Survey: US Gov't jobs seen as desirable for IT workers

Call it a sign of the times. Who would've expected federal and state/local government agencies to nab two of the top five positions in a recent survey of IT professionals on the most desirable IT employers in the US?

          Call it a sign of the times.

          It was hardly surprising when Microsoft and IBM snared the top spots in a recent survey of 6792 IT professionals who identified the most desirable IT employers in the US. But until recently, who would've expected federal and state/local government agencies to nab two of the other top five positions?

          The results, published late last month by, are based on survey responses from IT professionals ranging from computer operators to CIOs. Of the respondents, 63% work for technology companies, while 37% work for companies such as insurance firms and auto manufacturers.

          Federal and military agencies and state/local governments ranked third and fifth, respectively, among the organisations cited (Cisco Systems was number four). When asked to provide the reasons behind their choices, many respondents pointed to job stability and solid benefits, says Nick Doty, editorial director at, a technical career development website based in Minneapolis.

          Other organisations named to the list include AOL Time Warner, Sun Microsystems, Dell, The Walt Disney Commpany, Lockheed Martin and Apple Computer.

          Survey responses suggest that the West is the best geographic area for IT professionals. Fourteen of the top 50 most desired employers are headquartered west of the Rocky Mountains, with the bulk of those employers in the San Francisco Bay area.

          Most survey respondents ranked stability as the top factor in wanting to work for an ideal employer. Interesting/challenging work and admiration for a company's products and services were other top vote-getters in this category. Microsoft and Cisco both ranked high for offering interesting and/or challenging work as well as for their use of cutting-edge technologies. Dell and Disney were cited as attractive places to work thanks to the strength of their core business models.

          Although WorldCom and Enron weren't among the top 100 most desirable companies to work for, the two companies "were mentioned by a lot of people," says Doty. Despite their respective financial collapses last year, both organisations "are still very highly respected in the tech community."

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