ITM members were asked if students in Australia would be discouraged from considering IT as a career if offshore outsourcing continued to shrink the local employment market.
More than 90 percent of members said based upon current conditions, they wouldn't recommend information technology as a viable career path.
"I'd rather my kids opt for nursing as a profession--it has both local and global demand," said ITM member James Michaels, who works for a telecommunications company in Sydney.
Michaels said there was a huge "disconnect" in the supply and demand chain. "I think we've reached a saturation point...there's just too many skilled techies out of work and they're all fighting for either the same pie or the scraps left behind post-outsourcing," he said.
For some IT undergraduates, there's no turning back. "As a Computer Science student at Melbourne University, I can say it is almost guaranteed that students will shy away from IT as a career without outsourcing legislation," said ITM member Jesse Stratford.
"My peers and I are very much aware of this [offshore outsourcing] situation and watching it with great interest lest our expensive, hard-earned education be thrown out of the window for the sake of lining the pockets of big businesses," Stratford added.
India's IT offshore-outsourcing business is projected to grow to US$50 billion by 2008, according to a June report published by analyst firm Brean Murray Institutional Research.
But it's not all doom and gloom, as one member said: "We need to be careful not to confuse "offshore" development with round-the-clock surveillance," wrote ITM member Peter Hannan.
Hannan explained that in many instances, it was logical to have service provisioning (network monitoring, for instance) overseas in a follow-the-sun arrangement--especially for multinational companies.
"Such arrangements generally provide commercial sense and have the by-product of reciprocity for our talent pool," he added.
ZDNet Australia's Fran Foo reported from Sydney.