THE ONLY GUY who I know with a job inside the Irish Googleplex has a work permit. Like many other high tech companies in Ireland, Google has a challenging time locating high-quality third level graduates. We knew this was going to happen when Irish colleges reported a downturn in CAO applications for computer science, engineering and technology as far back as 2001.
Paul Hearns explains what happened next. "In the years after 2001 ... the entrance requirements for these courses were reduced to make it easier for people to enter. The unfortunate knock-on from this strategy was that the drop-out rate increased dramatically as those who had met the grade for Ordinary Level Maths in their Leaving Cert, for example, foundered when faced with the learning curve toward the mathematics level required for programming and microprocessor design."
How to prevent this from recurring? I think we could do a better job of telling second and third level students about IT careers. Ireland also needs to facilitate a fast track system that leads to a Green Card for qualified non-nationals applicants.
Paul Hearns -- "Teach them well" in ComputerScope, August 2005.