You’ve heard this story before. When the dot-com bubble burst, young people thought jobs were scarce, so they stopped pursuing IT careers. After rising between 1998 and 2004, the number of IT bachelor’s and master’s degrees fell sharply.
But is this story of scarce jobs true? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 688,000 new IT jobs were created between 1999 and 2008, an increase of 26%. And between 2008 and 2018, network systems and data communications analysts—a category in the computer specialist occupational group—is projected to be thesecond-fastest-growing occupation in the economy. Each new generation of technology requires more expertise for technological upgrades and the development of new applications. Although the current recession may temper projected growth, demand for new technology won't let up.
It is true that more IT jobs are going offshore to places like India and Eastern Europe–134,000 in the first decade of the 21st century. But there is also a caveat: Many of these are routine programming jobs, which aren’t the best-paid or most stimulating IT jobs.
Moral of story: as our economy becomes increasingly dependent on IT, the number of jobs will probably grow. Be sure to share this moral with every young person you know.