Is the software industry heating up?

Repeatedly, in the recent past, I’ve heard people claim that the IT sector was heating up and that there was much demand for new graduates. Is this true?

What is happening in the schools:

Michael Stiber reports that the number of students who began a Computer Science degree in the USA, went down by 50% between 2000 and 2005. Notice that in 2004, I reported a drop by 28%. Many people, back then, assumed that this catastrophic number meant we were due for a swing of the pendulum. Clearly either we are going to get a swing of the pendulum later, or it will not happen. Physics went through a terrible enrollment drop in the seventies, and they are still waiting for the pendulum to swing back! Add to this that China, and Asian in general, may not keep on sending their students to North America for much longer, and you get that North American schools are up for a bumpy road.

What is happening on the job market:

I lack recent data unfortunately. The Time Herald-Record reports that for 2005 Computer Science graduates, the salaries were down by 2%. Recall that they went up by about 2% in 2004. Sounds to me like there is nothing to get excited about. If you have any interesting anecdotes to share, please use my “comment” section!

Daniel Lemire, "Is the software industry heating up?," in Daniel Lemire's blog, April 1, 2006.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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