Commerce Secretary Evans Releases Major Report Examining Information Technology Education and Training Landscape in 21st Century

June 20, 2003

The 225-page report provides an extensive exploration of employer demand for information technology (IT) workers, the IT education and training landscape, and the role of employers and workers in IT education and training. The report’s executive summary contains dozens of specific findings and five broad findings:

— The IT education and training infrastructure has grown significantly in size and scope over the past decade. Today, there is a vast array of IT education and training opportunities, with different types of programs and curricula serving different purposes.

  • Jobs in the IT field are varied, complex, and specialized, as are the knowledge, skills, and experience required to perform them.

  • Employers seek workers who possess a specific combination of technical skills and experience, often coupled with a college degree, soft skills, and business or industry knowledge. Typically, employers prefer job candidates with the exact skill set who require no additional training.

  • There is no single path to prepare a worker for a professional IT job.

  • The training landscape is complex, rapidly evolving and therefore challenging to navigate.

    “While the education and training landscape is rich with consumer choice, it is also complex. In this report, we lay out the landscape, with the hope that policymakers in government, education, and business will find this information useful as they develop education and training policies and programs designed to ensure a world-class IT workforce for the United States,” said Secretary Evans. “We also hope that the information will help make choices clearer for IT workers seeking skills and managing their careers, and for employers seeking training for their workforce.”

    The report was prepared following an extensive review to identify and analyze the education and training programs through which Americans prepare for IT jobs and maintain the skills needed in an ever-changing digital technology environment. The Commerce Department’s Technology Administration conducted a broad outreach effort to solicit the perspectives of employers, IT workers and education and training providers.

    In particular, the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration conducted eight roundtables across the country; provided a Web-based qualitative survey mechanism through which representatives of each stakeholder group were able to provide their perspectives on a variety of IT education and training-related questions; and met with a variety of employer, education and training provider, and worker representatives. Six of the roundtables convened employer representatives and education and training providers, and two convened IT workers, gathering insights from a total of 145 individuals. The Web-based survey attracted nearly 300 respondents, of which more than two-thirds were from IT workers. Responses to the survey may be reviewed at

    The report is available on the Web site of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration

    (PDF Format)