Columbia Computer Science

Monday, February 14, 2005

"Forum to Address Low Enrollments in IT College Programs"

"IT World Canada (02/11/05); Pickett, Patricia The organizers of last November's National Information Technology Human Resources Forum (NITHRF) plan to hold a follow-up forum in May so that educational and industry players can reach a consensus on why enrollment in IT college and university programs has been falling, and what this trend's ramifications are. The first NITHRF led to the organization of the IT Affinity Group, a collection of deans and IT directors from various Canadian institutions whose objective was to convene and talk about shared problems. IT Affinity Group Chairman Morris Uremovich, dean of Algonquin College's School of Advanced Technology, said that falling IT enrollment often forces colleges to disband programs and produce fewer graduates, which makes ramping up IT graduate turnout to meet increased demands from business and industry all the more difficult. He reported that new IT program graduates, especially those with hardware and networking skills, have favorable job prospects, while the market is less favorable toward software development graduates. Algonquin has experienced its steepest decline in software development enrollments, and Uremovich thinks that concerns about offshore outsourcing may play a part; however, analyst John O'Grady believes perceptions of a weak IT labor market are a more likely culprit. The NITHRF organizers issued a press release warning that failure to raise IT college enrollment levels could lead to a labor shortage in the next decade as baby boomers retire, though O'Grady countered that "the IT workforce is generally younger than the workforce as a whole so the demographic factors are not going to have an impact on IT like they will on the other segments of the labor force." In fact, he said the IT labor market, particularly the computer hardware sector, is starting to bounce back."


  • ACM Queue has a recent article on the IT job market:

    It says:
    "Consulting firm Gartner Group projects that 25% of all U.S. IT jobs will move overseas by 2010, up from 5% today; the programmer-specific percentage should be even higher than that, since technician and system administrator jobs need constant physical presence and thus can't be offshored."

    Both offshoring and labor importation through H-1Bs are behind the sickly IT job market in the U.S.


    By Blogger Tony, at 1:59 PM  

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