Among the most troubling findings in our survey is that median pay for staff age 25 and under fell, to $40,000 from $45,000 in 2006. For IT managers that age, median base salary fell to $44,000 from $49,000. The 25-and-under group is the only age category to see a decline in median comp. One year might be an anomaly, but this is the No. 1 place to watch. If businesses don't attract young people, they'll never create the high-skilled veterans they complain are scarce.
What IT Pros Earn:
Charts From Our Salary Survey
Tech pros aren't sure what to make of the future of their profes-sion. Only 39% of staffers think the tech path is as promising as it was five years ago, while 51% of managers consider it as promising.
There's a gulf between the highest-paid job categories and the lowest. Staffers doing system integration, data mining, infrastructure, and ERP jobs earn median compensation above $90,000. Help desk ($52,000 median), Web design ($65,000), and general IT ($66,000) jobs pay far less and show little growth.
More specialities are generating top dollar. Total pay for five skill categories among staff hits $90,000 or more; only one category hit that threshold last year and none in 2005.
This survey doesn't tell us what the future holds for U.S. business technology jobs. But this snapshot, in early 2007, shows a profession that has shaken off a fierce downturn. IT is unquestionably a well-paying field. Can it also grow and expand, as well as nurture its next generation? Or will it move toward a high-paying niche? The stats don't tell us.
Image Gallery: What IT Pros Earn: Charts From Our Salary Survey