IT Education in Australia Going Forward

I just received an invitation to link with Clemens Szyperski at LinkedIn. Clemens used to be an A/Prof at QUT and, like myself, was one of the academic researchers with the DSTC. As a software architect Clemens joined the Component Applications project at Microsoft Research the week after I started my 3-month visit to the same project in March 1999. Clemens is currently working on component fundamentals in the Office team.

From the employer side Clemens is interested like me in the generation of IT graduates. In our brief exchange of messages it was sad to read his typically astute thoughts on this topic:

Finding CS/IT students is a widespread problem in western countries; it is an incredible shame. There is job creation and creation potential to no end ? and the work will eventually mostly end up going to those countries that continue to educate heaps of good engineers, like India and China. At the same time, Australia?s potential to provide tertiary education as a service to those same countries might go down as the same countries keep building up their own university muscle. (That?s not unique to Australia ? I?d predict a comparable hit on European, Canadian, and US offerings.)

This would seem to me to point to an increasingly uphill battle to attract overseas students to study IT in Australia. Thus our best hope is to educate domestic IT graduates.

Clemens is never downcast and he finished his message with a typical:

Oh well ? let?s think positively! 🙂

As an aside I have been noticing a marked increase in activity for my LinkedIn account over the last couple of months. I heard on a recent podcast that over 40% of business professionals are now part of this commercially-oriented social network.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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