NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Shortage Of Employees For High-Tech Jobs

January 21, 1998

Investor's Business Daily recently released survey estimates that 346,000 computer-related jobs in companies with over 100 employees are going begging. That represents more than one in 10 jobs in that sector. The survey, sponsored by the Information Technology Association of America and conducted by Virginia Polytechnic Institute, revealed that 40 percent of firms rely on immigrants to meet the shortage.

  • Information technology will see about 1.3 million job openings over the next decade, according to data from the National Software Alliance.
  • But in 1995, just 36,000 bachelor's and graduate degrees were awarded in computer science -- down from 50,000 in 1986.
  • The ITAA-Virginia Polytechnic study found that more than 80 percent of employers required a bachelor's degree for all or most of their programmer and analyst slots.
  • The average programmer in 1996 earned a base salary of $66,500 -- a gain of better than 14 percent over the previous year.

Just between the second and third quarters of 1997, average salaries for technology workers rose an astonishing 5.8 percent.

Source: Carl Horowitz, "Do We Have the Right Workers to Staff a High-Tech Economy?" Investor's Business Daily, January 21, 1998.


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