The Myth of Outsourcing


"Is there any future in computer programming? Aren’t all those jobs overseas now?" I smiled as an earnest young mother asked us this question at a recent convention. I’ve heard this question many times over the last few years and my answer is always a resounding "No!" Despite what most people believe, outsourcing has not killed the computer job market. Oh sure, some companies use overseas help in different areas, but a great many computer programming jobs are still around locally. It’s simply too difficult for most companies to manage the complex process of software creation over long distances.

As a long-time software engineer, I have observed a lack of quality candidates first-hand. Jobs often go unfilled for long periods of time because we simply can’t interview enough people who qualify. I get calls every month from recruiters who still have my 15-year old resume in their database from the last time I was looking for a job. Anecdotes aside, the statistics show that roughly 50% of all software outsourcing projects are failures, and those that do succeed offer only modest 25% cost savings. That’s a huge risk for minimal return!

In these uncertain economic times, one of the booming job sectors is the computer industry! Where other companies are laying off, downsizing and shrinking salaries, computer jobs have seen steady growth and salary increases. Is this trend expected to continue? You bet! Just take a look at some of the statistics:

  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that one of the fastest growing occupations over the next 10 years is Software Development, with a projected 30% growth in the job market.
  • The US Dept of Commerce projects that nearly 3 out of 4 new science and engineering jobs in the US will be in computing.
  • The unemployment rate for software developers is between 4 and 5%, and even less in some specialties!

I should note here that simple computer literacy in word-processing and spreadsheet programs or even CAD-design will not qualify you for one of these computer jobs! These jobs require knowledge about computer science, information systems, and/or software programming.

Not only are jobs plentiful in the computer industry, but the salaries for these jobs are beating the current averages by a wide margin. A newly graduated Computer Science degree-holder can expect to early about $20,000 more annually than the average non-CS degree holder.

We live in the digital age, and computers are here to stay. If your student is thinking about a career in computing, they'll have a world of opportunities waiting for them.