Survey: IT pros have politically independent views

A recent survey found that IT workers tend to have free-market principles and independent attitudes about political parties on the subject of U.S. politics and the government’s role in regulation. The Washington, D.C.-based trade group Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), in coordination with Rasmussen Reports, last August and September polled 600 IT workers about their political leanings.

The respondents’ answers were matched up with personal information they gave about their gender, race and nationality. Of those polled, about three-quarters were white males typically earning more than US$80,000 per year. Politically, 35 per cent counted themselves as Republicans, per cent as Democrats and 40 per cent as Independents.

When asked “What are the top issues for the next president?” the bulk of the responses overall were Iraq, terrorism and the economy. Healthcare and the environment were mentioned least often.

Half of the respondents said they think free trade helps the economy, but 37 per cent said it hurts. IT workers less than 29 years old answered negatively more often; workers aged 30 to 39 supported free trade most often of all those polled.

About eight in 10 of those polled said the “government should avoid regulating the Internet as it does telephone service,” with older workers, Democrats and women more inclined toward regulation.

On a question about “who should be primarily responsible for protecting consumer privacy on the Internet,” 60 per cent answered “the individuals themselves,” 19 per cent thought that companies providing Internet services should, and 12 per cent believed it was mainly the responsibility of the government. CompTIA in its findings said women and African-Americans favoured a government role.

The 600 workers polled were about evenly split between favouring and opposing tax credits for IT workers to get training and certification.

As to what government should do about protecting intellectual property, 39 per cent of those polled answered the government should do more, with 76 per cent of IT workers who graduated only from high school supporting an active government role.

One thing CompTIA noted in its survey, which can be found here, is that 90 per cent of the IT workers polled were born in the United States or Canada; the remainder were from India, China, Russia, and Eastern and Western Europe. CompTIA stated it undertook the survey to highlight the role of the IT worker and encourage those seeking elected office to court their votes actively.

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