Job security is more important than career ambition for IT workers

February 2009

Jobs section of a newspaperJust under 40 per cent of IT workers greatest career ambition is to save their job according to a new research report published today by Connect Support Services.

This is in stark contrast to 2008's findings, when almost half of IT workers in the UK said their number one ambition was to leave the computing industry altogether. This year, just 23 per cent of IT workers wanted to leave the world of IT and try something completely different.

The research report also found a distinct lack of ambition among IT workers: only 17 per cent wanted to create an innovation that would win the respect of their peers and just 1 per cent aspired to become an IT industry leader like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

The survey was conducted by an independent research company on behalf of Connect and consisted of in-depth interviews with IT managers and directors at 151 UK companies in a range of industries.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Among women IT workers surveyed, over 4 out of ten, thought keeping their jobs was their main ambition,
  • The greatest career aspiration for 37 per cent of IT workers was to 'keep my job', 17 per cent dreamt of 'discovering an IT innovation', 13 per cent would like to 'work as an IT Director at a technology company' and just 1 per cent aspired to be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates,
  • These shows vast differences to 2008 when the greatest career aspiration for 4 out of 10 IT workers was to 'leave the industry altogether', 13 per cent wanted to 'work as an IT Director at a technology company' and 11 per cent aspired to be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

Mark MacGregor, CEO of Connect, said: 'It's a difficult time for many of those working in technology with uncertainty over employment and increasing pressure to deliver better IT with smaller budgets. With companies are making major cuts in their workforce, it is hardly surprising that IT workers are concentrating on retaining their current job rather than dreaming of alternative career options. What is surprising however is the lack of ambition to achieve something significant in technology - in fact, despite the recession, more IT workers want to leave the industry altogether than discover an IT innovation.'

The survey of 151 IT directors was conducted by The Survey Shop in December 2008. Full details of the survey can be found at www.connect.co.uk.