Are IT Pros Steering Their Children Away From IT?

As an IT professional, would you advise your son or daughter not to go into a career in computers? According to Colorado State University administrators, IT professionals might be doing just that.

The number of Computer Information Systems (CIS) majors at CSU has dwindled in the past six years, from a high of 525 students in the program in 2000, to 90 students in 2006. Administrators believe the downturn in computer majors might be caused by students of IT professionals choosing not to go into IT, in part because of having experienced the effects of a parent being laid off from an IT job. Whether or not the parent actively discouraged the student from majoring in CIS, the memory of a parent's layoff could have a powerful effect on a student now ready to choose his or her life's work.

Recruiting managers at several major computer companies are concerned about the dwindling numbers of IT students at a time when companies are actively seeking more IT employees. To stop the downturn, CSU is considering offering CIS as a double major with accounting or business, in hopes of attracting more students to the computer field, according to the Coloradoan newspaper, which first printed this story.

True, workers in many fields have experienced cyclical ups and downs in employment in the last ten years, and perhaps it's no surprise that the field of computers, formerly seen as a sure bet for employment, might not be seen as a sure thing anymore. But is that enough for a parent to tell a kid not to major in the same field as the parent? I know what I'd tell my kids about whether or not to choose English as a major and editing as a career. What would you tell your kids about choosing a career in computers?

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