American companies expect to create 1.6
million new information technology jobs this year, an industry
About a third of the openings will be for technical support
workers, who help companies install, maintain and troubleshoot new
high-tech equipment, predicts the study, being released Monday by
the Information Technology Association of America.
The Midwest is expected to win 35 percent of new information
technology jobs, more than any other region.
Companies are worried about filling the new positions, the
survey found. Based on the qualifications of current applicants,
they estimated that more than half of the openings, 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,
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
Based on the survey, ITAA estimates that a total of 10 million
Americans now 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 Corp., Cisco Systems and Oracle Corp. It was
conducted between December and February by Market Decisions Corp.,
and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.