Thursday, April 19, 2007

University IT depts. woo students with extras; teach "outsource proof" skills

With the rise of IT outsourcing, US universities have been affected by the number of admissions, as students are not keen in majoring in IT and MIS. The Information Systems and Decisions Science Department at the University of South Florida handed out 350 bachelor's and master's degrees earlier, it has now shrunk to 150. In reality, there is still a shortage of IT professionals in the US, with companies such as JPMorgan Chase ready to hire graduates immediately on graduation.

At other schools such as Florida State University, the departments are taking a proactive stance and offering movie nights with technology themes and giving out free popcorn, to keep students happy and teaching them skills that are "outsource-proof".
How many jobs are shifting overseas is a difficult and moving target. Last month, a prominent economist at Princeton University suggested that up to 29 percent of all jobs in the U.S. workforce will be potentially "offshoreable" in the next two decades (using 2004 workforce data). The economist, Alan Blinder, said those jobs may be at risk, but he didn't speculate how many jobs will be sent overseas.

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