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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Brain Drain: The "Perfect Storm" of Unfilled IT Jobs

Just returned from a conference sponsored by the National Center for Telecommunication Technologies (NCTT) held in San Francisco, CA.

The organization is a National Science Foundation (NFS) center that is focused on providing technology education to faculty of community colleges in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). I serve as the external evaluator helping the group to reach its goals by providing formative evaluation information during the life of the grant.

San Francisco, CA. is a lovely place. I took my family and we had a great time (saw all the sites, biked the bridge, went to Alcatraz, ate soup in a bread bowl.)

Meanwhile, back at the conference, what struck me the most was the keynote address by Dr. Peter Joyce of Cisco Systems. His opening address was titled "Trends in ICT Jobs, Salary, and Technological Demand"

Dr Joyce believes that there are forces that will make the demand for ICT workers in the United States critical in the near future and even with outsourcing of some of the IT work, there will still not be enough people to meet the demand.

While most of the media and the popular opinion is that there are no more "high tech" jobs left, that is simply NOT true. More people than ever need to be trained to do more and more technically difficult jobs from programming to helping establish a network in a person's home.

Here are some of the facts:

  • In September 2006, IT employment stood at 3,667,100 up 4.2% from 2005 (an all time high)

  • 79 percent of IT workers work in IT-reliant companies (health care and financial services, industries enabled by IT but not focused on IT)

  • From 2000 to 2004, the number of incoming US undergraduates planning to major in Computer Science dropped by 60%.

  • Estimated 1.5 million new computer and IT related job opening between 2002 and 2012

  • By 2008 the number of young adult workers from 25-40 will decline by 1.7 million that’s 1.7 million less workers to replace the 77 million baby boomers who will be eligible for retirement

  • Countries other than the US are developing their own “Silicon Valleys” and, therefore, will not be available for US companies

Dr Joyce’s conclusion is that there will be intense competition for top talent. Is your organization ready for this Perfect Storm? What are you doing to capture the knowledge of your existing workforce and are you partnering with schools (community colleges, trade schools, universities) to tap into this talent? Because, in the future business growth will be severly limited by the availability of talent. No innovation and no advantage for your organization.

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Padmanaban said...

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Unknown said...

Unemployment is the worst case, but these can be minimized through education to everyone. In India, Government has made compulsory education to the all the children's and i hope in future there are more jobs in mumbai and everyone gets benefited.