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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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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.
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. 
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!
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?
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.
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!
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.
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. 
ChanceYouTake
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ChanceYouTake,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/21/2014 | 1:50:41 PM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
I respectfully disagree with your statement about there being a shortage of IT professionals in the U.S.

If a shortage of IT professionals existed, the salaries would have increased over time. Instead they have remained relatively flat since right after the dot-com bust.

That is just one of many indicators that prove there is no shortage of IT professionals in the U.S.

It is clearly a fabricated crisis.

http://www.epi.org/files/2013/bp359-guestworkers-high-skill-labor-market-analysis.pdf

 

 
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
5/25/2014 | 8:38:08 PM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
Thanks for the link, it was a good read. I guess then, either IT professionals deliver such a high level of service in general that they will earn twice as much as the average GDP per capita for a long time to come, or maybe, post the year 2000, incoming IT professionals have numbered at a level that makes wages appear stable. 
anon5734271477
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anon5734271477,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/28/2014 | 9:39:38 AM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
Glad you liked the link. It certainly opened my eyes.

Whatever the reason that wages have remained fairly level since the bust, that fact clearly counters the notion that there is a shortage of IT/STEM workers.
Zman7
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Zman7,
User Rank: Strategist
5/21/2014 | 2:59:49 AM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
IMO, the "Gender Gap" conclusion is suspect.  It's not evident in any IT organization I've ever worked in...there were also great deal of women in supervisory positions which are the higher salaried positions.  I couldn't find any information on how the "gap" was measured.

My suspicions are around the data manipulation.  Were employee salaries just collected and analyzed based on gender?  If so, of course women will have lower salaries because many people still believe that children need to be raised by their own parents.  This results traditionally and practically in the mother taking time off to 1) give birth to the kids and 2) often raising the children until they are of school age.  This time out of the work force means that at any particular age, many women have less experience than men equal to their age.  There's nothing wrong with it - *someone* has to do the right thing with children and it's usually the mother. If men had the babies, we'd be seeing the same statistics in reverse.

In my experience, women who have the exact same background, skills, experience and competency get the exact same pay as men - especially in high tech fields.

Finally, it is interesting to note that women who have decided to take the career route and forego children resent the actions of women who take time off work to run the kids to soccer, stay home when the kids are sick or take them to the doctor, etc. These mothers who put in less work for the company, expect to progress through the ranks at the same rate as the other women who cover for them when they are not working, and are often surprised by the attitudes of the career women. 
shenkender
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shenkender,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/21/2014 | 4:42:42 PM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
Regardless of gender, if two people with the same background and expertise are paid differently, it is because the one with the lower salary does not know how to negotiate as good as the other. For instance you can put your gender, age, race, etc aside and get your personal salary prediction based solely on your background at salaryfairy.com or get salary ranges of your title in salary survey sites like jobstar.org. These websites show you your value in the job market without any bias so that you can go ahead an grab your manager and demand your value. Do not play the victim and take action instead.
anon6909422090
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anon6909422090,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2014 | 6:37:10 PM
Re: "Gender Gap"?
I have been in IT for over 30 years, with a Masters degree, and tons of experience and constantly trained on  new Software and Business Applications;  with that being said, I find myself to be a 'Seasoned IT VET'.  However, one of my #1 pet-peeves, are those 'Non-Technica'l FEMALE Managers (without a Sigma) who consider proceducing information to their upper Management through the creation of 'Excel Spreadsheets' from outdated data!, as opposed to running a query to obtain info that is being updated in 'real time'.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
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.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/21/2014 | 8:01:15 AM
Re: No training, no new skills?
I see the generalists doing well in pockets.  Mid-sized companies who want a savvy IT staff that can at least direct contractors if they can't get the job done themselves.  I fall into that generalist category, I've done everything from programming to security and everything in between.  I was once offered a position at a very large company doing nothing but managing their mail system.  The money was nice but I realized that I would go insane being locked down to such a narrow focus.  On the down side my salary suffered because I went to a smaller business that couldn't match the pay.  In the end I'm happier because I love what I do and I get paid almost enough not to wonder what else is out there.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/21/2014 | 10:33:31 AM
Re: No training, no new skills?
Welcome to the club.  The first and second generation IT folks, myself included, were groomed in this manner.  It was thought best to diversify and for a time that was an advantage.  Being a generalist was great back then but not now.  Just like in health care, specialization is now more desired and in most cases actually required.  Do you want a foot doctor working on your heart?  That's the way its become in many IT professionial positions.  Businesses don't want a Cicso Technican working on their CRM as the application lead.  They want a CRM professional.  As an IT "generalist" they don't want you working as either even though you may have experience in one or both.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/23/2014 | 7:33:47 AM
Re: No training, no new skills?
If a company can afford to specialize then more power to them but then how do you manage leadership?  If you have an application guy who moves up the chain of command because he works on a very visible piece of the company's infrastructure and he's managing the security guys and the network guys but doesn't understand the nature of their work is he effective?
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/23/2014 | 9:38:44 AM
Re: No training, no new skills?
@SaneIT, You would think this to be true, generalization allows for better management and leadership opportunities and to a curtain extent this is true.  But here's the thing, there are fewer IT leadership positions now than 10 years ago and 10 years ago there were fewer positions than ten years prior (20 years ago) do to mergers and acquisitions.  There are fewer entities needing IT leadership each year as there is no end to mergers and acquisitions.  It's also crippling the job market in other areas too while lessening competition and reducing choice but that's another story.  In the leadership positions that are left if you don't have decades of experience in that industry you are not wanted.  To add insult to injury by the time one gets the diversity and industry experience you are at an age you are no longer desirable as there is age discrimination out there.  Add the fact that many IT leadership positions still go to non-technology individuals the CEOs or CFOs favor.  Lastly every IT leadership position has the requirement that you are already in an IT leadership position.  So how do you get an IT leadership job if everybody requires you are already in one. It is a tuff career to gain advancement. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/27/2014 | 7:15:13 AM
Re: No training, no new skills?
@DDURBIN1, that is a bit of a catch 22 but I do still see individuals climbing that ladder.  I do realize that we are seeing many less techie people leading technical teams but I think like anything else that will change over time as companies realize that it takes more than people skills to drive technology.  As for the age issue I'm lucky that I don't see that yet so maybe I've made it high enough as a generalist quickly enough that I won't run into that hurdle.
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