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How to save the IT industry in 4 (not so easy) steps

Stephanie Overby | Feb. 14, 2012
If government leaders really want to save U.S. IT jobs, here's what they should do.

"We also need some strong federal and state guidelines which encourage public school systems to provide significant computer literacy programs similar to math, science, and language arts," adds Strichman.

Government could also play matchmaker for public-private partnerships to groom the next generation of IT talent. Or it could direct mid-career workers in other dying industries to the profession, "creating programs that retrain the unemployed and under-employed for IT related jobs," said Mary Beth Kush, senior director of Acumen Solutions, which recently invested in a development center in Cleveland.

And then there's an idea that, thankfully, is already on the table -- making college more affordable. "Other countries don't require a 30-year mortgage to get a degree in computer science," said Strichman, suggesting that the federal government should tie federal funding to restrictions on the cost of an IT-related degree. "Will flooding the market with low-cost computer science majors be the best plan? I don't know," he said. "But it is better than flooding the market with the world's most expensive IT personnel."



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