
  • There are two types of visas: permanent (PEP-VC visa) and temporary (TP-4 visa).
  • The kind of visa and the employee’s nationality determine the process’ complexity. Plan since it may take several months to complete.


  • Localization is essential. Demonstrate cultural awareness, modify communication style, and translate job descriptions.
  • Emphasize the advantages of competition. Talent is attracted by benefits like flexible work schedules and possibilities for professional growth.
  • Make use of bilingual recruiters via effective communication that makes the process easier for both sides.


Colombia’s tech scene offers numerous opportunities for talent acquisition. To navigate the talent acquisition landscape, companies should understand local practices and channels, such as online job boards, recruitment agencies, professional networking, and hiring practices. Interview processes include initial screening, technical interviews, cultural fit interviews, and salary negotiation. To attract top tech talent, companies should consider localization, highlight competitive benefits, and use bilingual recruiters. Staying updated on industry trends and legal requirements is crucial for a successful recruitment journey. By understanding these aspects, companies can effectively attract top tech talent to their teams in Colombia.

For more information, see Your Guide to IT Services in Colombia

Work Culture:

Hierarchy and Decision-Making:

Structures that are hierarchical and have distinct power structures are typical. However, the landscape is changing as startups and younger generations embrace collaborative decision-making and flatter organizational structures. Senior management is frequently the focal point of decision-making, however, team member input is becoming more and more important.

Communication Styles:

  • Direct Communication: Rarer, particularly when dealing with superiors. The best method to express criticism or feedback is to use indirect and kind wording.
  • Nonverbal Cues: Use body language and tone to your advantage when communicating. Storytelling and humor are used to establish connection and lighten the mood.

Work-Life Balance and Overtime:

  • Strong family values: Workers cherish their time and typically leave the office on schedule.
  • Overtime: Overtime is not typical, however, it is expected in specific businesses or at busy times.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Flexible work schedules are becoming more popular, particularly in the startup and IT industries.


  • Use titles and formal language at first, then progressively establish a rapport.
  • Have patience as making decisions could take longer than anticipated.
  • It’s important to establish personal ties and trust.
  • Recognize that the work atmosphere may move more slowly than in certain cultures, therefore modify your expectations.


Colombia’s work culture combines Latin American warmth with a growing professional focus. Hierarchical structures are common, with clear lines of authority. Younger generations and startups embrace flatter structures and collaborative decision-making. Decision-making is centralized around senior management, but consultation with team members is increasingly valued. Communication styles include direct, indirect, non-verbal cues, humor, and storytelling. Work-life balance is prioritized, with employees leaving work on time. Overtime is expected in some industries, but flexible work arrangements are becoming more common. To integrate effectively, respect communication, be patient, value relationships, and adapt to the pace.

Employment Termination:

Termination Types and Notice Periods:

Termination for Reasonable Cause: 

Employer gives explanations that the law considers appropriate (e.g., misconduct, performance concerns). Written notification is obligatory, but no prior notice is needed.

Termination Without Cause: Requires advance notice times as follows:

  • Contracts with a set duration require 30 days’ notice to expire.
  • Contracts with no termination date: Less than a year: a 30-day warning.
  • 1 to 5 years: 45 days’ notice.
  • Over 5 years: 60 days’ notice.

For more information, see Holiday Compliance Guide: Colombia

Severance Packages and Compensation:

Termination Without Cause: If an employee is fired without good reason, they are entitled to severance pay that is determined by their income and length of service.

1 year: 45 days’ pay.

After 1 year: an extra 30 days of service per year.

Maximum of 180 days’ pay.

Termination With Reasonable Cause: Severance pay is not legally required unless specifically stated in individual contracts.

Additional Compensation: There may be outstanding salaries, accumulated vacation time, and social security contributions to pay.

Dispute Resolution and Labor Laws:

Before filing a lawsuit, conciliation is a required effort to come to a resolution.

If workers are unhappy with the resolution of conciliation, they may bring a lawsuit at labor courts. Most of the time, workers are given the benefit of the doubt.

Seek legal advice: In certain cases, the complexity and potential variations make it necessary to consult a lawyer.


Colombian employment termination laws involve specific requirements and regulations. Termination types include just cause terminations, which require written notification, and termination without just cause terminations, which require prior notice periods. Employees are entitled to severance pay calculated based on salary and length of service, with a maximum of 180 days’ pay. Other compensations may include accrued vacation days, unpaid wages, and social security contributions. Dispute resolution involves conciliation, labor courts, and strong worker protections. Legal advice is essential for specific situations, as individual employment contracts may supersede some legal requirements. Staying informed about labor laws and seeking professional legal guidance is crucial for ensuring compliance and minimizing risks in complex situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Colombian tech hubs are the most important, and what are their advantages?

Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla are tech clusters with diverse focus areas, including e-commerce, AI, FinTech, software development, and outdoor activities. These cities offer excellent infrastructure, a thriving cultural scene, and attractive entrepreneurship opportunities.

2. How much do tech workers in Colombia make in terms of pay and benefits?

Pay is competitive, typically lower than in the West, with standard benefits including minimum salary, health insurance, paid time off, and social security contributions, varying based on business size and location.

3. What are standard payment procedures and tax ramifications for Colombian IT companies?

The Colombian Peso (COP) is the currency, with common payment methods including online stores and bank transfers. Tech-specific platforms like Deel are popular for international payments. Individual income tax rates vary.

4. How can international businesses find tech talent in Colombia?

Utilize recruitment firms, networking events, and internet marketplaces to find jobs. Emphasize cultural sensitivity, localize job descriptions, offer competitive advantages, use bilingual recruiters, and understand complex work permit and visa processes.

5. What is the culture of the work like in tech companies in Colombia?

Hierarchical arrangements are declining, with a growing trend towards collaborative decision-making. Communication is less direct, emphasizing work-life balance. Flexible work arrangements are increasing, especially in IT and startups. Establishing personal connections is crucial.

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