Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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5/20/2014
07:06 AM
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham
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IT Salaries: 8 Cold Hard Facts

InformationWeek's 17th annual IT Salary Survey examines the highest- and lowest-paying industries, the lucrative skills, and the best titles. How does your job stack up?
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IT professionals find that the job and salary picture are looking up this year. Faith in your career paths has spiked, more of you feel very secure in your jobs, and the number of you who received a raise in the last year grew, according to InformationWeek's 17th annual US IT Salary Survey. This year, we polled 11,662 full-time IT professionals to gauge industry compensation, benefits, and job satisfaction.

Money talks, and this year was no exception. Staffers and managers cite pay as their No. 1 (48%) and No. 2 (46%) motivators, though its importance has dropped significantly over the last few years.

"As recently as 2009, 60% of IT staffers listed base pay among their most important factors," the report said. "The drop in importance shows employees more confident and comfortable that they'll have a steady paycheck as the economy and employment picture stabilize."

[ See our complete IT salary survey coverage for more data, advice, and analysis. ]

After pay, staffers most value workplace perks such as benefits (44%) and a flexible work schedule (43%). Managers, on the other hand, place more importance on values such as recognition that their opinions and knowledge are valued (46%) and challenging work and responsibility (42%). Company stability placed high on both lists.

No one factor was chosen by half of respondents, our report found, indicating that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to keeping employees happy.

Surprisingly, our report found that IT pros place very little value on skill development and training. Just 15% of managers include it on their priority list, while slightly more staffers (23%) prioritize it higher. Despite the overall lack of enthusiasm toward training, companies still value it: About half of all IT pros said they attended company-paid training in the past year, while 17% of staffers and 18% of managers said they attended a company-paid certification program.

"At some companies, the IT skills in demand are changing because IT's role there is changing," the report said. "Customer-facing apps put a premium on not just application development skills, but also on people who build the data architectures and infrastructure platforms that feed those apps and deliver a response."

As IT's role evolves, so do job functions. This year's top-paying job functions for managers and staffers include cloud computing ($140,000 for managers/$115,000 for staffers), enterprise application integration ($127,000/$105,000), and data integration and data warehousing ($124,000/$104,000). Application development also ranked high for managers ($125,000).

How does your salary stack up? Read on for more of our top findings, including the highest-paying titles, median compensation numbers, and the most lucrative industries.

Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
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5/20/2014 | 9:06:03 PM
No training, no new skills?
The fact that only 15% of IT managers emphasize training tells me something I have always suspected: it is extremely hard to be a generalist in IT. Once you're identified with a skill, you may be typecast, even though you yearn to break out, try other things. Or perhaps training in IT comes via on the job experience. If you dare to try it and can succeed, you're in.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 6:56:09 PM
Re: Suprising how few desire training

I was going to ask what area's where the respondents from. If they are mostly from the east coast then isn't this survey a bit skewed? Thats almost like asking how much you spend on heating fuel but only asking people in Florida.

PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 6:49:38 PM
Re: Suprising how few desire training
I am also surprised at the training numbers, or lack there of. It is one industry where you need to stay on top of technology. The only way I know how to do that is training.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/20/2014 | 5:28:38 PM
Re: Suprising how few desire training
Many East Coast respondents; we know those salaries on the coasts can be higher. Anyone else reading these numbers and thinking it is time to look for greener pastures?
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 5:05:05 PM
Re: Suprising how few desire training
I don't know where these figures came from but they are not where I am at.  IT people are lucky to make $50000 here and that is for people that are doing complex jobs.  I suppose the wages are much higher on either coast but I would really like to know where these stats were gathered and how many people were interviewed to get them.  These sound more like hype than truth!
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 3:52:44 PM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
And the average GDP per capita gap for IT professionals is also growing. In the US GDP per capita is around $50,000, however, these salaries are in the +$100,000 range -- this suggests that overall there is a shortage in the number of IT professionals. 
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 3:36:23 PM
Re: Suprising how few desire training
Agreed, and not just in IT, I feel that every professional needs to constantly strive to upgrade their skill set. In a service economy it could be imagined that a professional completed their 16 years of education and are good to go for life. But not anymore, because in an information economy right change very rapidly. 
Laurianne
IW Pick
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/20/2014 | 1:36:15 PM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
The gender gap in pay exists across many industries in the US for several reasons, but there is one factor that women themselves can change. Study after study shows that men ask for higher salaries in the first place, then ask for raises more often. Women also take longer than men to reach for the next rung on the career ladder. CIOs like Wal-Mart's Karenann Terrell will tell you that they are trying to mentor women in their IT organizations to fight these instincts. See her advice, here.
JIMPRO
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JIMPRO,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 1:10:15 PM
"Gender Gap"?
Taken to its logical conclusion, if the so-called gender gap was such a pervasive issue, it would make no sense to hire any men. ever. Hiring only women would minimize labor cost and maximize profits. Why don't we see this across all industries? This ongoing mindset would presume that men are unemployable!
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 12:31:13 PM
Suprising how few desire training
I wonder what the average age is of the respondants for each position.   Lack of skills will be the number one reason they get booted from their job as they get older.  Companies don't invest in IT people much anymore, "out with the old in with the new" IT personnel strategy is preferred by most fortune 500.  It would also be interesting to know how many people are 40 and over or 50 and over for each job.  Based on personal experience and past history I bet very few.
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