Poll: IT workers mostly male, well-off, concerned about Iraq

The IT workforce is overwhelmingly male, white and well-paid, and it sees the war in Iraq as the top political issue in the U.S., according to a poll of 600 tech workers by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based industry group, which operates an extensive IT certification program, hired professional polling company Rasmussen Reports Inc. to conduct the telephone survey of people who identified themselves as IT workers. The pollsters contacted about 100,000 people to find a base of respondents that they felt was statistically valid, said Roger Cochetti, group director of public policy at CompTIA.

Cochetti said the poll results help "identify the technology workforce as a key body in the American politic." He added that he suspects that IT workers are more active then the average American in contributing to campaigns.

If that is the case, it may be because technology professionals are paid better than many other kinds of workers. For instance, 54% of the respondents to the CompTIA poll said that they make more than US$75,000 per year, with 32% earning over $100,000. Only 13% have annual incomes of less than $40,000.

Of those who responded, 77% were male. Forty-two percent said they were between the ages of 30 and 39; the next largest group, at 18%, was made up of workers aged 40 to 49. Meanwhile, 73% of the surveyed IT workers identified themselves as white, 10% as black and 17% as "other." Seventy-one percent said they hold at least one college degree.

In terms of political party loyalties, the largest block of respondents -- 39% -- put themselves in the "other" category, followed by 35% who said they were Republicans and 26% who said they were Democrats.

When the IT workers were asked what is the most important issue that the next president will face, their top three responses mirrored similar surveys of the general population in the U.S. Twenty-nine percent picked the war in Iraq as the top issue, followed by 22% citing terrorism and 19% pointing to the economy.

On the issue of free trade, 48% said that it helps the U.S. economy, while 37% said that it hurts. Asked whether the U.S. should "regulate the Internet as it does telephone and television," 82% opposed the notion.

The poll was conducted in August and September. The participating IT workers weren't asked about their presidential preferences, but Cochetti said CompTIA may ask that question in another poll planned for early next year.

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