hat a great time to be in Information Systems! Technology is constantly changing and we are on the verge of yet another change in strategy. Many IS shops are seeking new ways to reduce the high cost of support and the advent of the "thin" or network client is perceived by many to be strategic in this objective. The demand for IS professionals seems to be at an all time high. There is a definite lack of skilled individuals and at a time when companies are seeing the strategic value in robust information systems.
I read an article recently that said that there is a drastic decline in the number of women in the AS/400 field, and indeed, a drop in the number of female students in college computer science programs. In a study conducted by Nate Viall of Nate Viall and Associates, he noted the number of females in junior level jobs has dropped from 40% in 1994, to 37% in 1995, 33% in 1996 and about 28% in 1997. He cited as a possible reason that women may be making a lifestyle choice in dropping out of IS. "Companies are under so much pressure today, the workload is tremendous and the hours are unforgiving." I think most IS professionals would agree that the pace of change is fast in the IS area but it is also very rewarding as we see our companies benefit from the technologies we implement.
As our existing application software gets near the Year 2000 rollover the demand for technical personnel will continue to climb as companies race to insure against business interruptions. The theme of our next general meeting will be Year 2000 - Are you Ready? We will examine some strategies and techniques to insure our systems are ready to meet this challenge. See you there!