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We're Showing You the Money. Isn't that Enough?

Computer science grads are making more money than they have in a while thanks to the dearth of computer science graduates and the hearty IT market. You'd think it would get easier for IT managers to fill their departments, right?
Computer science grads are making more money than they have in a while thanks to the dearth of computer science graduates and the hearty IT market. You'd think it would get easier for IT managers to fill their departments, right?Not so fast.

It's true that computer science graduates are getting higher offers. According to the National Association of College and Employers' Fall 2007 quarterly report, "Computer science grads' average salary offer is up by 4.5 percent to $53,051. The increase for information sciences and systems graduates is even greater (5.9 percent), resulting in an average offer of $49,966."

Last time I checked, that's good money for a kid coming out of college. Unfortunately for IT managers, as I noted in a previous blog, fewer of those college kids are interested in IT at all.

Now that the IT field is once again showing them the money, will that change? Probably not if the flip side of this trend -- namely the layoffs of more senior IT professionals to pay for fresh new talent -- continues.

As the Chronicle of Higher Education noted: "But as companies pay more for new workers, and struggle to compete in a crowded marketplace, midcareer workers with larger salaries become a tempting target for budget-cutters."

The Chronicle points to a Computerworld report on "major staff cuts at Intel and Sun Microsystems, and pressures for staff reductions elsewhere."

I wouldn't want to enter a field that treats its elder statesmen like yesterday's garbage. The very first commenter on the Chronicle article says it all: "Just tell your children to major in something else. IT is not a viable long term career anymore. If you aren't replaced by someone younger and cheaper, you will be replaced by someone offshore (and cheaper)."

The future of the IT industry lays not only in wooing young talent but also in preserving the old guard. They might cost a little more but their experience and wisdom is usually worth it, and it demonstrates to the next generation how they can expect to be treated.