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A Price Tag On Your Skills

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In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: A Price Tag On Your Skills
2. Today's Top Story: VoIP
    - AT&T, Yahoo Jointly Offer VoIP
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft Plugs IE Add-Ons With New Site
    - IE7 For XP Beta 2: Has Firefox Met Its Match?
    - Google Places Firefox Ad On Home Page
    - Troubled GM Starts Employee Blog
    - Oracle Readies Database Vault, Secure Backup
    - Careers: Pay Gap Is Closing Between Certified And Noncertified Tech Skills, Says Report
    - Commission, Microsoft In Sharp Court Exchange
    - Disney To Test New Interactive Ads On ABC.com
    - IT Spending For Border Control Could Top $2 Billion: Input
    - Net Neutrality Debate Heats Up
    - Microsoft Acquires Asset-Tracking Vendor
    - Google Sued In Israeli Court
4. Grab Bag: Skype, Storage, And Green Vehicles
    - Skype Dabbling In Music Downloads (San Jose Mercury News)
    - Seagate Goes To 750 Gbytes With New Drive (Macworld)
    - 60 MPH Green Machine May Be The Answer To City Traffic Jams (Times Online UK)
5. In Depth: Browsers
    - Firefox Bug Could Be Serious
    - Microsoft Releases Second Internet Explorer 7 Beta
    - Microsoft Ships IE7 Beta 2, Final XP Version To Beat Vista
    - Another Zero-Day Bug Smacks IE
6. Voice Of Authority: Careers
    - Down To Business: IT Globalization: Don't Kill The Messenger
    - IT Confidential: A Word Of Advice: Watch Your Job
7. White Papers
    - RFID: A Meeting Of The Minds—A Report On Larstan's RFID Executive Roundtable
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody." -- Benjamin Franklin


1. Editor's Note: A Price Tag On Your Skills

In recent weeks, InformationWeek has produced loads of coverage on the benefits and pitfalls of outsourcing, career trends, and now salary trends. Despite the gloom and doom over outsourcing, particularly offshoring, there are some reasons for optimism, at least among those who are constantly advancing their skills and raising their value to their companies. In many ways, the job market is quite healthy.

Those who are enjoying upside in their careers in this climate recognize that one of the most valuable tools to avoid being outsourced, downsized, or marginalized is knowledge. This can take the form of unbiased information about your company and industry, your profession, your particular niche in your profession, and, yes, even information on the latest outsourcing trends. In that spirit, I want to draw your attention to the 2006 edition of the InformationWeek Salary Adviser and urge you to take advantage of this interactive Web tool to better understand your value to your company and, more broadly, your value in the IT marketplace.

The tool provides 22 IT job classifications, 21 regions, and two functional levels—management and staff. From the drop-down menus, select your job classification, region, and level to see how you stack up against a sample of more than 10,000 IT professionals. Not only can you check where you stand today (hopefully that's not an unknown), but more importantly you can also use the tool to run some if-then scenarios. If you move from one region or major city to another, what's the salary impact? Case in point: A web design/development manager in New York makes a median base salary of $88,000, with a high of $121,500 and a low of $75,000. In Chicago, the comparable figures are $75,500, $89,250, and $60,375.

Those whose career goals include greater compensation can also test the impact of a move into management. A help desk/IT support manager in Atlanta makes a median salary of $67,000, while a staff-level help desk job in the same city pays $49,000. That's a pretty good argument in favor of gunning for a management job.

Use the tool to divine trends in IT job classifications as well. For instance, what functions are seeing the most salary growth? Where salaries are growing anemically or shrinking, that could be a leading indicator of jobs ripe to be outsourced. A few examples to ponder:

The average IT security manager in New York got no salary increase and remained at a median salary of $113,000—a somewhat surprising development, and one that should give pause to IT security managers.

An enterprise resource planning manager in Boston saw a salary increase of 2.3% to a median salary of $122,500.

Groupware/E-mail managers in San Francisco saw their salaries jump 7.5% to a median figure of $129,000.

At the very high end of the spectrum, enterprise application integration managers in Los Angeles saw their median base salary shoot up 15% to a high of $117,000 in the past year.

While ERP managers are making more than EAI managers today, the salary trend favors expertise in integration. And groupware/E-mail is an excellent skill set to have. How can you position yourself to capitalize?

Such information—available from InformationWeek and many other Web sources, including our new sister site, TechCareers—gives you critical insight on how to make yourself indispensable in an increasingly globalized and brutally competitive IT market. Can you afford not to take advantage?

Please weigh in at my blog entry with any trends—hot locations, hot skills, hot industries—that you're experiencing firsthand.

Tom Smith
tsmith@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com/


2. Today's Top Story

AT&T, Yahoo Jointly Offer VoIP
Yahoo Messenger with Voice is now available to AT&T Yahoo high-speed Internet subscribers and to Yahoo users in AT&T's 13-state local service area.


3. Breaking News

Microsoft Plugs IE Add-Ons With New Site
The Add-Ons for Internet Explorer page hosts both free and for-fee add-ons. A search tool can be used to sift through the material.

IE7 For XP Beta 2: Has Firefox Met Its Match?
The new public release of Internet Explorer Beta 2 is, according to Microsoft, more stable and ready to be used. But is it ready to go up against Firefox?

Google Places Firefox Ad On Home Page
The ad promotes the key advantage supporters claim Firefox has over Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Troubled GM Starts Employee Blog
As employees apply for buyouts, plants suspend operations, and managers institute a plan to recover from poor performance, GM has started a blog to give employees a chance to vent.

Oracle Readies Database Vault, Secure Backup
Scheduled to ship in a few weeks, Database Vault allows companies to put firewalls around financial data so DBAs and systems administrators can't see data they shouldn't.

Careers: Pay Gap Is Closing Between Certified And Noncertified Tech Skills, Says Report
Over the last year, pay for noncertified IT skills grew nearly 70% more than pay for certifications, according to the survey, which tracked the market value of 212 IT skills and certifications.

Commission, Microsoft In Sharp Court Exchange
Microsoft said the EU is trying to "handicap" the IT industry's "leading player in perpetuity," to which the Commission responded it's merely trying to make the playing field more equitable.

Disney To Test New Interactive Ads On ABC.com
Ten major advertisers have delivered new interactive online commercials as part of Disney's two-month test of whether consumers will watch ads if they can download hit TV shows on ABC.com for free.

IT Spending For Border Control Could Top $2 Billion: Input
The Department of Homeland Security hasn't nailed down many specifics for its new border project, an Input report says. But key technologies will include areas ranging from geospatial and surveillance systems to systems engineering and construction services.

Net Neutrality Debate Heats Up
As a House committee gears up to vote on whether to require the FCC to enforce the notion of equal Internet access for all parties, the blogosphere is weighing in.

Microsoft Acquires Asset-Tracking Vendor
Even as one of the AssetMetrix co-founders questioned the deal, Microsoft said it will integrate the technology into Systems Management Server 2003.

Google Sued In Israeli Court
ML, an Israeli women's fashion chain, claims that Google is allowing surfers to enter ML's name in the search engine and reach the Web site of a rival retailer instead.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

John Soat With 'News In A Minute'

Chris Murphy With 'IT Phone Home'

Lori MacVittie With 'Swag!'


4. Grab Bag: Skype, Storage, And Green Vehicles

Skype Dabbling In Music Downloads (San Jose Mercury News)
Skype struck a deal Tuesday that will bring the sounds of Madonna and potentially thousands of other artists as ring tones to people who use the company's Internet phone-calling software.

Seagate Goes To 750 Gbytes With New Drive (Macworld)
Seagate Technology on Wednesday announced the release of a 750 Gbyte version of its Barracuda 3.5-inch hard disk drive mechanism. The newest Barracuda 7200/10 model comes in capacities ranging from 200 Gbytes to 750 Gbytes.

60 MPH Green Machine May Be The Answer To City Traffic Jams (Times Online UK)
This three-wheeled vehicle, part motorbike and part car, is being hailed as the future of city driving. Called the Clever, it's half the width of a conventional car, can carry a passenger, and, as it runs on gas, would be exempt from the congestion charge in London.


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----
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5. In Depth: Browsers

Firefox Bug Could Be Serious
A security firm fears that a zero-day vulnerability in a fully patched and most current version of Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox could be exploited.

Microsoft Releases Second Internet Explorer 7 Beta
This version targets consumers and will offer tech support.

Microsoft Ships IE7 Beta 2, Final XP Version To Beat Vista
Microsoft has stripped the "Preview" label from Internet Explorer Beta 2 and rolled out the first version of its new browser that the company will support with regular security updates.

Another Zero-Day Bug Smacks IE
A researcher's note, circulated by Symantec, says Internet Explorer is prone to memory corruption because of the way it handles malformed HTML.


6. Voices Of Authority: Careers

Down To Business: IT Globalization: Don't Kill The Messenger
Don't try to seal off our borders, either. Employment and pay are up, so we must be doing something right.

IT Confidential: A Word Of Advice: Watch Your Job
Hello and welcome to our show. Today's panelists include a prominent lawyer, a renowned psychiatrist, and a used-car salesman we picked up on a lot somewhere off Ventura Boulevard.


7. White Papers

RFID: A Meeting Of The Minds—A Report On Larstan's RFID Executive Roundtable
The radio frequency identification industry's best and brightest met for a panel discussion about the perils and promise of this proliferating technology. Read how within the panel's freewheeling debate over RFID's applicability, a consensus quickly emerged: It's crucial for managers to make a business case for RFID adoption.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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