Study Shows Appetite for IT Workers Unabated

WASHINGTON (04/10/2000) - U.S. companies will seek to hire an additional 1.6 million information technology workers this year, but they will be able to fill only half the positions because of a shortage of workers with the appropriate skills, a study commissioned by the Information Technology of America Association (ITAA) shows.

ITAA, which released results of the study today at the Third Annual National Workforce Convocation held in Chicago, said it based its findings on 700 telephone interviews with randomly selected IT managers -- 200 at IT companies and 500 at non-IT companies -- at companies with more than 50 employees. ITAA said it was one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of the IT workforce ever conducted.

The greatest need for IT workers is among non-IT firms with 50 to 99 employees.

Those companies, defined as businesses that do not develop IT products for sale, but use them in their own operations, need 1 million IT workers this year, according to an executive summary of the study posted at ITAA's Web site.

One-third of all new positions over the next 12 months will be in the category technical support job, with employers especially interested in workers with skills in troubleshooting, customer service, hardware and software installation and systems operation and maintenance.

The study also covers the overall size of the IT workforce, the skills workers need to land one of the hot IT jobs and the best ways for workers to acquire these skills.

The study was sponsored by Cisco Systems Inc., Complete Business Solutions Inc., Cyborg Systems, DeVry, ITI, ITT Technical Institute, Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., the Society for Information Management and SRA International.

The study's executive summary does not mention legislation pending in Congress aimed at alleviating the IT worker shortage by allowing in more foreign nationals under the Immigration and Naturalization Service's H-1B program. ITAA has announced its support for legislation that would increase the limit from the current 115,000 per year to 200,000 per year.

ITAA, in Arlington, Virginia, can be reached at +1-703-522-5055 or found on the Web at http://www.itaa.org/.

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