Do you want your son to be a programmer?

I do. But I had this conversation with my colleague whose is one of the top IT professionals I ‘ve ever met. He does not want his kids to become programmers.

I have two sons and one of them has graduated form a non-programmers college. He ‘s got his BS in Fine Arts and now works as an animator. He draws cartoons for various TV shows. My life would be so much easier if he ‘d chosen the IT career, but… he ‘s a talented kid, and my wife and I decided to let him do what he likes. My younger son is a seven grader, and I would not mind if he ‘d decide to become a programmer.

My colleague ‘s argument was that 10 years from now all programming will be done in India anyway, and there is no reason to send your kid to a CS school. I absolutely do not agree with this. Animation industry does not have these outsourcing issues yet, but my older son had really really tough times finding his first job. His friends who have graduated with CS degrees, did not have any problems finding well paid jobs.

In terms of return on investments, I do not think that there are too many professions that would pay you $50K a year right off a second-tier college. And if you get BS in Computer Science from one of the well known schools, you ‘ll start with $70K or more.

The low cost labor from India will not change the landscape in 10 years. In many cases low cost means low quality, and the real cost of outsourced projects is the best kept secret. Good programmers in India are already demanding higher rates, and this trend will continue.

I won ‘t push my younger son in this direction, but will be happy if he decides to become an IT professional. And what about you? Will you advise you kid to pick a software-related degree?

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