[The ITAA's report actually says that the shortage will be 843,328.]
Work force not keeping up with tech job market
By The Associated Press
April 9, 2000, 4:50 p.m. PT
WASHINGTON--American companies expect to create 1.6 million new
information technology jobs this year, an industry survey found.
A study to be released tomorrow by the Information Technology
Association of America (ITAA) said that about a third of the openings
will be for technical support workers, who help companies install,
maintain and troubleshoot new high-tech equipment.
The Midwest is expected to win 35 percent of new information
technology jobs, more than any other region.
Companies are concerned that they will not be able to fill these new
positions, the survey found. Based on the qualifications of current
applicants, they estimated that more than half of the openings--or about
843,000--may be difficult to fill.
"IT workers represent a much bigger slice of the total work force than
previously imagined and, as we have stressed over the years, the
nation's economic future is tied to the availability of appropriately
skilled workers," said the association's president, Harris Miller.
Companies have been pressing Congress to allow more foreigners with
high-tech skills to work in the United States. Opponents of that say
better training for American workers is needed.
The survey results were based on telephone interviews with information
technology managers at 700 U.S. companies--200 producing computer and
other communications products and services, and 500 that use them to do
business. The random sample did not include companies with fewer than 50
employees or government and nonprofit organizations.
Based on the survey, ITAA estimates that a total of 10 million Americans
work in information technology jobs.
Behind tech support, the fastest-growing jobs categories are database
developers and administrators; programmers and software developers; and
people who design and manage Internet sites. Among other categories
included in the survey were technical writers, digital media specialists
and systems integrators.
After the Midwest, Western states are expected to have the highest
demand for information technology workers this year, followed by the
South, then the Northeast.
ITAA members who helped pay for the study included companies such as
Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Oracle. It was conducted between December
and February by Market Decisions and has a margin of error of plus or
minus 3 percentage points.