Tough Decade for the Class of ’09?

The past year hasn’t been a good one for the supply side of the U.S. labor market. Given the recession, there are simply too many candidates for too few positions. As a recent Wall Street Journal article points out, current college graduates are facing the worst economy and hiring environment of the past quarter century. The so-called Curse of the Class of 2009 is predicted to dog even the fortunate few able to land a job, keeping their wages lower for a decade or more. Says the Journal:

Economic research shows that the consequences of graduating in a downturn are long-lasting. They include lower earnings, a slower climb up the occupational ladder and a widening gap between the least- and most-successful grads.

But hold on a minute. Does this apply to us techies? Maybe not as much as it does to other professionals. Over the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics still predicts good growth for most all of high-tech positions. That demand may just help us cheat the current supply glut. 

Take software engineers. The 2008-2009 edition of the bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook is bullish on their prospects, saying they "should be excellent, as computer software engineers are expected to be among the fastest-growing occupations through the year 2016."

That kind of data, plus a billion applications being downloaded from Apple’s App Store over the past nine months, has me convinced demand for technology is going to continue to increase. That appetite should be just the thing to lift the Curse of the Tech Class of ’09.

— Chad Broadus

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