An article by Stephanie Overby for CIO presented two scenarios for the future of IT in 2010. These scenarios asserted that U.S. IT staffing levels would not reach prerecession highs (even with the exclusion of offshore outsourcing), IT workers “[would] not be replaced by counterparts in emerging economies.” In addition, there will be a decline in the demand for American IT professional with the emergence of task automation and increased productivity.
Work that would be dispatched overseas include: application development, legacy maintenance, and call center operations. Generally, any IT facet that is repetitive and moving towards automation would be overseas work while “work…that requires close contact with the business [such as] strategy development, business process improvement, and the actual application of IT to the business,” will remain in the U.S. According to a Forrester estimation, the number of IT jobs will be approximately 17 times more than it was in 2000 (25,171 in 2000 to 472,632 in 2015).
Overby states that “higher-level IT positions that remain stateside will require new skills.” As a result it will be necessary for more broad business education in U.S. IT degree programs, and there must be a conscious support from the government and corporate sectors for IT research and development in order for the U.S. to remain a world leader in IT. The article also predicts that the future of individuals in the IT staff will need to be a “good technologist, protector of technology, [and] also a savvy businessperson.” It also asserts that future IT applicants “will have to position themselves differently,” and instead of thinking in terms of local competition, they will have to compete globally.
In addition, “putting a greater focus on R&D and continuing to recruit the best and the brightest into IT are crucial to maintaining our competitive edge as a nation.” This aids helping to maintain the number of IT professionals for the significant purpose of innovation.
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