ACM study on outsourcing IT jobs

The ACM released a new study last week on the effects of outsourcing on the IT industry. They conclude that rumors of the death of computer science in the US are greatly exagerated. Study Plays Down Export of Computer Jobs

Dire predictions of job losses from shifting high-technology work to low-wage nations with strong education systems, like India and China, were greatly exaggerated. […] The study group found that the most likely prognosis for the United States would be that 2 percent to 3 percent of the jobs in information technology would go offshore annually over the next decade or so.

But more jobs will be created than are lost in the future, they said, as long as the industry in America moves up the economic ladder to do higher-value work — typically, applying information technology to other fields, like biology and business.

However, it will be hard to counter the belief among high school students that computer science is a dead-end field. This year, only 1.3% of students are planning to enter CS, down from 3.3% in 2000.

“The perception among high school students and their parents is that the game is over — that all computing jobs are going overseas,” [observed Prof. David Patterson, of UC, Berkeley]. “It’s an extraordinarily widely held misperception.”

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