This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 10/12/2018

From education technology for school-age children to professional training for adults, U.S.-supplied education and training represent a best prospect industry sector in Mexico.



Mexico is the ninth largest country of origin for students studying in the United States. In 2017, 16,835 Mexican students were enrolled in U.S. schools, mostly undergraduate programs, contributing USD 617 million to the U.S. economy. In general, Mexican students choose to study in the United States due to the strong ties and proximity between the countries. The prestige of the American higher education system is also a determining factor.

Mexican Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities 2016/2017 Academic Year

Academic Level Number of Students from Mexico
Other / Non-Degree1867
Optional Practical Training1466

Source: IIE Open Doors 2017

Mexico has taken a leading role in international education, fostering student mobility and academic exchanges with institutions abroad, to become more competitive in the international market. A great example of a bilateral education initiative is the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESII), launched in 2014, to expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help both countries develop a 21st century workforce for mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development. Through FOBESII, the U.S. and Mexican Governments have brought together the public and private sectors, as well as the education community, to promote educational and research cooperation with U.S. institutions, as well as improving access to quality post-secondary education to underserved demographic groups in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Among the Forum’s main achievements are the signing of more than 115 collaboration agreements between higher education institutions in Mexico and the United States, as well as joint projects and programs in innovation and research implemented by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Given FOBESII’s focus on workforce development, opportunities for community colleges and boarding schools are also rising, especially among Mexican students who are looking for educational opportunities at a younger age or are interested in two- year programs. Mexico’s community college equivalent, its Universidades Tecnológicas system, features several bilingual technical universities that are particularly interested in exchange opportunities given that the classes are taught in English.

Workforce and professional training are also provided by employers. With an eye to global competitiveness, employers and economic development organizations are interested in training opportunities for the Mexican workforce. Employers in Mexico seek training to improve their business processes, reduce costs, improve the effectiveness of their workforce, innovate, and strengthen their relationship with clients. Customized training in IT technologies, quality control, management, and language programs are in high demand. In addition to traditional training methods, Mexico is investing in technology and opening the market for on-line or blended courses.

Finally, as part of the Mexican education model, technology plays a key role in providing learning tools to students and enables students to have a more interactive experience in class and at home. Although there are many areas for improvement, the Mexican Government, through the Secretariat of Education and private educational institutions, is investing in equipment and technology solutions such as software, applications, and digital content in English to improve the education experience at all levels.


Leading Sub-Sectors

As indicated in the overview section, there are three key sub-sectors in the education sector. Due to the lack of consistent and sufficiently detailed data sources, it is difficult to provide statistical information that clarifies the size of these sectors.

  • Academic-related training in the United States is the largest sub-sector and can be split into Undergraduate, Graduate, Other (which represents non-degree programs such as certificates), and Optional Practical Training. The Open Doors data do not include Mexicans studying in U.S. programs at the elementary or secondary school level. Mexican enrollment in U.S. elementary schools is insignificant, but there is a niche for Mexican enrollment in high school level boarding/private schools.
  • Education and training services in Mexico are a significant and growing sub-sector open to U.S. educational providers. This can include partnerships with educational institutions, training programs through employers, and development of independent training centers.
  • Education supplies and technologies is a third important area that includes software, online learning, classroom or field education tools, and distance learning services.


Given the expanse of the sector, it can be difficult to focus on top opportunities, but the U.S. Commercial Service Mexico is happy to assist you in exploring market opportunities for education and training. Here are six key opportunities and some tips for pursuing them.

  • ESL programs for students, both short-term and potentially longer courses of study to address Mexico’s critical shortage of English-language teachers
  • Student recruitment for undergraduate and graduate programs for STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math), aeronautical sciences, business administration, environment/energy, agriculture, and design
  • Collaborative programs for technical/vocational programs in engineering and technology
  • Dual-degree programs and collaborative programs in international business and management, engineering, environmental technology, and aerospace at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Corporate training programs in management, as well as executive-level language proficiency programs
  • Technology applied to K12 education, including applications, software, and digital content

To pursue these opportunities, we highly recommend traveling to Mexico and participating in recruitment fairs. You should visit schools to promote educational opportunities as well as to build relationship with education organizations and Mexican grant institutions. Also, secondary markets offer opportunities to recruit students—smaller geographic regions in Mexico are growing where students are seeking quality education programs abroad.

Successful U.S. training companies have partnered with Mexican institutions/universities to develop continuing education programs. However, training companies need to be flexible and sensitive to the specific characteristics of the Mexican market. The demand is for tailor-made programs conducted in Spanish. Technology companies are encouraged to work with a partner in country.

Web Resources

Mexican Secretariat of
National Association of Universities and Higher Learning
U.S. Embassy education and English programs
COMEXUS–Fulbright-García Robles
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)
Consortium for North American Higher Education
Peace Corps in
100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation


Recruiting Events

  • U.S.–Mexico Academic Mobility Fair. This recruiting fair organized by Education USA and the U.S. Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange (COMEXUS) takes place on an irregular schedule at various locations around Mexico. You can find this and related events at the Education USA website at
  • Mexico College Fair Tour 2018, October 4–13, 2018, visiting the Mexican cities of Chihuahua, Torreón, Tampico, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Monterrey, and Mexico City.
  • EduExpos Mexico City 2018, October 6–7, 2018, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Linden Educational Services Boarding Tours, various times and locations in the Mexico cities of Cancún, Querétaro, and Mexico City

Education Technology Fairs


For more information on the education and training sector in Mexico, please contact:

Martha Sanchez

Commercial Specialist, Education and Training

U.S. Commercial Service - Mexico City

Tel: +52 55 5080 2000 ext. 5225



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Mexico Education Trade Development and Promotion