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IT workers optimistic about job prospects

After a few years of poor prospects, job seekers in IT now feel the time is right to go searching for greener pastures.

After years of finding limited opportunities for job advancement in the IT sector, a recent industry poll shows that there is now some movement afoot when it comes to job prospects.

The Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., released a poll of 1,000 high tech workers, including those who work in IT. CompTIA is an IT industry trade association.

A few years ago the high tech job sector was shedding jobs in such numbers that many people had to go into other fields to find work, and in the case of many older workers, they remain unemployed or under employed in unrelated fields.

The number of high tech jobs began to nose dive in 2000, along with the numbers in other industries when the United States experienced an official recession followed by an economy that remained sluggish.

Fifty-eight percent of the 1,000 people polled said they were looking for a new job.

"The evidence we received anecdotally from high tech people, which includes IT workers, is that they now believe the market for tech jobs is loosening up," said Steven Ostrowski, an association representative.

Fifty-eight percent of the 1,000 people polled said they were looking for a new job. Higher pay overwhelmingly topped the list with 73% of those job hunters hoping to land a higher-paying job.

Sixty-four percent said they were looking because their current job held no chance for advancement, while 58% said they wanted a new challenge. And 41% said they would like better benefits.

A total of 61% said they were looking either because they didn't respect the management or the company where they were working, or their management did not respect them.

Almost 22% would like to find a less stressful job, and almost 35% want a job that helps pay for some or all of their professional education.

CompTIA prepared the survey after the association ran a one-question poll asking if high tech workers were looking to change jobs, Ostrowski said. "The feedback we got was so high we figured we should look into it a bit more closely," he said, adding that the association will likely follow up on the poll in a year.

And while CompTIA did not ask those it surveyed for job titles, it did ask them to name the industries where they worked. A quarter of the 1,000 workers polled work in IT companies, which includes computer companies as well as value-added resellers. Sixteen percent work in education, 15% in government, 8% in healthcare and 7% in manufacturing.

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