Get the complete picture on IT staff and management salaries based on our exclusive survey of 11,662 US IT pros. Is your compensation hot or not?
another job, cited by seven out of 10 IT pros in our survey, is higher pay. The next closest factor, more interesting work, was cited by less than half.
Tech Career Prospects And Outsourcing
For staffers, 48% think an IT career is more promising than it was five years ago, while 55% of managers think so. Both of those percentages represent a 15-point increase from a recent low point in 2011.
Concerns about outsourcing are always close to the surface in any discussion of US IT careers. Just over half of the pros in our survey say their companies are outsourcing some IT jobs; 42% say they're not. In 2010, 64% of IT staffers blamed outsourcing for fewer IT jobs, a percentage that dips to 56% this year. Our 2014 survey shows similar small declines in several other negative factors related to outsourcing, but outsourcing continues to be seen as negative to IT careers and salaries. Few see much upside -- just 20% of managers and 13% of staffers say it has led to their getting more responsibilities. But most haven't felt outsourcing's downside personally: Two-thirds say it has had no impact on their career paths.
Our survey shows no big change in the number of companies doing outsourcing -- 53% this year compared with 50% in 2010. But anecdotally, we have seen a number of high-profile examples of big companies bringing some outsourced IT work back in-house, as they see competitive advantage from having employees who know their businesses very well working to innovate with new technologies.
We mentioned Capital One earlier as an example of insourcing, but General Motors is conducting probably the largest and most sweeping such effort today. CIO Randy Mott is driving a switch to 90% insourced IT from 90% outsourced, hiring thousands of IT pros in the Detroit area as well as in new development centers near Atlanta; Austin, Texas; and Phoenix.
If IT employees understand their industry and company well, and internal IT can deliver projects consistently, Mott thinks that success will change the relationship IT has with business units, as they work together on critical projects.
"You really want to change 'the ask' -- you want them asking for things that are bigger drivers to helping their business and driving business results," Mott said at this year's InformationWeek Conference.
Major Pay Variables: Industry, Location, Gender
Male IT staffers make about 16% more in median total compensation than females, and for managers the gap is about 11%. That gap is about the same as last year for staffers and managers, and up three points from 2012.
Huge pay differences exist depending on the industry in which IT pros work. For managers, the top industries in terms of total compensation are Wall Street, biotech, energy, consumer goods, financial services, IT and electronics, and consulting, all topping $140,000 in median total compensation. IT managers in education, nonprofits, and state and local government make the least, at $94,000 median pay or less.
For IT staffers, Wall Street, IT and elec¬tronics, biotech, and energy are the top industries, all earning $107,000 or more in median total compensation. The lowest-¬paying industries for staffers are the same as for managers, where they earn $72,000 or less. A typical Wall Street IT staffer makes nearly twice what an IT staffer in K-12 education does.
Geography also influences salaries, of course, with companies on the West and East coasts paying the most. Six metro areas offer median base IT staff salaries of $100,000 or more: San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Baltimore; New York; and San Diego (from greatest to least). For managers, companies in those six cities, but minus Baltimore and plus Los Angeles, pay the highest salaries: $130,000-plus.
IT leaders at companies outside the San Francisco Bay Area continue to debate whether they need to set up shop in that high-salary market to get an innovation injection. GM in its hiring blitz opted not to, thinking that its four dispersed centers let it reach most of the country's tech talent
Chris Murphy is editor of InformationWeek and leader of its Strategic CIO community. He has been covering technology leadership and strategy issues for InformationWeek since 1999. Before that, he was editor of the Budapest Business Journal, a business newspaper in Hungary; ... View Full Bio
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