Tue, Feb 25, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Number of Asian programmers to rise

AFP , SINGAPORE

The Asia-Pacific region will have more computer programmers and other professional developers than North America in two years' time, an industry monitor said yesterday.

North America was the region with the most developers in 2001, followed by the Asia Pacific which dislodged Europe from the number two slot. But strong growth in China and India would propel the region to the top of the list in 2005, International Data Corp (IDC) said.

Asia, particularly India, is a key source of professionals for the information-technology industry in North America.

"Growth is expected to be much stronger in [the] Asia Pacific than in North America over the next five years, particularly in the world's largest countries, China and India," IDC said.

There were 7.8 million IT developers in 2001 and the figure is projected to rise to 13.3 million by 2006, IDC said.

Asia had 1.7 million developers at the end of 2001, it said.

The drop in the number of IT professionals in North America was also partly due to the slump in the tech sector there, IDC said.

"The growth in the number of worldwide developers has been affected dramatically by the economic downturn and actually caused a decline in the number of employed professional developers in North America from 2000 to 2001," IDC said. "This comes as no surprise since the economic downturn has resulted in extensive layoffs among IT workers."

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