IT Managers Are in Danger of Losing Control of Human Resources Management, IDC Warns

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 1 — A number of key trends are wreaking havoc on IT managers' control of human resources (HR) management. A new bulletin from International Data Corporation (IDC) warns that companies need to be able to recognize the trends and adopt alternative HR strategies in order to attract and retain IT professionals.

"The tight IT labor market will continue beyond the year 2000 project period," said Tom Oleson, research director with IDC's IT Advisor service. "From the beginning of the '90s, a number of trends, not only the Y2K project, have combined to have a major impact on the availability of IT professionals, and these trends will continue well into the new millennium. Companies that take steps to address these trends will have the best chance of meeting the needs of their IT departments."

One of these trends, according to IDC, is a declining number of college students who are studying for IT degrees. Those who are seeking these degrees are being heavily recruited. One-hundred percent of colleges recently surveyed by IDC reported a significant increase in recruitment for students with computer engineering (CE) and computer science (CS) skills. Companies doing the on-campus recruiting include top technology firms such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard. The consulting firms are also in the hunt for CS graduates as are financial institutions and manufacturers.

"Because of the strong competition for these IT graduates, all of these companies are willing to relax their requirements for top honor students and are settling for more average students," Oleson said. "They have also increased starting salaries in order to get a higher ratio of hires to offers."

Approximately 73% of the colleges that IDC surveyed said the starting salaries being offered to CS and CE graduates have significantly increased over the past several years. According to IDC data, the average starting salary for a computer science graduate from the surveyed colleges was $45,000 in 1998, compared with $36,700 for a non-computer science graduate.

In order to control costs and increase retention rates, IDC suggests companies think outside the box. "Companies should look in two directions for alternative sources of IT talent," Oleson said. "They should look inward among their own employees for individuals who understand the business functions and are willing to learn technology, and they should look for college graduates with majors other than computer science."

IDC's bulletin titled Recruiting, Retraining, and Retention: Are IT Managers Doing All They Can? (IDC #B18263) examines the trends that are changing the dynamics of hiring and retaining IT professionals. It discusses recruiting efforts and key elements to retaining new hires. To order a copy of the bulletin, contact Cheryl Toffel at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4389 or at Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at

About IDC

International Data Corporation is the information technology industry's most comprehensive resource on worldwide IT markets, trends, products, vendors, and geographies. IDC provides data, analysis, and advisory services to the world's leading IT suppliers as well as IS professionals in finance, insurance, entertainment, advertising, consumer goods, and publishing. IDC's research and opinions are based on the results of more than 300,000 end-user surveys, in-depth competitive analysis, broad technology coverage, and strategic analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through its 500 analysts in more than 40 countries worldwide. Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at

IDC is a division of International Data Group , the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.