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How the fiscal cliff affects IT

The so-called fiscal cliff has the potential to send the U.S. economy into a tailspin. Here are the specific changes that could hit the IT industry.

By , Network World
December 06, 2012 10:48 AM ET

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Statistics from show more than 227,000 unfilled jobs in information technology, putting the industry third on the list behind healthcare and retail. And that figure may not accurately reflect the full economic impact of IT training on the U.S. workforce.

"For example, the health IT technician at a hospital, the graphic designer for a communications firm, or a data analyst at a financial services company all require an IT background, because their jobs are grounded in technological know-how," a 2011 CompTIA report on the IT job market reads.

At the time of the report, CompTIA estimated that IT skills account for approximately 5 million jobs in the U.S.

In addition to the public high school, community college and university IT courses funded by the government, sequestration puts programs for military service members at risk, CompTIA director of corporate communications Steven Ostrowski says. The White House estimates that more than 1 million armed forces personnel will transition out of the military by 2016, most of whom "are going to enter the workforce looking for work," Ostrowski says.

"There is a need for training upfront," he says. "You might know how to turn on a computer and send an email, but there's a lot more that goes into that before you can jump in and start working in the industry."

Colin Neagle covers emerging technologies and the startup scene for Network World. Follow him on Twitter!/ntwrkwrldneagle and keep up with the Microsoft, Cisco and Open Source community blogs. Colin's email address is

Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.

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