Government IT still pays better than other industries. But after three years of belt-tightening, half of federal IT employees are looking for a new job, InformationWeek salary survey shows.
to do more with less.
As one federal employee told us, "I chose to work IT for a lesser salary a decade ago in the federal sector due to the job security. That has been shattered this past year. Having our benefits cut and our job security threatened [has resulted in] losing the few qualified IT workers we have."
IT managers, meanwhile, ranked in the top 10 based on median salaries, which average $122,000.
Table 2: IT Management Salaries
US IT Management - Salary rank by industry
Base salary (median-1000s)
Total compensation (median-1000s)
Securities and investments
Financial services, other
Consulting and business services
Metals and natural resources*
Education (college, university)
* Low base, use with caution
** Rounded up to nearest thousand
Data: InformationWeek 2014 US IT Salary Survey of 11,662 IT professionals, February 2014
There are other challenges, too: Mid-career employees foresee fewer opportunities for better pay or advancement as older or more established colleagues continue to count down the days until retirement. And federal IT pros who once counted on continued on-the-job training report that those training opportunities aren't what they once were.
While 48% of federal IT staff and 62% of IT managers attended agency-paid training in the past 12 months, a fifth of IT staffers and a quarter of IT managers paid for the training themselves -- personally laying out a median average of $1,000 and $825, respectively. Nearly three out of 10 IT staff workers said they received no training or certification courses over the past year.
But there's a deeper concern, warns John Palguta, VP for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. As he put it in our in-depth report on federal IT salary trends, "Some employees also resent what they see as unfair treatment over the last three years, and it's going to take a while for that to dissipate. Two years of 1% pay increases are not viewed as cancelling out three years of a pay freeze."
Senior agency leaders counting on IT projects to help them boost productivity ought to be particularly concerned about one set of findings: Half of federal IT employees surveyed say they are looking for a new job -- including 17% of IT managers who say they are looking actively.
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Wyatt Kash is a former Editor of InformationWeek Government, and currently VP for Content Strategy at ScoopMedia. He has covered government IT and technology trends since 2004, as Editor-in-Chief of Government Computer News and Defense Systems (owned by The Washington Post ... View Full Bio
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