The number of new undergraduate majors in U.S. computer science programs has fallen 28 percent since 2000. One reason, say those in the field, is that technology jobs appear less lucrative than they did during the dot-com boom. When the tech bubble burst, the promise of fast money evaporated.
Offshoring, always an option for companies, could become a necessity.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) , Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and other high-tech corporations have come under fire in recent years for shifting jobs overseas. They say it helps them cut costs and be closer to customers in growing markets such as India and China.
Soon, they might have a more urgent reason. U.S. universities are producing fewer graduates in computer science, the foundation of many technology jobs. It's an alarming trend to some in the industry, one that they say could force companies to look offshore to meet demand.
"Especially if the quality goes down, companies will feel they're better off going to other countries," said Pankaj K. Agarwal, chairman of the computer science department at Duke University . "We cannot afford that."
The number of new undergraduate majors in U.S. computer science programs has fallen 28 percent since 2000, reports the Computing Research Association, a group of more than 200 North American computer science, computer engineering and related academic departments.