EDUCAUSE Analyzes University IT Workforce – Potential Shortage Ahead

By David Bruggeman
October 17, 2008

While ACM has focused on Information Technology workforce issues, we have rarely had the opportunity to look at specific sectors in detail. EDUCAUSE is focused on Information Technology in higher education, and I want to note a recently released study their research center conducted on the IT workforce in higher education.

Leading the IT Workforce in Higher Education follows a 2004 EDUCAUSE report and combines interviews, surveys, and a literature review in assessing the leadership of information technology (defined as senior IT leaders, whether or not they aspired to be Chief Information Officers {CIOs} or not) in the higher education sector. It’s also a bit expensive, so I’m relating some of the key findings from a summary available from EDUCAUSE, instead of the full report. Keep in mind that the findings reflect those who responded to the survey (3,100 out of 19,787 who received surveys)

    Nearly twenty-nine percent of respondents intend to leave higher education in five years or less.

    When combined with the expected retirements of respondents over the age of 51, at least 48.1 percent of the respondents will retire by 2018.

    Most respondents anticipate a shortage of IT labor in the future, and few felt their institutions were taking steps to address the problem.

    Senior IT leadership are frequently posted at the university cabinet level, and are generally positive about their participation in the academic direction of the university.

    Those respondents who aspired to the CIO positions have a diverse work background, do not feel they are well prepared to take the position, and are interested in training outside of information technology.