Comments
IT Salaries: Looking For Love
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
SunitaT0
50%
50%
SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:13:53 AM
Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@Susan, thanks for the post. Its not surprising to know that more than half of the respondents said they are  not happy with the compensation. Many Indian IT workers are unhappy because they are getting salary hike in the range of 10-15% but this raise is offset by steep inflation.
progman2000
IW Pick
100%
0%
progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:51:45 AM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
I'd like to know how satisfaction with compensation correlates to length of tenure at an employer.  In other words, are the most satisfied the longest tenured, shortest or neither?

Then again I always question metrics like this, because I think most people will never be satisfied with their salary (and really, should you be?).
Hospice_Houngbo
100%
0%
Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 9:49:42 AM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@progman2000:

" I think most people will never be satisfied with their salary (and really, should you be?)."

It depends on the work load and employees' responsibility in the workplace and how they feel connected with the company. If they feel that they are overloaded with duties when the leadership is reaping all the benefts, they will never be satisfied with both their work and salary.
progman2000
50%
50%
progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:12:40 AM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
My point was mainly satisfaction can lead to complacency, which can lead to professional stagnation.  If you are constantly in that mindset of constantly wanting 'just a little more' I think it can make you more aggressive professionally.

Maybe that's not always a good thing - has been for me though.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 3:52:26 PM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@ProgMan: everybody has their own motivators, and I'm with you on the idea of not getting complacent or "settling." I do know some people though who hit their comfort zone and are perfectly content to toe the line there, and that's ok too if it works for them. What's interesting about looking at salaries is that we need to see salaries that are growing at well ahead of the rate of inflation in the U.S. because there's also our future retirements to consider. If we're not making enough to stay well ahead of the rate of inflation we'll be unable save the money needed to invest in our futures.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 3:48:34 PM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@H-H: How one is treated in one's workplace, what the conditions are and the corporate culture, how one's workload compares to one's colleagues--these are all important influencers of satisfaction, not just with salaary but with the job overall. Even in the best-run companies, though, I wouldn't feel necessarily that someone whose treated well shouldn't expect to see their salary incrase, and I wouldn't begrudge anyone the chance to move to another company to better their salary situation.

In fact the InformationWeek salary suvey shows that seeking higher compensation is far and away the No. 1 reason for IT staff to leave their current jobs, ranking much higher than such intangibles as personal fulfillment or the chance to do more interesting work.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 3:36:02 PM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@ProgMan: Our salary survey data doesn't do that sort of correlation, though I can tell you that the median number of years at the current company for IT staffers was 7, and the median number of years for IT managers was 8. Also, 68% of IT staff and 73% of IT management have only been at 1-2 jobs in the past 10 years. So it's safe to speculate that the majority of repsondnets in the salary survey have a fair amount of tenure in their organization.

The flash poll--because it is not as scientific -- would be much harder to pintpoint, though it's a valid topic for a followup.

To your larger rhetorical question: I suppose, no, nobody every really should be thoroughly satisfied with their salary. It's human nature to always strive for more, isn't it?
Hospice_Houngbo
50%
50%
Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 10:04:02 AM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@Sunuta:

"Many Indian IT workers are unhappy because they are getting salary hike in the range of 10-15% but this raise is offset by steep inflation."

Sometimes employers cannot afford to raise salaries above a certain level due to some constaints and employees will have to understand that. 
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 3:25:00 PM
Re: Re : IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@SunitaT0: I suspected the rate of inflation to be the  main resason for salary dissatisfction. And, as you rightly point out, since our salary survey is specifically for the U.S. I only examined how those salary results compared to the U.S. rate of inflation. Our flash poll, however, was open to the entire InformationWeek audience, not just to U.S. so that could well explain the high rate of dissatisfaction. Do you feel also that non-cash benefits are hard to come by in India? I was shocked when I saw how few of our U.S. salary survey respondents were receiving any real perks beyond healthcare and 401K.
sferguson10001
IW Pick
100%
0%
sferguson10001,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 10:15:58 AM
Bonus
@Susan: Does either the salary survey or the reader poll take into account the issue of bonuses? While many people are often unhappy with their base salary, the bonus usually helps add something to the bottom line at the end of the year. Since bonuses are taxed like income, it can feel like you're short changed, but it's still additional income. 
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 4:02:29 PM
Re: Bonus
@sferguson: The salary survey does indeed include separate statistics on total compensation, which includes bonuses and other forms of cash compensation above and beyond base pay. I used the base pay figures for this particlar article because our flash poll only asked about salary.

However, according to the InformationWeek 2014 salary survey, 61% of IT staff and 70% of IT management expect to receive a bonus in 2014.

Median total cash compensation (including bonsues) for IT staff this year is $92,000 compared with $88,000 for base pay (excluding bonuses). For IT management it's $120,000 compared with $112,000 for base pay.

Based on this data, it looks like median bonuses are not huge in IT as they  might be in other job functions (sales, for example), and as you rightly point out, in the U.S. bonuses are taxed at a much higher rate than base pay.
sferguson10001
50%
50%
sferguson10001,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 5:29:01 PM
Re: Bonus
@Susan: Thanks for the clarity there. So, that leads me to ask do you think IT managers are thinking about or counting that bonus toward their overall salary. After all, if you receive say a $5,000 bonus, it's like getting an extra salary boost at some point during the year, even with the taxes, which would still affect a regular raise. Or do IT managers, as well as other workers, view the bonus as separate even through it's all taxed about the same as standard income?
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 5:50:28 PM
Re: Bonus
@sferguson: It's a tough question to answer because the survey didn't delve into that level of detail with respondents. I imagine it depends on a wide range of factors--what state you work in, what the state tax profile is like (on top of federal), and how much your bonus is guaranteed each year. Some places promise bonuses and deliver them. Others promise bonuses but never deliver.

My general rule of thumb is to go for what is guaranteed, but that's just my level of risk tolerance at play.

What's your view on the benefits of bonsues versus maybe going for a higher base salary?
PaulS681
IW Pick
100%
0%
PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 8:44:55 PM
Re: Bonus

Bonuses definitely make a difference. I have to say I am happy with what I make. The health benefits are not great but that's everywhere.

mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:42:14 PM
Re: Bonus
@pauls681, I would agree with you. I'm currently very content with what I'm making, and also share the notion that my compensation exceeds my current effort, but who's complaining :)
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/2/2014 | 3:12:49 PM
Re: Bonus
@PaulS681: Glad to hear from a satisfied person on this topic. In my experience, the bonus thing really depends on how the terms of the bonus are put forth. I've had too many promised bonuses go up in smoke after I was hired, generally because the companies claimed financial hardship. when I've worked at places where the bonus schemes were rock-solid, I was quite happy to receive the extra amount, even though the cut Uncle Sam takes does hurt.

In your case, did you have to negotiate for a bonus, or was it something your company offered at the outset? 

+ what advice do you have for others who are looking to improve their salary situation?
yalanand
50%
50%
yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 12:19:12 PM
Re:IT Salaries: Looking For Love
I think overseas IT salaries have hit a major low in recent times, to cope up with inflation, but hasn't been quite able to do so. Moreover, since the cost of living in the states (including the new bracket of taxes levied by the Obama government) have gone up, people are finding their 100k salary inadequate. But the eastern IT people have it far worse. They are paid a base salary that looks little when compared to the salary of the US IT people and real estate prices have gone up in these developing countries, and the salaries paid by their companies aren't enough to feel satisfied about.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 4:09:18 PM
Re:IT Salaries: Looking For Love
@yalanand: Inflation rates over the past 10 years have been somewhat capped in the U.S. by such factors as the Fed keeping interest rates low, and a variety of other economic fact. My knowledge of world economics is quite limited to what I read in the news media, though it is my understanding that the inflation rates are spiraling out of control in many many countries. So, while the InformationWeek Salary Survey polled only those in the U.S., our flash poll was open to all InformationWeek readers worldwide, and this could go a long way toward explaining the higher levels of salary dissatisfaction expressed in that poll.

Do you think such levels of salary dissatisfaction are particular to IT, or are all workers in countries with high inflations rates feeling equally dissatisfied?

What do you think the future holds for workers in such economic climates?
cafzali
100%
0%
cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 1:46:00 PM
sadly, this tracks all industries too
I'd wager surveys around salaries in most any industry would uncover a similar amount of discontent. And when you look at the latest research that shows that while we've regained the jobs lost during the recession, we're still years away from regaining the lost earning power, the discontent is likely to continue. 

Sadly, there have been a relatively few years over the last 20 when, unless you had a very specialized skill, you were in the driver's seat as a job seeker or employee. 
vnewman2
100%
0%
vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 2:18:53 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
What else am I missing? What's making so many IT workers dissatisfied? Personally, and probably like most other people in "service" related industries, no amount of money can make up for the politics, bureacracy, and lack of respect from the people you are trying to help.
cafzali
50%
50%
cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 3:06:40 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@vnewman2 If I had to guess, it would likely involve a combination of lower job security, plus wage pressures brought about by offshoring. 

Across all industries, in many cases we've lost about 10 years of wage growth through the downturn. At the same time, expenses have continued going up for folks, which has resulted in a significant increase in pressure associated with jobs.

While things have improved, on the wage front, there's still a long way to go in many respects.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 4:45:33 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@vnewman: Interesting you should mention that...when the InformationWeek Salary Survey asked respondents what matters most to them about their job, these three items ended up on the list of the top 10:

"My opinion and knowledge are valued" (No. 6)

"Job atmosphere" (No. 7)

"Recognition for work well done" (No. 9)

These are things that cost a company nothing at all, and go such a long way toward employee satisfaction.

Why do you think they're so hard to come by in today's corporate world?

 

 
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 4:14:36 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@cfazall: Sad indeed, and quite accurate. In my own personal experience I can attest that is true, the past 15 years have been a series of peaks and valleys rather than the straight line that might be shown in the aggregate results, where we see base pay steadily climb. year on year base pay and cost-of-living increases have also done a twisty dance around one another, and when you factor in the need to save for retirement, support elderly parents or send kids to college, it certainly seems like there just isn't enough to go around.

Still, with every article I read about the plight of the working poor in the U.S. I have to remind myself how much worse it really could be.

What's your long-term view? Do you think we will ever return to a time when there is more demand and not enough workers? What will it take for earning power to be restored?
cafzali
50%
50%
cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
6/30/2014 | 4:23:00 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@Susan I don't think true earning power will come back for quite some time. The double-whammy for workers is that with every improvement in the economy, we also see efficiency gains, which means that fewer workers are actually needed. That makes it doubly hard to climb back from the employment losses.

While you're definitely right about the poor, I really worry that the U.S. hasn't figured out that we're on the verge of becoming an industrialized country without a middle class. In many areas of the country, workers haven't ensured their skills have kept pace with today's needs and in areas where workers are doing better employment wise, taxes and related costs are outpacing earning gains by leaps and bounds. 

Add all this up, along with the situations you describe about saving for retirement, education, etc. and it's truly worrying. We need to spend half as much time talking about our economic security as a country as we do security in a defense context, or maybe even an IT context. 

I'm far from a "Tea Party guy," but we've got to do something about the increasing costs of government. To me, this isn't a political issue, but an economic one. Just as the math behind the housing boom didn't work in the long term, this math won't either. Our only realistic choice is to do something about it that will likely involve a combination of things. Sadly, though, we can't even talk to one another as a country on difficult issues right now, so who knows where it will end up?
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 5:19:20 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@cafzall: I hope you're wrong and I fear you're right. The unfortunate reality is that what should be treated in logical economic terms -- the loss of a middle class in the U.S., a dearth of skilled wokers to perform the jobs that are avaialble, the taxes and other expenses of daily living -- become so mired in politics that it often seems there is no way out.

Here in the U.S., we have the one-two punch of big government passing laws that favor big corporations over individual citizens on all fronts.

Do you think IT in general is faring better or worse than other industry sectors?

 

 
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:47:22 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@Susan, i can safely assume that IT is doing better than most industries. Looking at employees in similar position in other companies, a junior developer is better paid than there counter in say a marketing company. And the career potential is truly unlimited, since it can go so many ways
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:47:43 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@Susan, i can safely assume that IT is doing better than most industries. Looking at employees in similar position in other companies, a junior developer is better paid than there counter in say a marketing company. And the career potential is truly unlimited, since it can go so many ways
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:51:26 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@susan One aspect of IT that I absolutely love is that the skilled set can cross oceans and boarders easily, so a developer from Asia can work for a Canadian company as long as they understand the standards and are able to follow technical documents in whatever language it was drafted.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2014 | 9:19:18 AM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
I agree - this holds true for all industries. When doing salary review/survey, nobody will say that the salary is high enough. When you get a raise, you tend to ask more sooner or later. It's good to know that IT salary rose in the past decade. Recently the economy is getting a little bit better. So all IT folks look forward to even further increase.:-)
cafzali
50%
50%
cafzali,
User Rank: Moderator
7/1/2014 | 12:24:02 PM
Re: sadly, this tracks all industries too
@Susan It's hard to say, even within IT, because all jobs aren't equal in any given sector. And within job types, you have certain industries that always pay better for the same skillset than others. But generally speaking, I'd say IT is weathering that storm better than lots of other industries, due in large part to an increase in dependence on IT products and services, as well as the development of specializations in response to certain trends. 

To me, the best defense is to do the best job we can at managing things that are at least to a degree in our control. In my mind, that means we've got to continue getting a handle on certain types of escalating costs that are impacting everyone. 

No one can say for sure what will happen, but it's theoretically possible that people who've been working for a decade or two already may never see a phenomenon like the 1990s again in our careers.
grcpro
50%
50%
grcpro,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 3:03:53 PM
My thoughts exactly...
While I am in the rather well-compensated end of the spectrum and not precisely dissatisfied with salary per se; the larger issue is that across industries/professions in US we are increasingly asked to do less with more. We are held accountable without adequate resources. Every project is priority one and that lack of realistic prioritization and effective leadership results in constant fire drills and finger-pointing politics. There is no consideration for work/life balance [beyond lip service], and cash is expected to compensate for being on call 24x7x365 resulting in constant stress that detracts from health, happiness and enjoyment of what little family/personal time we have. At a certain point no amount of money is worth it. Yet convrsely, we, "the lucky ones" feel imprisoned by the golden handcuffs of our compensation [pay/benefits/options] package. I know this may sound ungrateful, but the fact is compensation is not just about salary--there is a bigger picture.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2014 | 5:00:42 PM
Re: My thoughts exactly...
@grcpro: Wow, you pretty much nailed today's working environment, and to add to what you've stated, I would say that there is too little interest placed on how this kind of pace and these expectations impact our cognitive functions.

A recent post in The New York Times, No Money, No Time, talksed about how time can be a more valuable resource than money. That particular article focused on how this impacts the working poor, though I think we can draw lessons from the research presented there for anyone in today's workplace as we're all asked to do more with less and operate on all cylinders all the time.

According to the blog's author:

Efficiency is always the more exhausting and demanding alternative. Attention is finite. For a while I may be more focused, but I can run on all cylinders for only so long. If I'm forced to operate under constraint all the time, my performance will suffer — and I may not even be capable of recognizing the deficit.

Does that pretty well describe what you see as the core problem in today's corporate environment?


 
Technocrati
50%
50%
Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:49:24 PM
The Fair Market Value of IT

I am really glad to learn that IT salaries on the whole have risen significantly during the past decade.  Thank you Susan for the information, always good to know what your skills are actually worth in the marketplace.

Technocrati
50%
50%
Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2014 | 10:53:34 PM
You Don't Know Lucky

" Of course, we can't discount the lucky 18% of you who said you're making WAY more than the work you're doing is worth..... "

 

What a problem to have.   What they didn't say it was a problem ?    Then make it 19 %

 Count me in ....   : )   Now this is something to aspire too.

Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 1:57:46 AM
On the bright side...
I think it's important to note the flip-side of the coin: that most people have a positive outlook on their salary situation -- i.e., that they're either compensated adequately or more-than-adequately, or that they can do better.  Only 16.5% of respondents felt unsatisfied but hopeless.

Of course, that's still a significantly high number -- even if a distinct minority.


IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.