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4/10/2013
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IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights

IT salaries begin to thaw, with median pay for staffers at $90,000 and managers at $120,000.

>> Application development is surviving against outsourcing.

Staffers who classify themselves in an application development function earn a median $100,000 in compensation, ranking this function eighth out of 23. Among managers, application development ranks fifth, at $132,000, tied with business intelligence/analytics and enterprise application integration.

IT pros in the U.S. have gone through wrenching change over the past decade as programming jobs went to India and other lower-cost countries. In our 2003 survey, we asked unemployed IT pros what job they did most recently, and 16% -- the No. 1 answer -- said application development. Nevertheless, app dev salaries have held up reasonably well. In our 2003 Salary Survey, for example, app dev compensation, at a median $73,000, also ranks seventh.

We're seeing growing interest in in-house app dev teams as software becomes a more crucial part of the customer experience companies deliver. Think of mobile apps. Most companies started by outsourcing that development function, but as mobile apps have become vital to retail and other companies, they're bringing that expertise in-house.

Outsourcing shows no sign of abating. Half of the companies represented in our survey use onshore and/or offshore IT outsourcers, about the same share as in 2004. IT pros aren't quite as discouraged about outsourcing's impacts as they were a decade ago.

Just over half of staffers and managers say it has led to fewer IT jobs, compared with 75% who felt that way in 2004. Two-thirds of the IT pros in our survey say outsourcing hasn't impacted their careers, and 13% of staffers and 20% of managers say it has led to expanded or new responsibilities.

>> The gender gap persists.

Across our survey, female IT staffers earn 13% less in total compensation than male IT staffers; female IT managers earn 10% less. That gap is nearly identical to what it was 10 years ago.

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However, our data doesn't explain why that gap exists, and whether women are being paid less for comparable roles in similar industries. For example, we haven't looked at whether women in our survey are underrepresented in high-paying industries such as finance or overrepresented in lower-paying ones such as state and local government. (In total, 13% of the respondents to our survey are female, 87% male.)

Our data does show that the pay gap can vary significantly by industry. In healthcare, for example, the gender pay gap shrinks to 1%. But healthcare is a relatively low-payer field -- IT staffers earn $5,000 less in total comp than the typical IT pro. In securities and banking, among the highest-paid industries, female IT staff earn almost 10% less ($92,000 compared with $102,000 for male staff), while female managers earn 20% less -- $109,000 compared with $137,000 for males IT managers.

>> A sizable minority of IT pros are embedded in business units.

One-third of the IT managers in our survey report to someone outside of the IT organization for at least half of their time, and one in five IT staffers do.

We asked this question for the first time this year because there's so much discussion about business units controlling more of the IT budget -- fueled by Gartner's prediction that the CMO will control more tech spending than the CIO by 2017.

When IT pros are embedded in a business unit, that function tends to consume most of their time. When we asked if staffers are embedded in a business unit, 19% say it applies to more than half their time, and 72% say it doesn't apply at all. Just 9% say it applies to less than half their time. The lesson for IT leaders is that IT pros embedded in marketing or manufacturing won't be able to keep a "day job" supporting ERP applications or balancing data center workloads.

With the answers to another question, we find that about one-third of IT staffers and half of managers have formal responsibilities outside of IT, even if they're still part of the IT organization. The most common areas are business development, R&D, non-IT support and marketing. Anecdotally, we see more IT pros are spending time with marketing and product development teams, as technology becomes a bigger part of these customer-facing disciplines.

In which roles outside of IT have the respondents to our survey held full-time positions? Marketing/sales (20% of staffers, 23% of managers), non-IT support (19%, 14%) and operations/supply chain/manufacturing (18%, 19%).

Don't fear the fact that IT roles and spending are drifting outside of the IT organization. It simply means the value of applied IT knowledge and skills is rising. The people who should be worried are the 46% of IT staffers and 30% of managers who say "spending time with peers in a business unit outside of IT" doesn't apply to their jobs at all.

>> Bay Area salaries are hot, even for the Bay Area.

The median base salary for IT staffers in the San Francisco area is $120,000 -- 38% higher than the median salary nationwide and 10% higher than in the No. 2 metro area, Washington, D.C. ($109,000). OK, it's no shocker that tech pros in the Bay Area are highly paid, but the gap between it and the No. 2 market is up to 10%, compared with 3% last year. Bay Area IT managers earn a median $140,000, 27% more than the national median and 4% more than area No. 2, New York.

The rising IT pay in the Bay Area appears to reinforce its place as the center of U.S. tech innovation. We're seeing a steady stream of big tech venture funding deals. We've seen companies such as Workday, ServiceNow, Salesforce.com, Google and Facebook become destination employers, while stalwarts such as Oracle and Apple still anchor the region. We've also seen established companies on the outskirts of the tech industry, the likes of GE and Ford, open offices in the valley to tap into its innovation ecosystem.

On the flip side, it will be interesting to see if more companies take the General Motors approach. As it sets up tech centers and hires thousands of IT pros in its shift away from outsourcing, GM has decided to eschew Silicon Valley for metro areas (Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Phoenix among them) where the talent is more affordable and the competition for that talent is less fierce.

In terms of median IT manager pay, Atlanta ranks 16th, Austin 17th and Phoenix 19th among 20 metro areas covered in our survey. Detroit, where GM also is expanding and hiring, ranks 18th. Austin and Atlanta rank higher for staff salaries (eighth and 12th), but Austin's median pay is still $22,000 a year less than in the Bay Area. Railroad Union Pacific is another company opening a new office in Austin looking for talent.

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goosegoose35
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goosegoose35,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 2:05:07 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
you are being baddly paid my friend. I make over 50 and am just a level 2 help desk at the moment.
goosegoose35
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goosegoose35,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/24/2014 | 2:02:59 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
You have worked in the lower end markets. Boston, SO Cal, Austin, NY you will se salries higher than those averages, but also maybe your company does not pay well compared to the average?
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
4/29/2013 | 8:22:22 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
Why do you put "gender wage gap" in quotes? It's a gap, it's not made up. There can be any number of reasons, and we as a society can decide if those are acceptable reasons. But let's not pretend that a 20% gap among managers in the highest-paid field (securities and banking) isn't a gap.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
4/29/2013 | 8:16:41 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
It's more than 14,000 IT pros across the country. It's much more than a few responses.
sdbrannan
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sdbrannan,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/24/2013 | 6:17:54 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
I too have been in IT for over 25+ years and have worked in markets from Dallas to Atlanta to Nashville and wonder what alternate universe they poll for these salaries. I've been a Systems Admin and Analyst for many of these years and at most was paid 76k as a Territory Manager and average 50-60k a year as a System Admin. I'm certainly not seeing the averages they show in these surveys reflected in the Job Searches (CareerBuilder,etc.).

Let's get real and do some more real world polling please!
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
4/22/2013 | 4:49:52 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
You are underpaid in every market in the US from my observations and every recent survey I have read. I work for just under $100K as an IT Dept for a financial institution, not the highest paying industry for mid and small size companies. I am on the west coast, which typically adds $10-20K to many other markets. In my case I feel I am adequately compensated, since we are not a 24/7 shop like many others, and are closed on weekends. The demands on this position are not equal to some other jobs I have held for not that much additional compensation. The benefits here are outstanding (401K, bonuses, company paid or sponsored social activities, training and education assistance), as are vacation and personal time off, so salary cannot be the sole criteria to judge the merits of each job or company. Mike, I think you might have been taken advantage of for your salary and years of service, and management probably thinks you won't leave, and don't realize how much your replacement might cost them.
pdoherty972
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pdoherty972,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2013 | 9:53:04 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
Why do everyone assume any wage gap between women and men must be the result of discrimination? Part of it can certainly be that men and women pursue different careers in some cases, which skews results. Some women seem to favor stability and work-life flexibility over high pay which skews results. Some choose professions like nursing and elementary school teacher which also skews results (since women are more highly represented in those fields than men, and these are not high-paying fields). In addition women, in general, make less because statistically-speaking, they are more likely (at a given age when compared to men of the same age) to have taken months or years out of the labor force to bear and raise children. Which again lowers their average pay through no fault or conspiracy by men or corporate America. When hiring people years of experience is a major measure used to determine compensation. In addition women may be less likely to negotiate their pay in the same way a man would, potentially earning less as a result. Same with raises and promotions. And finally, as evidence that what I say above is true, women who have children, in fact, do earn less than women who did not.

www DOT americanprogress DOT org/issues/labor/news/2012/04/16/11391/the-top-10-facts-about-the-wage-gap/

"10. Mothers earn about 7 percent less per child than childless women. For women under 35 years of age, the wage gap between mothers and women without children is greater than the gap between women and men."
442-mike
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442-mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2013 | 9:26:46 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
I'd like to see where these numbers come from. I have 29 years of IT experience and am the IT department manager for a multimillion dollar business in a major metropolitan area, and I make $46k, and had to fight for that! Sorry Chris, but I think you need to get out in the trenches of real IT workers, the ones who get the jobs done, and not just rely on a few survey responses sent in by bored Google employees and fat-cat government/defense contractors.
pdoherty972
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pdoherty972,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2013 | 5:12:30 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
Do you have evidence that the "gender wage gap" isn't the result of the statistical fact that women (of the same age as a given man) are more likely to have been out of the job market (unemployed) due to childbirth? That is to say, when comparing a man age 45 and a woman age 45 both in the same job category, the woman is many times more likely to have been out of the job for months or perhaps years and therefore will command less of a salary due to less experience? Also contributing to the wage gap could be that women are less aggressive/proactive/(confrontational?) about pursuing initial wages and subsequent promotions or raises. Lending credence to my position above is the fact that women who have never had children get paid significantly more than those who have had children.

http://www.americanprogress.or...

"Mothers earn about 7 percent less per child than childless women. For women under 35 years of age, the wage gap between mothers and women without children is greater than the gap between women and men."

There are many factors at play here, and I dislike it when blanket statements make it sound as if there's some conspiracy at work when other factors could easily explain the differences observed.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
4/15/2013 | 11:53:56 PM
re: IT Salary Survey 2013: 11 Career Insights
It's distressing to see the gender wage gap persist, as well as the striking imbalance in the IT workforce. I wonder if the rise of women in high-profile positions at HP, IBM, Yahoo, Facebook, etc., will help bring more women into technology fields.

Drew Conry-Murray
Editor, Network Computing
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