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CEO Motorola Israel: Tech sector short thousands of engineers despite recession

The shortage is felt the world over, and the CEO calls for government support in educating more professionals

"In spite of the hi-tech recession and the layoffs of thousands, the sector is still in need of thousands of Computer Science and Engineering graduates," of Motorola Communications Israel CEO Elisha Yanay said at the graduation ceremony of the Computer Science faculty at the College of Management.

According to Yanay, the demand for academic workers will not fizzle out even if the crisis in the sector continues. Furthermore, even though the graduates will have to take certain pay cuts due to the stagnancy of the market, they will be better paid than graduates of other faculties. "The annual pay of such a graduate in Israel is one of the highest in the world at NIS 250,000," he said.

The need for these professionals is growing in the U.S. as well as in Western European countries, said Yanay. "In the U.S. for example, out of every high school class only 3.5% of the students are attracted to computer and electronics studies," he said.

Yanay said that because of the growing need for engineers in Israel, government assistance should be given to help increase the number of computer science and hi-tech engineering faculty graduates. Until 1994 only 1,000 engineers a year were awarded BS degrees in electronic engineering and computer sciences. Government support helped increase the size of these classes, and in 2001 4,300 students received degrees in these faculties.

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"These graduates are in demand by the defense industry, the civil sector and the academic world," said Yanay.