Where Have All The IT Jobs Gone? There, There, and Right Here

Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 7:00pm
Moshe Y. Vardi, Rice University

Computer science and technology have been incredibly successful. We have created the technology that drove data and voice communication costs almost to zero, with the Web providing information to anyone, anywhere, anytime. We have driven hardware costs down to the point that inexpensive computing technology is widely available also in developing countries. We have developed standardized curricula, and made educational material widely and freely available. We have agreed on a variety of software interoperability standards, such as MDA, UML, CWM, CORBA, OMA, and others. At the same time, globalization in the last 15 years have been charging ahead, with billions of people joining the free-market world and over 100 countries joining the World Trade Organization. The result is a world in which not only goods are globally tradable, but labor is also globally tradable; no need to move workers, when labor can be sent over a wire. The software market has globalizing at a torrid pace. The issue of IT offshore outsourcing has received significant attention recently. The impression one gets from the media is that IT jobs are simply moving away from developed countries. Indeed, the growth of the IT industry in India over the last five years has been nothing less than explosive. There is no doubt that prospective CS students are aware of the offshore-outsourcing phenomenon. Some argue that this phenomenon is partly responsible to the continuing drop in computer science enrollments in developed countries. In 2004, ACM has established the Job Migration Task Force to study offshore outsourcing and assess its implications. I will describe the findings of the study and its conclusions, the most dramatic of which is that IT in the US is booming!

Lecturer Biography: 

Moshe Y. Vardi is the George Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Computer and Information Technology Institute at Rice University. He chaired the Computer Science Department at Rice University from January 1994 till June 2002. Prior to joining Rice in 1993, he was at the IBM Almaden Research Center, where he managed the Mathematics and Related Computer Science Department. His research interests include database systems, computational-complexity theory, multi-agent systems, and design specification and verification. Vardi received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1981. He is the author and co-author of over 300 technical papers, as well as a book titled "Reasoning about Knowledge", and the editor of several collections. Vardi is the recipient of three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, a co-winner of the 2000 Goedel Prize, and a co-winner of the 2005 ACM Paris Kanellakis Award for Theory and Practice. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Saarland, Germany, and the University of Orleans, France. Vardi is an editor of several international journals and the president of the International Federation of Computational Logicians. He is Guggenheim Fellow, as well as a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He was designated Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information, and was elected as a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the European Academy of Sciences. He recently co-chaired the ACM Task Force on Job Migration.