Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The information systems academic discipline faced a sharp reduction in student enrollments as the job market for undergraduate students softened. This article examines the recent and rapid rise and fall of university student enrollments in information systems programs and describes how these enrollment fluctuations are tied to the job opportunities of graduates. Specifically, we examine the role that global outsourcing is playing on the employment opportunities, both in the United States and Europe. This analysis concludes that the demand for information systems graduates in the United States likely bottomed out and slow growth is now occurring. In Europe, general conclusions are limited, but it appears that global outsourcing is playing much less a role in Europe than in the United States. Nevertheless, although global outsourcing is indeed a factor influencing the U.S. employment picture, it is only one of several factors that impacted the U.S. job market for information systems graduates negatively over the past few years. After examining the future job opportunities for information systems graduates from a macro viewpoint, the paper provides recommendations for improving student recruiting to the information systems major, for attracting potential employers of graduates, and for managing the production of Ph.D. graduates to match the flow of undergraduate demand. The article concludes that, although shaken, the information systems academic discipline is strong and will continue to strengthen as it moves into a state of maturity and relative equilibrium.