Beta Research Corp. recently interviewed more than 450 hiring managers and job seekers in the New York metropolitan region. The exercise was geared at identifying current trends in on-campus recruiting as part of the latest New York Times Job Market (NYTJM) survey.

The survey results indicate that students graduating with technical degrees are typically offered the highest starting salaries compared to their peers holding other degrees. This, despite recent downturns in the technology economic sector. Students holding both undergraduate and graduate technical degrees are offered the highest starting salaries, $38,000-$52,000 and $55,000-$78,000, respectively.

Job seekers also remain optimistic about companies’ demand for employees with technical backgrounds. Nearly one-fourth of job seekers surveyed think that hiring managers will be most likely to hire someone with a technical degree. A technical degree is a second choice, behind business, among those currently enrolled or who plan to enroll at a college/university during the next year.

The Hon. Vincent Peet, M.P., Minister of Labour and Immigration, views skills training as a key factor in competing globally. New trends and industrial technology in the workplace make direct demands for a highly motivated, technically trained workforce, and Minister Peet has said *”It is necessary to ensure that relevant training opportunities are provided for our youth so that they can participate meaningfully in the positive growth of our economy.”*

The Bahamas Government has stated that a major component of its economic diversification drive will be rapid movement towards the implementation of the enabling framework for e-commerce, and the promotion of The Bahamas as a centre for e-commerce. According to the Prime Minister, this is an industry which is built primarily on the availability of persons with good computer skills with access to the most efficient telecommunications services possible. The public telecommunications company, BaTelCo, is slated to be privatised early in 2003.

A compendium of proposed legislative enactments had been developed, in full consultation with the private sector, both locally and internationally. It is anticipated that the package of bills comprising an Electronic Communications Act, a Misuse of Computer Act and a Data Protection Act, will be presented to Parliament soon.