Workforce, Security Among Topics at Csu-Sponsored Americas Info Systems Conference

Note to Editors: Media interested in attending the conference should contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336.

Attention jobseekers and college students: Fewer people are going into the study of computer-based business processes at a time when corporations really need them.

A declining technology workforce will be one of many topics discussed at the 2007 Americas Conference on Information Systems Thursday, Aug. 9 through Sunday at Keystone Resort sponsored by Colorado State University’s College of Business. The conference is the annual gathering of nearly 1,000 members of the North, Latin, and South America chapters of the Association for Information Systems, including academicians and researchers.

The conference provides a forum for presenting the latest research in business-related computing on such topics as computer security, outsourcing, virtual communities, information technology in health care, workforce development, regulatory compliance, databases and information quality.

A big concern for industry – and researchers – is how to address declining enrollments at a time when the demand is high, said John Hoxmeier, the college’s associate dean for graduate programs, who is coordinating the international conference.

"Programs that had 600 students enrolling in 2000 are seeing a fraction of that today," Hoxmeier said. "As a result, graduates right now are getting the best offers we’ve seen in years. They’re getting two to four offers and signing bonuses.

"Jobs that have gone to India and China and the ripple effect have hurt programs in engineering, computing and many of the other disciplines," Hoxmeier said. "How does Colorado remain competitive when the pipeline is so small? That’s especially critical with all the tech companies in Colorado."

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, chairman emeritus of the IBM Academy of Technology and visiting professor of Engineering Systems at MIT, will deliver one of the keynote addresses at the AMCIS conference about skills workers will need to adopt to be successful in their careers.

"The national skills gap is an important issue that businesses and universities must address in collaboration," said Jai Menon, vice president of Technical Strategy, Innovation and University Relations. "We want to participate in the AMCIS conference and continue the dialogue on how businesses and universities can better align with each other to deliver skills that their students, and future employees will need to be competitive in the 21st century."

Nationwide, the number of lnformation Technology industry jobs continues to rise. The American Electronics Association, the country’s largest technology trade association, reported that the U.S. tech industry employed 5.8 million people last year – up 2.6 percent from 2005. The industry gained nearly 147,000 positions in 2006, compared with 87,400 jobs added in 2005. According to a recent Gartner Group Study, by 2010, 6 of 10 people affiliated with IT will assume business-facing roles.

"Colorado State is addressing this need very well, especially at the master’s level," Menon said. "They are focusing on what we call Service Science, Management & Engineering – bringing a cross-disciplinary focus to address real business issues."

Colorado State’s College of Business ranks as one of the top undergraduate business programs in the country according to Business Week. U.S. News and World Report magazine ranked the college in the top 20 percent of the best undergraduate business schools, and Princeton Review ranked it No. 1 nationally in "Best Administered" MBA graduate programs.

The Computer Information Systems program in the college offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Graduates have careers as applications programmers, internet specialists, IT project managers, system consultants and designers. The program, with its award-winning faculty, has historically experienced almost 100 percent placement rates.

The Association for Information Systems consists of nearly 4,000 information systems and information technology academics and professionals. A complete schedule of the Americas conference in Keystone is available at