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Sidebar: IDG Marks 40 Years Under Founding Leadership, Too

By Don Tennant
March 29, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Just nine days before Peter Harris founded ADPAC, Patrick J. McGovern on Feb. 26, 1964, founded International Data Group, Computerworld's parent company. Boston-based IDG, now a global IT publishing and market research firm, is also celebrating 40 years under its founding leadership, with McGovern serving as its chairman.
McGovern spoke with
Computerworld last week and shared his perspective on the outlook for the IT community. Excerpts follow:

Do you think offshore outsourcing will have a net positive impact or a negative impact on the U.S. IT industry?
Outsourcing will definitely be a benefit to the U.S. IT industry. Outsourcing reflects the globalization of labor. It will take several decades, but eventually there will be equal pay for equal work all over the world. It is only fair that human beings are rewarded for their work in comparable ways. This process will allow the IT industry to benefit from the most skilled people available at the most competitive rates of compensation.
What is your advice to college-age students who are considering pursuing a degree in computer science but are wary about their employment prospects? I definitely would encourage college-age students to pursue a degree in computer science. Although the market has slowed down in the last three years because of the bursting of the Internet bubble, it is now entering a growth phase, which should continue for the next 12 to 15 years.
Currently, the worldwide IT market is about $1.3 trillion, and it will grow to $3 trillion by 2020. The 1 billion users of IT devices and systems today will grow to 3 billion users by 2020, virtually 50% of the world population. This will create great employment opportunities for IT professionals in the years ahead.
What single quality has your experience shown to be the most important one for an IT professional to possess in order to be successful? I've found that there are actually two. One is the ability to relate well with their clients so that they can set expectations that are closely matched to achievable reality. The other is persistence -- never getting discouraged or giving up, but pushing ahead to get to a successful conclusion.

Patrick J. McGovern, founder of International Data Group
Patrick J. McGovern, founder of International Data Group

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