Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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4/28/2008
05:41 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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U.S. IT Salaries Are Down. Did You See This Coming?

While I expected the current economy to crimp IT salaries, I didn't see this one coming. InformationWeek's annual U.S. IT Salary Survey showed a $2,000 dip in the median total pay. This marks the first median drop in our survey since the tech bubble burst. How does the data match your reality?

While I expected the current economy to crimp IT salaries, I didn't see this one coming. InformationWeek's annual U.S. IT Salary Survey showed a $2,000 dip in the median total pay. This marks the first median drop in our survey since the tech bubble burst. How does the data match your reality?We have two main articles around the survey: one exploring what's holding U.S. pay down, and another that digs into other findings from the survey, from job-specific salary changes to training trends.

Don't expect simplistic answers for what's happening in the U.S. IT job market. Want to blame outsourcing to low-cost countries for salary declines? It's certainly a factor, but just one in five of the 9,600 IT pros agrees outsourcing is lowering salaries. Think the dip means IT careers are dying? Twelve management functions boast six-figure median pay, and four staff job titles have median pay of $90,000 or more. In fact, part of the reason for a lower median may be that IT jobs have been growing quickly the past year, with more jobs being created in lower-salary support segments.

I come away from our research still believing that U.S. IT jobs are likely to hold up better in this downturn than in the 2002 recession. Companies are more realistic about what they want to offshore, they're running more tightly staffed IT shops, and IT is more deeply woven into business processes. But I also wouldn't be surprised if the next government report on U.S. IT jobs shows the past year's blazing job growth has decidedly cooled.

What are you seeing in the U.S. IT job market, compared with the past couple years? Does the data picture -- more jobs, but stagnant pay for most people -- match your on-the-street reality?

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