Aging work force alarms CIOs
- By Judi Hasson
- Apr 07, 2000
Four federal chief information officials expressed alarm Thursday at the
dwindling high-tech work force and what it will take to keep talented personnel
"We face some daunting statistics in what's going to happen to our work
force," Internal Revenue Service CIO Paul Cosgrave said at a Washington,
D.C., luncheon sponsored by the Professional Services Council.
The average age of an information technology worker is 47, and during the
next two years, the IRS expects 25 percent of its work force to retire.
"It is an aging work force. If we don't do something soon, we'll be out
of business," Cosgrave said.
His thoughts were echoed by Joe Leo, CIO at the Agriculture Department,
who said he has a work force that's "aging and declining rapidly."
Transportation CIO George Molaski said he hoped proposals would help, such
as a "cybercorps" that would pay the educational loans for those who want
to work in government IT. And he said he expected more work to be outsourced
to make up for the lack of government workers.
However, NASA's deputy CIO, David Nelson, said the space agency is reluctant
to outsource its work because of the sensitive nature of most of it.
"We're reluctant to give to you the mission control," Nelson told vendors
at the luncheon.
He said the lack of talented workers continues to be a critical problem
because "we are not able to meet the salaries [of the private sector]. We
are not able to keep the people."