Software // Information Management
Commentary
8/26/2008
01:58 PM
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Any Extra Change Jingling In Your Pocket Lately?

Tech salaries inched up recently after slumping earlier this year, according to a new wage report from an IT services and staffing firm. Could this the beginning of an upward trend or just a blip?

Tech salaries inched up recently after slumping earlier this year, according to a new wage report from an IT services and staffing firm. Could this the beginning of an upward trend or just a blip?During the first three months of 2008, the rocky economy translated into slightly smaller paychecks for some IT jobs, according to Yoh's first quarter tech wage report. During that time, tech wages fell 1.2% compared with the same time in 2007, according to Yoh.

But in the second quarter (by end of June,) wages had increased by nearly 1% -- or 0.9% -- over the same period in 2007, according to Yoh's latest report. On an hourly basis, that means tech pay rose to an average of $31.37 at the end of June, up from $31.08 that same time last year, says Yoh.

That less-than-1% rise over one quarter isn't exactly eye-popping, but it could be a hopeful sign for techies, whose paychecks for this year haven't grown much, if at all, and in some cases have even sunk.

"It's not robust, but it's not soggy, either," says Jim Lanzalotto, VP of strategy and marketing for Yoh. Pay trends are indeed "soft" right now for tech professionals overall, but hopefully not on the downward trend that seemed to be developing earlier this year, he says.

In fact, back in April, InformationWeek Research's annual national salary survey also found that tech pay had fallen for the first time since the dot-com bubble burst. In our InformationWeek Research 2008 survey of more than 9,000 IT pros, we found that from 2007 to 2008, median base pay for IT staff fell to $73,000 from $74,000, and for managers it dropped from $97,000 to $96,000.

For more about this InformationWeek Research 2008 IT salary research report, click here.

Aside from the lackluster pay trends of late, there are bright spots in the tech job market, says Lanzalotto. At Yoh, recruiters are still seeing strong demand for SAP functional and technical consultants, security experts, and wireless application skills.

To keep up with the skill demand trends of clients, Yoh recently launched a Web-based exchange built with SAP software. Using the exchange, customers can send requests online to Yoh for talent ranging from SAP consultants to administrative assistants. Supply chain software routes the requests and recruiters help fill the positions behind the scenes, transmitting information back to clients.

While the new online exchange has been a recent focus of Yoh's own internal IT efforts, that customer-facing theme also resonates with the sort of projects many of Yoh's clients are doing these days, Lanzalotto says.

"Anything that's customer-facing is still strong, more so than infrastructure work," he says. "In this economy, companies are still keeping the engines running, but if anything is being cut back, it's not customer-facing projects."

What sorts of tech pay, skill, or project trends have you seen developing lately?

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