Looking for Jobs?: Look to IT

April 22, 2010
With increasing employment is the number one goal in Washington, policy makers should look to IT as a major source of long-term, high-paying jobs.

In this WebMemo ITIF finds there has been impressive domestic growth of high-skill, high-wage IT jobs over the past ten years. ITIF’s analysis shows there were 688,000 new IT jobs created from 1999-2008, an increase of 26 percent – four times faster than U.S. employment as a whole. The addition of thousands of high-end jobs in the areas of network design and administration as well as data communications analysis and engineering more than offset lower level programming jobs that have moved to other countries. Because of this job growth, U.S. GDP is over $52 billion larger in 2008 than in 1999. The memo reinforces the need to maintain investment in this area. The advent and expansion of new IT systems such as health IT and smart grids, the continued expansion of broadband, and the growth of e-commerce and e-government, show the importance of IT jobs to the U.S. economy going forward.

More encouraging, IT jobs are predicted to grow even further in the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, between 2008 and 2018, overall employment throughout the economy is anticipated to grow by 10.7 percent, whereas employment in IT occupations is expected to grow by 24 percent or 790,000 jobs. Broken down by occupations BLS expects:

  • Computer Network and database Administrators to grow by 286,600 jobs;
  • Computer Systems Analysts to grow by 108,100 jobs;
  • Computer Software Engineers to grow by 295,000 jobs;
  • Computer Programmers to decline by 12,000 jobs;
  • Computer Support Specialists to grow by 78,000 jobs;
  • Computer Scientists to grow by 7,000 jobs.