A day in the life of an IT pro: What you told us

IT is an integral part of all organizations and we understand firsthand that people who work in IT are a unique, diverse community of individuals who do great work on the job, but also leave time for individual hobbies and pursuits. We thought it would be fun to take a look at your interests on a broader scale, so we recently surveyed 500 IT professionals to find out more.

What we found out is that while most interests varied, one thing is certain — you are a very dedicated bunch. More than half of you (53%) can only find 10 hours per week or less to pursue leisure activities. In fact, 43% of the IT professionals we surveyed spend between 40 and 60 hours at work each week, higher than the national general employee average of 34 hours, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data from the CDW survey also confirmed that you are a highly social, active group of individuals with a wide range of activities, interests and tastes. And, while a majority of you agree that IT is both your job and a hobby, 42% agreed that you like to spend as much of your free time as possible away from computers. Only about half (55%) of you blur the line between hard work and leisure by spending time off the clock updating your own IT and learning new software or programming languages.

According to our results, here’s a list of your favorite things:

* Date nght restaurant pick: 24% of the IT pros we surveyed cite Italian as their top choice when dining out, followed by American (20%), Mexican (19%) and Chinese (13%).

* Tunes of choice: Rock music tops the list as favorite type of music among IT pros at 36%, with pop (16%) and country (11%) almost tied for second.

* Pastimes: 48% percent of IT pros regularly pursue their interest in exercise or amateur sports, while 38% attend sporting events.

* Touchdown!: IT pros are more likely to watch the Super Bowl than the World Cup, with 57% enjoying football as opposed to 16% enjoying soccer. Now that the vuvuzelas have fallen silent, perhaps more IT professionals will be more willing to watch soccer in the future.

* Sweet tooth: 39% percent of IT pros enjoy baking or cooking when outside of work.

* Grow your garden: 33% percent of IT professionals include gardening among the activities they pursue most often in their free time.

* Top TV picks: More than one in three IT professionals watch TV online during their leisure time at least sometimes. And, they are most likely watching “NCIS”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “Lost” or “The Office”. Not one reality TV show made it onto the top 10 list of most popular TV shows among IT professionals, despite reality shows ranking Nos. 1 and 2 in overall TV ratings.

* Hard work pays off: IT pros are more likely to spend money on new clothes and accessories (30%) than on video games (25%).

It just goes to show that with the wide variety of challenges facing you every day, it takes many different personalities and talents to make IT run smoothly in an organization. Ever curious, we’re wondering — do you think the results of our recent survey gel with your personal interests? Tell us what YOU think.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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