The title above links to a New York Times editorial about outsourcing, the computing profession, and employment. As anyone in education knows, the number of students interested in computing careers has dropped significantly, in reaction to the dot-com bust and fears of outsourcing. However, as in many previous cycles of engineering employment, things have now entered the stage of overreaction. The article rightly points out that the employment situation has improved to the extent that there are now more computing jobs than at the height of the bubble -- I've heard anecdotal stories from industry that are consistent with this. And fears of outsourcing have been overplayed.
Fundamentally, it doesn't make any sense to make a multi-decade career decision based on employment statistics from last year (not to mention as long ago as the dot-com bubble burst is now) -- unless you think that computing careers are going the way of blacksmithing. The real crisis is that the field is losing the battle to attract top students. Right off the bat, we lose half of the best students: women. This is not just a US phenomenon. We need to do a much better job of providing accurate information about the profession to K-12 students and teachers. Yes, as companies want more employees, salaries will increase. But, as I think we've learned, to have a profession that is perceived to be attractive only because of high wages is to have one with a very shaky interest base. We need to emphasize the non-monetary, psychological rewards of our profession. We need to work to nurture that kind of reward structure, both in higher education and in careers.