Skills Shortage and Blogging–Chat with Kelly Gotlieb, Computing Pioneer, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

This is the next interview in the continuing conversation series with Kelly Gotlieb.
In a recent dialogue with me, Kelly shared these thoughts: “There is no doubt that there is a current shortage of persons with computer and communication skills. Further, if action is not taken, the shortages will become more acute.

A recent report of the US Bureau of labor Statistics states that in spite of off-shoring there are more IT jobs available today than at the height of the boom.

Yet in Canadian and US universities there has been a significant decline in Computer Science enrollments over the last three years, and this will most definitely show up in the forthcoming graduating classes. And despite concerted attempts by many groups to attract more women into computer science programs, the success has been modest, at best.

I believe in part the shortage comes from the negative message that resulted from the bust, because students do watch the job market.  This was exacerbated by all the talk of globalization, and jobs moving to India and China. So one thing that has to be done is get the word out that IT jobs, and jobs that pay well, ARE here. The fact that women are viewed as being capable, and are welcome has to be driven home.

This is probably not enough. Moshe Vardi has been named as the head of Job Migration Task Force, just created by ACM. He argues that there has to be a new focus on IT education, whereby IT training is integrated with traditional business, communication, and interpersonal skills.  Several universities in the US are designing quite new programs.

We cannot afford to be complacent in Canada. And it is important that the changes are also directed to community colleges, and Quebec's CGEP's as well.”

Kelly continued to share his thoughts in this podcast.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link


DISCUSSION: Kelly Gotlieb shares his views and insights about the IT skills shortage and blogs

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
00:33: Kelly Gotlieb's comments on the IT skills shortage, how serious is it, and what are the causes.
03:46: Kelly talks about possible ways to correct this situation.
06:45: Kelly speaks about the long term impact of the skills shortage in terms of affecting our productivity and our global competitiveness.
08:20: Change in skillsets required in today's IT job marketplace...a more balanced versatile set of skills?
09:15: Kelly gives his views on blogs.


Computing pioneer and CIPS Fellow (FCIPS), Kelly Gotlieb is currently Professor Emeritus in Computer Science and in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto (UT). He is a computing pioneer, whose innovations and accomplishments helped lay the foundation of an entire worldwide industry, educational stream, and profession.

Have a look at this blog to find out more about Kelly:
I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at
Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.

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