A U.S. brain drain?

A drop in engineering degrees combined with a fall-off in foreign students matriculating at U.S. colleges spells big trouble ahead.

Hate to give one and all a case of post-Thanksgiving indigestion but you have reason for stomach upset.

Computerworld: "Educators and IT industry executives are warning that a crisis is looming in the IT job market. Only this time, it's not that there are too many job hunters seeking too few positions. To the contrary, they say that the U.S. isn't producing IT experts in the quantity and quality that it needs to remain the leader of the global IT market."

Also, read the insightful op-ed column by Harvard's Joseph Nye in this morning's New York Times. Nye's point is that the U.S. is digging itself into a hole by not doing more to attract quality foreign students. "Two-thirds of the 25 universities with the most foreign students reported major enrollment declines." That's bad news in bells for the IT industry -- especially when you factor in the sharp decline in the number of American students receiving degrees in science and engineering.

I don't consider myself an alarmist but the writing on the wall is quite clear: If current trends continue, U.S. businesses will turn increasingly to outsourcing not just because they want to but because they'll have no alternative. Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that's where the money was. U.S. companies will outsource overseas because that's where the technical talent lives.

 

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