Putting Tuition Money Where Your Mouth Is - InformationWeek
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6/20/2006
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Putting Tuition Money Where Your Mouth Is

Teenagers never listen to their parents, right? But when it comes to not pursuing tech careers, kids seem to be tuning in. I've been hearing a lot lately from IT pros who say they're telling their own kids not to go into technology careers. That's the same advice many nontechie parents have been giving their kids since the dot-com bust. With so many companies purportedly offshoring, outsourcing, and hiring

Teenagers never listen to their parents, right? But when it comes to not pursuing tech careers, kids seem to be tuning in.

I've been hearing a lot lately from IT pros who say they're telling their own kids not to go into technology careers. That's the same advice many nontechie parents have been giving their kids since the dot-com bust.

With so many companies purportedly offshoring, outsourcing, and hiring cheap H-1B workers, that $40,000 (give or take a couple of zeros) in tuition money may as well be flushed down the toilet, they say. Why drain college savings or saddle kids with a zillion dollars in student loan debt to pursue a career with no job security and a very bleak future, they say.Indeed, many U.S. colleges and universities have been reporting steep, double-digit declines in enrollment of computer science and related majors since the early 2000s. At the same time, some employers--including large tech vendors--are forecasting a tech talent shortage in the U.S. because of the dropping enrollment and impending wave of retiring boomers.

So if employers are so sure there will be jobs out there for future U.S. techies, how about putting some innovative juice into new programs that wave a carrot--and maybe even a paycheck--at these kids? How about ponying up some funding for new grants or scholarships to help the Next Gen--and their parents--feel less anxious about gambling with tuition money? How about a job offer in exchange for straight A's, and even a couple of B's?

What are you telling your kids about tech jobs? Better yet, what should employers be telling your kids?

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