Attracting the Best: How the Military Competes for Information Technology Personnel

Attracting the Best: How the Military Competes for Information Technology Personnel

Attracting the Best: How the Military Competes for Information Technology Personnel

Attracting the Best: How the Military Competes for Information Technology Personnel

Synopsis

This report focuses on the factors affecting the supply of information technology personnel to the active duty enlisted force, and the findings point to the conclusion that the IT training opportunities offered by the millitary can help secure the supply of IT personnel over the long haul.

Excerpt

In the final years of the 1990s, the private-sector demand for information technology (IT) workers seemed insatiable. it unemployment was practically nonexistent, pay was high and rising fast, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics had forecast a far larger growth in it jobs over the next decade than in any other occupational area. Leaders in the national security community began to doubt that the military, intelligence agencies, and public organizations would be able to compete for it workers in such an increasingly tight labor market. This concern was intensified by the evolving nature of the military services and intelligence agencies and their increasing dependence on information technology. the scramble for it workers has ceased, but it lasted long enough to jolt state and federal agencies into modifying their personnel policies to attract and keep it personnel, e.g., through altered job classification systems, increased pay levels, and enhanced professional development opportunities. the it boom also caused national security planners to question whether future force structures would be vulnerable to shortages of it personnel.

This report addresses a component of this issue by focusing on the factors affecting the supply of it personnel to the active duty enlisted force. in brief, the findings point to the conclusion that the it training opportunities offered by the military can help secure the supply of it personnel over the long haul. the intended audience of this report is the defense manpower policy research community; Pentagon analysts; congressional staffers; and command, control, communications, and intelligence staff who are interested in the supply of it personnel.

The report was prepared under the sponsorship of the National Defense Research Institute Advisory Board, with cosponsorship from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence. It was prepared within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the rand Corporation's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

Comments are welcome and may be addressed to the Project Leader, James Hosek, james_hosek@rand.org. For more information on RAND's Forces and Resources Policy Center, contact the director, Susan Everingham, susan_everingham@rand.org, 310-3930411, extension 7654.

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