IT lifestyles - major survey unveils the true facts

Extracts from '2001 is the Year of the Census – I.T. is THE Industry of the Future'.

  • The world's first IT 'Lifestyle Census' with 5,000 professionals surveyed.

  • Most IT professionals would rather have dinner with Bill Gates than Jordan.

  • Internet more important than Lara Croft.

  • IT professionals more likely to stay in their current jobs for 3 years than move for money alone.

    Embarcadero has created the world's first IT 'Lifestyle' Census to understand what makes IT people tick. IT employs 850,000 people in the UK and is a major force in the British economy – isn't it about time IT professionals had their say? Embarcadero, database software specialists, creates products to improve the ease and productivity of industry professionals – it can't do that without knowing all about them.

    Gone are the days of the 'Geek'. The current IT professional is the future, no longer a stereotype. These people are less than conventional, and incredibly valuable. They work harder than average, are highly intelligent, and very well informed. Young, but with an average of thirteen years experience in IT, they are more concerned with career opportunities than salary. Maybe that's why they would prefer to have dinner with Bill Gates rather than Jordan (although Ali G got more votes than Larry Ellison!)

    Brighter than most, richer than average

    IT professionals are educated people, and over 52% have university degrees, but despite the ferocious demand within the industry for bright people, the head-hunters have got their work cut out – 60% said they wouldn't leave their job within three years. They may find work stressful (42% are under constant pressure and another 55% under frequent pressure) but they do enjoy their jobs (90% enjoy work most of the time) and the rewards that go with them. The image of ostentatious cars and laptop cases stuffed with notes rings false, however: they may earn more than average (£35,000 typically; £14,000 more than average) but still drive more Vauxhalls than Mercedes (except in their dreams!)

    Who is the IT professional of today?

    The IT profession has gradually emerged from the shadows and silences of modesty: perhaps afraid of envy in the past, the census has been a revelation. IT professionals are mostly men (83%) and are more social than they are given credit for: they go out about twice a week, enjoy a few pints of beer, are competent cooks and budding gourmets (Italian especially), and indulge themselves with over two holidays a year (with the USA coming favourite) and live sporting events. They enjoy music and playing football, make time for family and friends at the weekend (only 30% are single, but few have children so far), and are very free-thinking, with over a third refusing to work for large IT companies.

    IT people are well informed: both about industry news and current affairs, and, not surprisingly, make extensive use of internet resources to find out what's going on (33% feel online news sources are more useful than printed media). They also prefer Eastenders to Coronation Street – we did have to ask! They take IT issues very seriously (40% thought the internet was the most important IT innovation, compared to 3% for Lara Croft) and feel strongly about future developments, particularly e-commerce.

    The most popular IT-related publication is 'Computer Weekly', most popular football team is Liverpool. Favourite movie is 'Star Wars', and beer/lager is the most favoured drink by those surveyed. Unfortunately, Contractor UK did not feature in the 'favourite news sites' category (probably because most respondants were permanent employees). We look forward to a survey of 5000 IT Contractors!

    David Oates, VP of Embarcadero Europe, says:

    "When we first decided to conduct the world's first IT 'Lifestyle' Census we didn't really know what to expect. We wanted to gain an insight into the people that make our industry tick, because we always need to listen to what they want: only then can we help them do more now. We were astounded by some of the results and pleasantly surprised by others: but it's time IT people made their voices heard – they're too important to exist in the silence and shadows of their own dedication. Embarcadero is all about creating products to help give IT professionals more time and more power – and now we know how much they need it!"
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