Computer Science Skills Shortage

Business Day had a brief article where Peter Waker, national Computer Olympiad manager claims that university computer science departments are not getting enough students to satisfy the industry’s needs. The Computer Olympiad is a national competition to grow programming skills among high school pupils. Peter does not give any figures to substantiate his claim.

Personally as a software developer, I am encoruaged by his comment, as this means at least in some parts the IT industry is still growing. I am however concerned that this will not last very long, with the global economy teetering on a recession, and possibly a depression.

My personal experience is that demand has definitely come down in the past 12 months. Before then I would easily get a few requests every month from people asking whether I know any developers with some experience. Let’s hope the IT industry proves its resilience during the coming trying times, and that that perceived supply-demand mismatch is in fact a reality and gives us enough of a buffer to sustain us through the downturn.

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