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Volume 3, Number 9 -- March 7, 2006

Study Says One-Third of IT Workers Plan to Quit in 2006

Published: March 7, 2006

by Alex Woodie

One in three IT workers are planning to quit their current jobs this year, according to a survey conducted last fall by CareerBuilder.com, and released in February. Participants in the study cited huge and growing workloads, a lack of leadership, and unsatisfactory pay as the top reasons for wanting to jump ship.

CareerBuilder.com reports that 61 percent of IT workers say their workload has increased over the last six months, and almost 50 percent say their workload is unmanageable. In terms of pay, it's not surprising to hear that half of the participants were not happy with their pay overall, or that only 20 percent received a raise of more than five percent last year. On the leadership front, 38 percent indicated they're happy with the way their corporate leaders are running the organization, while only 25 percent are dissatisfied with their direct supervisors.

While it's not exactly news that IT workers--or any group of workers, for that matter--are grousing about their work conditions, there are legitimate reasons to question the validity of this study and its findings. Although CareerBuilder.com says it selected potential participants from a random sample, which is a requirement for studies to be scientifically valid, the sample size was only 115 workers, which translates to an error rate of 9 percent. Not exactly the kind of research that will get you published in Nature.

And then there's the fudge factor. Apparently, a large cross-section of workers--not just IT pros, but accountants, lawyers, and even politicians, apparently--are lying their way through their workdays.

According to another CareerBuilder.com study released this week, 20 percent of workers admit to lying at the office. The most common reason for lying is to appease a customer (26 percent) while covering up one's screw-ups was a distant second (13 percent). The most common lies are "I don't know how that happened" (20 percent) and "I have another call to take" or "I'll call you right back" (16 percent). The sample size for this study was more than 2,050 subjects, which translates into a very respectable 3 percent error rate. Obviously, this is a study that reeks of trustworthiness.

Now, given that workers are prone to lying at work, would it really be responsible to sound the alarm about the horrible working conditions that IT workers face--the mounting workload, the uncaring bosses, the scraps of bread and water that pass for pay? Could it be that these programmers, administrators, and operators are exaggerating, just a bit, about their plans to create the next IT worker shortage? Just a thought.



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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
Shannon O'Donnell, Victor Rozek, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
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