CDS Interactive Almanac | IT Spending and Staffing

EDUCAUSE data help you identify practical ranges for budgets and staffing by benchmarking against your peers' resource allocations. To help communicate the value of these data, our most popular benchmarks are summarized and made available to the entire higher education community. Visit the Core Data Service to learn more.

What is a practical range for central IT budget?

The median amount of total central IT expenditures in the prior fiscal year (2022–23)1 was $10.6 million, ranging from $4.8 million (25th percentile) to $25.3 million (75th percentile). The median operating costs of central IT in the prior fiscal year were $3.9 million, and median compensation costs were $5.2 million.

The median amount of central IT expenditures per student FTE in the prior fiscal year (2022–23) was $1,601, reflecting a slight increase from 2021–22 ($1,500).

On average, the current fiscal year (2023–24) central IT budgets of most institutions were equal to or greater than budgets reported in the prior fiscal year.

When compared to the prior fiscal year (2022–23), current fiscal year budgets among private and public doctoral institutions reflect a slight decrease of the 25th percentiles, where the budgeted amounts are 78% (private doctoral) and 95% (public doctoral) of the prior fiscal year’s budget.


1 We define the fiscal year as the most recent fiscal year ending before September 1, 2023, for data collected in the 2023 CDS cycle.

We define the FY2021-22, FY2022-23, and FY2023-24 labels in each graphic as the year to which the data apply. The ranges in each graphic reference the 25th and 75th percentiles across all institutions that participated in the 2022 or 2023 CDS survey.

Based on 320–400 reporting U.S. institutions. Updated Feb. 2024.

What is a practical range for staff size?

Total central IT staffing levels remained steady or slightly increased, on average, in 2022–23 as compared to the prior year.

The one exception is private doctoral institutions, where the range of 33–135 staff FTEs in 2022–23 reflects a decrease from the 41–136 staff FTEs in 2021–22 (25th to 75th percentiles). This finding aligns with the reported changes among private doctoral institutions, overall, which reflect slight declines in prior year expenditures and current year budgets.

Ratios of central IT staff per 1,000 institutional FTE remained steady or slightly increased from the prior year, overall.2

Central IT units employed a median of 8 student employee FTEs in the 2022–23 fiscal year, compared to 7 in 2021–22. Overall, student employee staffing levels are aligned with 2022–23 central IT employee staffing.


2 Staff numbers are reported as full-time equivalent (FTE): FTE represents 40 working hours per week over the course of the full fiscal year.

Student FTEs are also reported as 1 FTE = 40 hours of work per week; where 4 students working 10 hours per week = 1 FTE.

Based on 321–401 reporting U.S. institutions. Updated Feb. 2024.

What's important to know now?

The median percentage of central IT new hires from underrepresented groups in the 2022–23 fiscal year was 36%, compared to 33% in 2021–22.3

Overall, the median percentage of central IT staff who departed in the 2022–23 fiscal year was 8%, consistent with the prior year.


3 Based on 174–379 reporting U.S. institutions. Updated Feb. 2024