During the 1990s, the burgeoning private-sector demand for information technology (IT) workers, escalating private-sector pay in IT, growing military dependence on IT, and faltering military recruiting led to a concern that the military capability was vulnerable to a large shortfall in IT personnel. What basis, if any, offered assurance that the supply of IT personnel would be adequate to meet the military's future IT manpower requirements? The authors conducted a literature review, field interviews, and data analysis and used a dynamic model that, taken together, compose an integrative perspective on this question and offer some policy implications for military planners in terms of how to recruit and retain qualified IT personnel. In addition, the insights of this research seem likely to apply to other high-technology occupations in the military that, like IT, offer valuable, transferable training in addition to the opportunity to serve.
The research described in this report was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.
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