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Midwest is Hottest Region for New Information
Technology Jobs

By Alice Ann Love   Associated Press
WASHINGTON — American companies expect to create 1.6 million new information technology jobs this year, an industry survey finds.

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, 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 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.

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