Shortage of IT Professionals Increases

October 3, 2001 ( - Despite the downturn in the economy, and the highest unemployment rate in almost four years, the average number of open IT service and support positions in US companies has more than tripled since 1999, according to research from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

The research found that the number of unfilled IT service and support positions is 2.1, out of an average IT department size of 25.6, representing a threefold increase from 1999 figures, which identified 0.6 open positions in average departments of 20.2 people.

Certification Preference

IT certification plays an increasingly important role with CIOs compared to two years ago, with 51% citing independent IT industry association certification as important, compared to 41% in 1999.

CIOs ranked vendor-neutral certifications more important than vendor-specific certifications.
Despite the increased shortage, companies are more optimistic today than in 1999 about the availability of qualified IT staff.

This year, 51% of CIOs say the availability of qualified candidates for computer service and support jobs will improve greatly or slightly in the next two years, compared with the 43% who concurred in 1999.

The study, titled “The Ongoing Crisis in IT Management” study, which polled both CIOs and HR managers at companies with sales of $20 million or more, was conducted in May and June of 2001.