IDC and ITAA Don’t Agree on Number of U.S. IT Workers, But Do Agree There Aren’t Enough

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 9, 2000 – IDC believes the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is being optimistic when it says there are 10 million IT workers in the United States. IDC puts the number around 4.5 million in the year 2000 and expects it to grow to over 6.5 million in 2004.


"The ITAA's figure is not consistent with the amount of spending on IT in the United States," said H. Michael Boyd, Ph.d, program manager for IDC's Human Resourcing Strategies research. "From the standpoint that IT is underlying common knowledge necessary to conduct business and do work in the U.S. economy, however, it does seem reasonable that 1 in 14 workers needs some level of IT skill or literacy."

While IDC and ITAA don't agree on the number of U.S. IT employees, they do agree the number is not enough to support the current demand for these types of workers. What's more, the problem will only get worse as new and emerging technologies and applications of IT accelerate the need for more and better skilled workers over the next several years.

"The United States faces a seemingly insurmountable problem caused by a growing shortage of trained people necessary to keep American business and enterprise growth continuing at the desired rate," Boyd said. "This shortage is a very real and serious threat to the U.S. economy."

While no one claims to have a cure-all solution to the problem, IDC does have some recommendations. For the short time, worker attrition must be curbed. A boundary-less global work force would also make the crisis easier to deal with in the immediate future.

"Improved learning and education tools and environments are clearly the best long-term solution," Boyd said.

The above information comes from IDC's recent report, IDC Forecasts Fewer than ITAA's 10 Million U.S. IT Workers (IDC #B22375). The report looks at the ITAA's findings and compares them to findings from IDC research. It also discusses possible solutions to the IT talent shortage. To purchase the report, contact Jim Nagle at 1-800-343-4952 at extension 4549 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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