Philip DesAutels who works with major universities in the Boston area has long had his finger on the pulse of the local, national and international Information Technology workforce needs. At his blog he writes about what he sees as the needs for the workforce in the near future. He sees the need for a lot of serious computer science professionals but he also sees that the base level of computer skills in the wider work force is moving up. And yet I hear from some high school teachers that today’s students often seem to know less about using computers for productive work than students of a few years ago. That worries me.
Somewhat related to Philip’s post was an article in Eweek that reports that salaries and job satisfaction among IT people working with Microsoft technologies is on the raise. Only a small percentage of these IT workers are seeing their jobs being impacted by outsourcing. Clearly, despite what the naysayers are saying, IT jobs are not going away. They continue to be a good way to earn a good living and have a job with a lot of job satisfaction. These are messages we need to communicate to parents, guidance counselors and of course our students. If we fail to get that message across we may one day, all too soon, find ourselves with a serious shortage of the sort of technical people that a modern society really needs.