IT workforce trends: Implications for curriculum and hiring

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A panel on workforce trends in the information technology industry was held at the AMCIS meeting in Toronto, Canada, in August 2008. Panelists discussed a continuing research project about the current state of the IT workforce and future trends, sponsored by the Society for Information Management (SIM). The initial phase was a study of workforce trends in IT client companies, completed in 2006. Results from phase one revealed a shift in the mission of the information system function from delivering technology-based solutions to managing the process of delivering solutions. Client-facing capabilities were found to be critical to this mission as well as business and project-management capabilities Phase two examined workforce trends in IT provider companies. Results indicate that provider firms are also seeking client-facing capabilities, project management and business domain knowledge over technical capabilities. Panelists compared the results of the two phases and the implications for curriculum design, hiring, and training practices. The results of this research underline a looming crisis in several areas: 1) graduates who are not trained in areas that the marketplace is seeking; 2) thin pipeline for specific technical skills; 3) increasing pressure to source IT capability; and 4) lag in university responsiveness to the needs of the marketplace.

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Communications of the Association for Information Systems

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