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Future IT Workers

With so much rhetoric about outsourcing, offshoring, salary increases, and retiring Baby-Boomers I decided to go on a search of who is choosing IT as career field and why others who would be good candidates to join the ranks are not.

The Seattle Times had a conversation with the David Notkin, head of the University of Washington computer science program. Mr. Notkin believes that part of the issue is that after the Internet bubble burst the perception is that there aren’t any jobs. He also states that there is a demand for higher-level jobs.

The article also states that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a rapid growth in jobs and salaries over the next decade.

I had a July 18th article from NewsDay that quoted Bill Gates from his opening day remarks at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. NewsDay must have a paid archive system so here are the quotes without the direct link:

Gates said computer scientists need to do a better job of dispelling that myth and conveying that it's an exciting field.

"How many fields can you get right out of college and define substantial aspects of a product that's going to go out and over 100 million people are going to use it?" Gates said. "We promise people when they come here to do programming ... they're going to have that opportunity, and yet we can't hire as many people as we'd like."

Citing statistics from UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, Klawe said students' interest in computer science fell more than 60 percent from 2000 to 2004, even though salaries have increased and more jobs have opened up.

MSNBC.com has a posting titled “Who are the new computer whizzes?” They cite the same study as the Bill Gates article but take a twist on it. The article focuses on the for-profit school like Strayer University and DeVry Institute of Technology. The article goes on to talk about the demographics of the students including great numbers of women, minorities, and the middle-aged.

So lets get this straight, colleges and universities have lower enrollment in IT and related degrees. Bill Gates and others are saying we need more people to get into the IT career field. Women, minorities, and middle-aged are getting into the career as they see jobs available at a good wage.

Maybe the smart tech folks should get together and create a marketing campaign targeting young people that does not paint IT as “Geek Culture”. Hmmm, but apparently that makes too much sense, too much money, or too much time.

So instead, we outsource it.

Smart tech folks, there’s a play on words…


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