IT Skills Gap Demands Action

ď'Thereís no question that if you donít have people properly trained for the future, it will affect our economy,Ē Secretary of Commerce William Daley said in an interview with Information Week last week. ďIf the need for IT workers isnít addressed, it could have a sizable impact on our economy

because information technology, such as E-commerce, is playing such a tremendous part in our economic explosion,' Daley says.

Commerce is careful to avoid the word 'shortage' in connection with the growing demand for IT talent. The report points out that the computer industry tends to see the problem as a worker shortage, but employee advocacy groups argue there are enough trained technical professionals in the United States, but industry professionals arenít tapping these resources. Economists, on the other hand, contend the IT workforce challenge is the expected result of a rising importance of IT in our economy, and market forces will fix the problem in the long run.

Demand for computer scientists, computer engineers, and systems analysts are each projected to more than double in the decade ending 2006. By comparison, the growth rate for all occupations is expected to increase 14% during this period.

The mix of knowledge and skills varies from one IT position to another, making it difficult for employers to find and hire employees with the right mix of skills, such as Java programmers, and computer security and E-commerce specialists."

(Source: InformationWeek, June 1999)

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