The information systems academic discipline has faced a sharp reduction in student enrollments as the job market for undergraduate students has softened. This essay 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, the role that global outsourcing is playing on the employment opportunities, both in the United States and Europe, is examined. This analysis concludes that the demand for information systems graduates within the United States has likely bottomed out and slow growth is now occurring. Within 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 have negatively impacted the U.S. job market for information systems graduates over the past few years. After examining the future macro job opportunities for information systems graduates, the paper then 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 essay 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.
George, Joey; Valacich, Joseph; and Valor, Josep, "Does Information Systems Still Matter? Lessons for a Maturing Discipline" (2004). ICIS 2004 Proceedings. 82.