Is the IT worker stereotype true? Somewhat

Summary:White, male, middle aged -- sound familiar? While the stereotype is still largely true, the demographics are changing.

Chart detail courtesy WSJ

The Wall Street Journal has a new visual graphic out profiling the information technology worker. It's an interesting look at how the stereotype matches up with reality.

Sure, the majority of IT workers are still male—about 74 percent of them, according to this graphic. And seven out of every 10 still report themselves as white. 

But there are some shifts.

About one-third of all IT workers have degrees in business, social sciences or other non-technical fields. (In fact, about one-fourth don't have a college degree at all.)

Texas is now the number two U.S. state for IT employment, behind only California.

More than a third are less than 34 years old, which means they began to enter the workforce the same year that the film Office Space came out.

And they are paid not nearly as much as some think they are, given all the buzz around the narrower, more lucrative field of software development: half of all network and systems administrators pull in less than $72,000 per year, and half of all support specialists make less than $46,000 per year. 

No reason to fret, though: Jobs for systems administrators are expected to grow 28 percent through 2020, twice as fast as all other occupations. Which means businesses still find lots of value in the occupation.

Topics: Tech & Work


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.