It's a good time to be an IT pro. The economy is strong. Unemployment is low. Plus, IT is not just a business cost center anymore. Tech is now core to business operations, creating value for customers, and more. With that in mind, here's the No. 1 question you should be asking yourself in 2020: Are you being paid what you are worth in today's booming market?
This year is a great time for you, as a technology professional, to take a critical look at your value in the market and current compensation. Do you know what your peers are making in terms of salary and benefits? What skills will keep you in demand in the months and years ahead? Are you more likely to be successful in your search for a remote opportunity?
Those are a few of the questions InformationWeek asks and answers in its 2020 IT Salary Report.
Doing your research about compensation in the market is the key to getting paid what you are worth, according to recruitment firm Robert Half's Ryan Sutton, a district president at the company. "What sets people apart is the people who are willing to do the research to improve their compensation," he told InformationWeek. Doing that kind of research not only gives you talking points for your salary negotiation, but it also gives you more confidence going into that discussion, he added.
How do you do that kind of research? It includes talking to your peers or others in similar positions about their compensation, going to online sources for salary information, and checking out salary research reports like the one from InformationWeek.
The 2020 InformationWeek IT Salary Report is based on a survey of 800 IT professionals and leaders along with phone follow up interviews with an assortment of IT pros about their perspectives on trends in the market.
If you are looking for a ballpark number, the median total compensation for IT pros climbed to $110,000 in 2019, up from $105,000 the year before. But that doesn't mean that everyone should have expected a $5,000 raise. Half of IT pros reported receiving a total compensation increase of less than 5% in 2019. Anything higher than that was rarer.
This year our salary report took a deeper dive into examining salary by gender. Is there a salary gap by gender? Are there other differences at play that have nothing to do with gender? InformationWeek broke out the results by reported pay and by perceptions about whether there is a gender gap.
Women were more likely to believe a gender gap exists. According to reported compensation by gender, they are correct. But our year-over-year research shows that gap is closing. Some of the narrowing gap may be coming through promotions. Women were more likely to have been promoted in the last year at 15% versus 7% of men, based on responses.
This year's report also drilled down into the different attitudes among older IT pros versus younger ones. Workers 44 and younger were more likely to find certifications as a valuable way to develop their careers at 49%, compared to workers 45 and older at 38%.
The 45-and-older group was more likely to value challenging work than their younger counterparts, but the younger workers were more likely to value flexible work schedules and job atmosphere as something important.
Those 44 and younger also reported higher satisfaction with their jobs including the compensation and benefits. Specifically, 50% reported being satisfied and 17% reported being very satisfied. That compares to the older worker group where 45% reported being satisfied and 14% reported being very satisfied. Still, a big takeaway here is that most IT pros are pretty satisfied with their jobs. IT is still a great career path with high salaries and job satisfaction overall, according to InformationWeek's 2020 report.
You can download The InformationWeek 2020 IT Salary Report here and use it as the first step in your plan to evaluate what you earn, what you are worth, and where you want to grow in 2020.
For more on IT careers and skills, read these InformationWeek articles: