Computerworld Survey Finds 75 Percent of Information Technology Pros Not Working to Their Full Potential

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 2, 2001 – IT professionals are cheering about their salaries and job security, but an overwhelming majority still feel that they are not sufficiently challenged and are demanding better support for their professional development, according to Computerworld’s eighth annual Job Satisfaction Survey.


Two-thirds of the 781 IT workers surveyed reported being "very satisfied" with a career in IT, although three-fourths claimed they are not working to their full potential. The survey also uncovered high levels of dissatisfaction among high-tech workers with the amount of company-sponsored training they receive, as well as opportunities for advancement.

"The economy may be tightening, but that doesn’t mean high-tech workers will be happy languishing in jobs that aren’t challenging. IT pros are among the most securely employed people in the country, and they are starting to demand more from their careers than just high salaries," said David Weldon, feature editor, IT careers, Computerworld. "Managers need to communicate effectively with their IT staff, and offer them professional development opportunities, as well as the chance to learn new skills on the company’s dime."

Computerworld surveyed workers at non-technology companies, consultants, contractors and high-tech companies. In each category, at least 25 percent of the respondents reported being "very dissatisfied" with the level of company-sponsored training they’ve received. And a mere 30 percent of survey respondents said they are satisfied with opportunities for advancement at their companies.

Grumbling over a lack of advancement opportunities is nothing new for IT pros, but workers are now citing poor communication with managers as a cause. Fifty percent of workers at non-technology companies are dissatisfied with their opportunities to discuss career goals with their managers, and 46 percent of workers at high-tech companies are dissatisfied with those opportunities.

"Despite the cooling economy, it’s clear that the demand for skilled IT professionals remains high," said Maryfran Johnson, editor-in-chief of Computerworld. "Retaining talented staff is still a big challenge for most companies. Our survey shows that paying attention to career development is just as important as ever."

High-tech workers say they have a firm grasp of their companies’ high-level strategies and business goals: sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they are satisfied with their understanding of the company’s business mission. The numbers are even higher when it comes to an understanding of issues impacting the company. But far fewer — less than one-third — feel empowered to influence day-to-day company success. This demonstrates a significant disconnect between knowing what needs to be done and having the chance to do something about it.

For the complete results of the eighth annual Job Satisfaction Survey, or to speak with Dave Weldon or Maryfran Johnson, please contact Chris Miller at (781) 915-5019 or

Based on 34 years of industry-respected editorial and news analysis, Computerworld delivers, in print and online, a comprehensive set of analysis services and tools for managing the problems and issues IT professionals face daily. With real time peer-to-peer executive forums and market-driven editorial such as ROI magazine, Computerworld offers sound technology advice and guidance for today’s challenging business environment.

About Computerworld

Based in Framingham, Mass., Computerworld, Inc. is a complete information services company for the IT Leader community, providing print and online publications, books, conferences and research services. The company’s flagship weekly newspaper for IT Leaders has been recognized numerous times by Folio: Magazine and the Computer Press Association as the best computer newspaper. With a circulation of 250,000, Computerworld has a total audience of 935,200, according to IntelliQuest CIMS v.7.0. News and resources for the IT Leader community are available at

Computerworld is a business unit of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through (, which comprises more than 270 targeted Web sites in 70 countries.

IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 50 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at