IT Leadership Survey

Children interaction with computers
Since the education technology profession is constantly evolving, CoSN conducts its IT Leadership survey annually. The survey provides valuable information about how education leaders are leveraging technology and paints a picture of potential changes in the field. Look to us for your comprehensive overview of technology trends, challenges, and priorities! The results of the survey will inform the decisions we make to serve our members going forward. Our IT Leadership survey is sponsored by SchoolDude and conducted in partnership with MDR.
Over the past decade, ed tech professionals have transformed themselves from IT specialists into strategic leaders whose work plays a critical role in all aspects of education. We are excited to see what the next decade has in store!

The 2017 IT Leadership Survey is now available! 

Download your free copy of 2017 results

4th Annual CoSN K-12 IT Leadership Survey

Top 10 Key Findings from the 2017 IT Leadership Survey

  • Mobile learning is the top priority for IT leaders, ranked atop the list for the first time. The number two priority is “Broadband & Network Capacity.”
  • Cybersecurity and student data privacy continue to grow as major concerns with 62 percent of respondents rating them more important than last year.
  • Budget constraints and lack of resources are ranked as the top challenges for the third straight year. More than half of school technology leaders said their IT budgets have stayed the same since last year and do not sufficiently meet current needs and demands.
  • Understaffing remains a key issue for technology departments in school systems. More than 80 percent of IT leaders do not have enough staff to meet district needs. Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated that their staff size has remained constant even in the face of increasing needs.
  • Single-Sign-On (SSO) is the most implemented interoperability initiative with 60 percent of school technology leaders having partially or fully implemented SSO. Data interoperability, meanwhile, was the next most popular solution, with 73 percent of respondents indicating they were in planning or implementation stages.
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), more than one-third of IT leaders expressed “no interest” in such initiatives, up from 20 percent in 2014.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) interest is high, with nearly 80 percent of respondents indicating it was part of their district’s digital content strategy.
  • Education technology experience is common among IT leaders – 73 percent have worked in the K-12 education technology field for more than 10 years.
  • Strong academic backgrounds are also prevalent among IT leaders. Nearly 80 percent of IT leaders have some college beyond a bachelor’s degree and nearly 70 percent of IT leaders hold a master’s degree.
  • Lack of diversity continues to be an issue for school district technology leaders. Ninety percent of IT leaders identify as white, the same percentage as the prior year.

Want to compare the last three years in more depth? Access a full copy of the 20162015, 2014, or 2013 survey reports.


2014: IT Leadership and Gender

Recent media attention has focused on the under-representation of women in high-tech fields and raised questions about gender representation in the K-12 sector. To contribute to that conversation, we dove back into our survey data to see what information we had gathered about gender. The data revealed several interesting gender discrepancies, some of which parallel industry-wide trends.

download gender analysis

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a straight arrow with two Xs on each side icona head with a turned on light bulb iconThis CoSN resource is related to the following skill areas from CoSN's Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO