How IT Jobs Have Changed in 15 Years

Fer Gregory/

Some simply didn’t exist in the late '90s, while others have expanded dramatically, Pew finds.

Think about your current information technology job – would it even have existed 15 years ago? Even if it did, it’s likely to have either dramatically grown or shrunk, depending on your job description.

That’s according to the Pew Research Center, which analyzed data from the joint federal-state Occupational Employment Statistics program that sorts wage and salary workers into more than 800 different occupations. The program’s most recent estimates, which are based on data collected from November 2009 to May 2012, show that around 3.9 million workers – or 3 percent of the nation’s wage and salaried workforce – work in core IT jobs.

How have IT jobs changed in the past 15 years? According to Pew’s analysis, some IT jobs, namely information security analysts and Web developers, simply didn’t exist, or at least did not fall under those titles. Other jobs, such as database administrators, software developers and computer support specialists, have expanded dramatically, while occupations like computer programming and computer operating have shrunk. 

“Since the World Wide Web was conceived 25 years ago, it’s become a major reason why computers, smartphones and other data/communication technologies are integral parts of most everyone’s daily lives,” Pew’s Drew DeSilva writes on Fact Tank. “Among other things, that means many more Americans are employed in developing, maintaining and improving those devices and the communications networks they use.”

How has your view of the IT field, particularly in the federal space, changed over the past 15 years? 

(Image via Fer Gregory/