Volume 7

Volume 7, Number 81

July 21, 2009

12 pages645 K bytes

Offshoring And Immigration -- The Impacts On IT Workers In Canada And The United States

Kenneth A. Grant
Ryerson University
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3 Canada

Ron Babin
Ryerson University
Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3

Abstract: The growth of employment in the IT field has been a significant phenomenon in the market place, with IT workers now making up over 3% of the workforce and perhaps another 10% holding IT-related jobs. Following 30 years of almost continuous growth, employment in the field fell in the recent recession. While future projections of employment growth are significant, in Canada and the USA, the economic recovery has not produced a return to the previous levels of growth in the IT field. Enrolment in university computer science and IT programs is down. Some observers hold that key contributors to the lack of growth are the impacts of the offshoring of IT work and the role of immigration, and that these factors make government predictions for growth in IT work unrealistic. This paper examines the impact of immigration and offshoring on the supply/demand situation for IT workers in North America, drawing from both the Canadian and the US experience. Preliminary conclusions suggest that the growth of IT work will continue but in a different pattern than in the past and that immigration policies are having an impact on the evolution of the IT discipline and that offshoring, while having limited overall impact on levels of IT employment, may be causing some problems, especially for entry level workers.

Keywords: IT workers, labor analysis, immigration, outsourcing, offshoring, shortage, skills

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Recommended Citation: Grant and Babin (2009). Offshoring And Immigration -- The Impacts On IT Workers In Canada And The United States. Information Systems Education Journal, 7 (81). http://isedj.org/7/81/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2006: §2352. ISSN: 1542-7382.)