Information Technology in Business

Industry Snapshot:
  • Information Technology (IT) is the fastest growing sector in the economy with a 68% increase in output growth rate projected between 2002 and 2012. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Employment opportunities are expected to be good in the IT industry as demand for computer-related occupations increases due to rapid advances in computer technology, continuing development of new computer applications, and the growing significance of information security. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 92% of all IT workers are in non-IT companies, 80% of which are in small companies. (Information Technology Association of America)
 Workforce Issues:
  • More than 90% of IT workers are employed outside the IT industry, which makes it necessary for them to have both IT and complementary training in their respective business sectors such as health care, manufacturing, or financial services.
  • Employers are also looking for well-developed soft skills, transferable IT skills and adaptability in their workforce.
  • IT remains a critical aspect of work in all industries and sectors, as well as an industry in its own right. However, America continues to suffer from a shortage of qualified IT workers with flexible and portable skills who can readily adapt and respond to ever-changing IT demands and processes. 
Skill Sets:
  • For all IT-related occupations, technical and professional certifications are growing more popular and increasingly important.
  • IT workers must continually update and acquire new skills to remain qualified in this dynamic field. Completion of vocational training also is an asset. According to a May 2000 report by the Urban Institute, community colleges play a critical role in training new workers and in retraining both veteran workers and workers from other fields.
  • People interested in becoming computer support specialists generally need only an Associate degree in a computer-related field, as well as significant hands-on experience with computers. They also must possess strong problem-solving and analytical skills as well as excellent communication skills because troubleshooting and helping others are such vital aspects of the job. And because there is constant interaction on the job with other computer personnel, customers, and employees, computer support specialists must be able to communicate effectively on paper, using e-mail, and in person. They also must possess strong writing skills when preparing manuals for employees and customers.

For additional background information about the industry and details on the grants, information about employment and training opportunities, and workforce development tools for employers, educators, and workforce professionals please refer to the following: