The number of Americans employed in information technology has increased 10-fold in the past four-plus decades, according to a Census Bureau report. Only 450,000 workers were employed in IT in 1970. By 2014 the number was 4.6 million, accounting for 2.9 percent of the work force.
There are big differences between IT workers and the labor force as a whole. IT workers are younger: the 55 percent majority are aged 25 to 44 versus 43 percent of all workers. IT workers are less likely to be female: only 25 percent are women versus 47 percent of all workers. Perhaps the biggest difference is in earnings: IT workers earn more than average, and their earnings are growing. Men who work full-time in IT saw their earnings grow 9 percent between 1970 and 2014, after adjusting for inflation. In contrast, earnings fell 12 percent for male workers overall. Women's earnings increased regardless of occupation during those years. In 2014, women in IT earned 80 percent more than the average working woman and 43 percent more than the average working man.
Median earnings of men who work full-time (and % increase since 1970; in 2014 dollars)
IT occupations: $80,895 (+9%)
All occupations: $49,150 (–12%)
Median earnings of women who work full-time (and % increase since 1970; in 2014 dollars)
IT occupations: $70,385 (+23%)
All occupations: $39,055 (+23%)
Source: Census Bureau, Occupations in Information Technology