Information Technology Jobs by vaj19048


									               ALABAMA COOPERATIVE E X T E N S I O N S Y S T EM

 Volume 1, 9                                                                                          October 27, 2000

                                               A Fact Sheet

                            Information Technology Jobs
                                According to U.S. Department of Commerce projections, the rapid ex-
                            pansion of the U.S. core information technology (IT) workforce will con-
                            tinue, bringing the number of IT jobs up to 3.9 million within the next
                            eight years. That will be a 79% increase in the number of IT jobs over a
                            ten-year period beginning in 1998. During the same period, the number of
                            jobs overall is expected to increase by only 14%, showing a significant dif-
      Highlights            ference between job expansion in IT and job expansion as a whole. The five
                            fastest growing occupations are Computer Scientists, Computer Engineers,
• Technical education
                            Computer Support Specialists, Systems Analysts, and Database Adminis-
  is the key for entry      trators. The chart on page 2 compares projected job growth in these areas
  to the high-paying,       with job market growth as a
  fast-growing field of     whole.
  information technol-
  ogy.                          The overall IT growth is
                            expected to require 1,712,000
• The need for quali-       workers to fill the new jobs
  fied IT workers is        plus another 306,000 new
  increasing.               workers to replace current
                            workers who will retire or
                            change jobs. The IT job mar-
                            ket requirement works out to
AUTHOR INFORMATION:         around 202,000 new workers
Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinson   needed each year. Most of
Community Workforce
   Development Specialist   these jobs (over 75%) require
State Headquarters          at least a bachelor’s de-
216 Extension Hall          gree and the remainder        Computer technology allows people to commute to their work-
Auburn University, AL       generally require an asso- place electronically.
Telephone (334) 844-5353    ciate’s degree or comple-
FAX (334) 844-9022          tion of a formal certification type of training program. For the 75% requir-    ing a bachelor’s degree, the people who will enter these jobs: (1) are cur-
                            rently working in some other field, (2) are already in high school or college,
                            or (3) will come to the US from a foreign country either to immigrate or to
                            work here and return to their native land.
                                There are major implications from this growth pattern. First, technical
                            education—either at the bachelor’s or associate’s level—is the key for entry
                            to this high-paying, fast-growing field. If you don’t have the education, get

       Visit the Community Resource Development home page at
PAGE 2                                                           THE WORKPLACE                                                            VOLUME 1, 9

it, or you can’t get in the door. The technical                            these institutions is a great deal different from
education needed to enter the field is intimi-                             what many adults remember from high school
dating to many workers who are stuck in a                                  and is generally focused to meet the needs of
dead-end job or whose job is going away be-                                the students. There is generally opportunity for

                                                                IT Job Growth
120.00%                                 107.90%                102.30%                  93.60%
100.00%                                                                                                        77.20%
 40.00%                                                                                                                                14.40%
                 Computer              Computer               Computer            Systems Analysts           Database               Non-IT Jobs
                 Scientists            Engineers               Support                                     Administrators

cause they feel they either are too old to learn                           people to take coursework in the evenings so
or because they had bad experiences with edu-                              that they can work one job while preparing
cation earlier in their lives. They need not be                            themselves for a better one.
intimidated; the truth of the matter is that                                   Next, the need is immediate. There are job
most people are easily capable of learning                                 openings now and the need for qualified work-
what they need to know to enter these fields                               ers is increasing as a glance at the help-wanted
and entry through one of Alabama’s technical,                              listings in major newspapers will show. While
                                  community or                             there is a growing trend toward IT workers
                                  junior col-                              working out of their homes, for now most of the
      “The IT job market          leges is usu-                            jobs are in metropolitan areas—especially met-
                                  ally smooth.                             ropolitan areas focusing on IT infrastructure.
  requirement works out to        The junior,                              Many people may have to relocate or be willing
                                  community                                to commute to get these jobs. It also means that
     around 202,000 new           and technical                            communities without a modern information/
     workers needed each          colleges want                            communications infrastructure will fall farther
                                  and welcome                              and farther behind in their search for good jobs
             year”                adult stu-                               for their citizens and a tax base for their com-
                                  dents. The                               munities.
average age of students in many of these insti-
tutions has moved into the upper twenties as
more and more adults return to school for an                                                                Dr. Jacquelyn P. Robinson
educational upgrade. Students in their 30s,                                Community Workforce Development Specialist
40s and 50s are common. The teaching in
                                                                                       Alabama Cooperative Extension System

    U.S. Department of Commerce (August, 2000). Office of Technology Policy. The Digital Workforce.

                     Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work in agriculture and home economics, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, and other
                     related acts, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M
                     University and Auburn University) offers educational programs, materials, and equal opportunity employment to all people without
                     regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.

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