IT Jobs and Skills Crucial to the “Innovation Economy”

November 2, 2009 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Community College Times and the University of Washington’s Center for Information and Society both have come out recently with articles and studies chronicling the importance of IT jobs — and basic IT skills to the general workforce. These “innovation economy” jobs, according to Bill Souders — author of CC Times piece and senior director of corporate affairs at Cisco — will encourage economic growth at a time when the U.S. most needs it.

After checking out both pieces, we were curious what EMSI’s most current data (3rd quarter, 2009) showed for the IT sector. The sectors and occupations included below come from the Information Technology career cluster data in the Educational Analyst tool.

First, let’s look at how IT stacks up to other clusters:

The IT cluster offers the highest wages outside of STEM occupations and has grown at a modest clip from 2006 to 2009 (2.17%).

Now let’s take a closer look at the occupations that make up the IT sector.

A few observations:

  • The majority of these occupations pay well and are in relatively good health. It’s interesting to see Computer programmers in slight decline (-13,665 jobs) from 2006 to 2009. The most growth comes from Computer software engineers, applications.

  • Most IT jobs require, on average, a bachelor’s degree — and sometimes more. But there are a few expections: Computer support specialists and Computer specialists, all other require an associate’s. Both occupations have grown slightly in the last few years.

  • The average hourly earnings for most of these occupations is above $20, which equates into more than $40,000 per year.

If you’re interested in data on IT jobs for your region, please contact us.