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.
This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.