Geeks are an endangered species

The New York Times has a story about how new graduates in tech careers must have a broad range of skills in order to survive in today’s job market. As companies move pure technical jobs offshore, the jobs that remain require more management or people skills. One-dimensional geeks need not apply.

“If you have only technical knowledge, you are vulnerable,” said Thomas W. Malone, [a professor at MIT]. “But if you can combine business or scientific knowledge with technical savvy, there are a lot of opportunities. And it’s a lot harder to move that kind of work offshore.”

Unsurprisingly, given the very obvious off-shoring trend, fewer students are entering computer science these days. Enrollment this year is down by 39% compared to the fall of 2000. And even fewer computer science graduates are actually taking programming jobs.

To help reverse three years of steep decline in the major at M.I.T., professors there met with freshmen last fall to extol the virtues of computer science. “The idea was to give them a sense of what you can do with a computer science degree,” [Prof. John Guttag] recalled. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to turn into Dilbert.”

Actually kids, if you’re in computer science at M.I.T., it’s probably already too late. You might as well give up any hopes of procreating.