IT's 10 Fastest-Growing Paychecks - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing
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11/17/2014
08:36 AM
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham
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IT's 10 Fastest-Growing Paychecks

Check out the IT roles that will see the biggest salary increases in 2015. Can you guess the top three?
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(Image: Commons.wikimedia.org)
(Image: Commons.wikimedia.org)

Mobile, security, and big data will continue to drive IT hiring -- and the highest IT job salary increases -- in 2015, according to a new report from Robert Half Technology.

Its 2015 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals looked at starting salaries for more than 70 tech positions in the United States. Robert Half expects base compensation for IT professionals to jump 5.7% overall, a slight increase over tech salaries last year.

CIO raises, however, fall below the national average, increasing just 4.9% year-over-year, according to the report. John Reed, executive director at Robert Half Technology, said the report methodology does not account for bonuses, which is likely partially responsible. The other reason: budding hybrid roles.

"There is also an emerging trend to break down [the CIO] position into various dual or hybrid roles, such as head of business transformation or chief technology officer," he said. "We are even seeing positions emerge such as the chief digital officer to oversee the full range of digital strategies across an organization."

While the CIO role settled in the bottom quarter of IT job salary increases, the biggest bumps in salary reflect the areas in which businesses struggle to find qualified talent, the report said.

"The supply of highly skilled technology professionals is expected to remain below demand for the foreseeable future, especially as companies across all industries look for specialized talent in three main areas: mobile, security, and big data."

More than 70% of organizations have implemented some type of mobile strategy, according to Robert Half. As they expand their mobile initiatives, they need professionals who can develop applications for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile applications developers are the most in-demand in this category for the second year in a row, the report said.

[How does your job stack up? Read IT Salaries: 8 Cold Hard Facts.]

Security and big data professionals are also in high demand, Reed said.

"The area of big data will continue to drive growth for IT professionals who can help companies harness and protect their data. Most companies are really just beginning to understand the insights that can be gleaned from the information they collect," he said. "Security also continues to be a hot issue. There just aren't enough skilled people in this area to fill that demand for talent."

Trends such as cloud computing, BYOD, mobility, and virtualization have made it harder for IT teams to stay on top of threats, Robert Half said. For this reason, data security analysts, systems security administrators, network security administrators and engineers, and information systems security managers are all highly sought.

Big data roles are still relatively new to the IT jobs landscape, as many businesses have only just launched initiatives. But as more begin to make sense of their mounds of data, they're seeking individuals skilled at retrieving, interpreting, analyzing, and reporting on that data. Top roles include data architects, data modelers, and data analyst/report writers, the report said.

Here's a deeper look at the 10 IT jobs with the highest salary increases for 2015, which ranged from 7.1% to 10.2%. We'll also give you context on how Half's data compares with InformationWeek's most recent IT salary survey data. Dig in.

 

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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soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 10:28:38 AM
mobile app developer
I guessed the first one. No surprise! Adaptive/responsive web design is crucial to business success now and is the fastest-growing profession. These designers have to be experts in multiple mobile-related fields, including multiple languages. Kudos to all who do it!
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 1:08:47 PM
Re: mobile app developer
@soozyg, I get your point about the technical aspects of this design paradigm. But I'm not sure it is that much more imposing than going from green screen to web browsers or COBOL to OOP programming. When you work in IT, the one constant is things are going to change. That's really what business pays us for, we are the experts in absorbing that and reinventing ourselves.

The problem I have with mobile development, as far as whether I would want to do it, is who would you work for? A software development company like Facebook? They only write one app, to run their product. A Games company? Better hope it sells and even then you'll likely spend your time cranking out new versions of same thing. A business that faces consumers? How many of these apps will they write? It just seems like you better enjoy life as contractor or job hopper if you choose that path solely.

I'm comparing that to a more traditional IT job where you support the breadth of business systems a company uses. There you can get some stability, maybe work for them your whole career. And doesn't mean you may not write a mobile app for them. But to classify yourself as just Mobile Developer...scary.

It will be interesting to look at this 5-10 years from now, whether that is classified as a job. I suspect it will just get folded in with all the other hats we are expected to wear.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 3:57:12 PM
Re: mobile app developer
@TerriB

I would think you would work for any company that needs an app. Or any software company that hires talent to do these things. Some apps are simpler and less interactive than others, but I believe many companies are creating them since mobile buying is only increasing.

I do agree that in the future the job may be absorbed by another position. We'll see......
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 4:11:34 PM
Re: mobile app developer
@soozy, No question getting the first job. My point is, do they keep you after you are done? If so, what do you do then? When writing general business apps, there is always another coming down the pike. I'm not so sure that is true for mobile for the SAME business. I think you would always be chasing the action, either as contractor or just changing jobs when app work done.

For example, Chris Murphy from this magazine wrote article talking about how Vail Resorts implemented a mobile app to track your runs and interact with social media about your experience skiing. How many more apps besides that one will they be writing that they would want to keep you? It seems to fit with hiring a specialist and then cutting them loose when project over.

Think about ERP support. One day you are doing project for accounting, next day shop floor, next day purchasing, etc. It never ends. Is mobile really like that yet? Will it ever be? That would be my personal fear. Hopefully I'm wrong. Most of mobile developers I read about now are hired guns of some type, many working for contracting firms who specialize in that. If you are OK with that lifestyle, you are good to go. If not, well.....
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 4:23:16 PM
Re: mobile app developer
@TerriB

Ooooh. Now I understand you perspective. Yes, there is definitely a hired-gun aspect to app designing. Unless the tech works for a larger company, in which case, yes, the job description would probably be a multi-tasking position (designing and security and help desk, etc).

I'm a freelance writer so I understand the hired-gun aspect. If I was at a large company, I'd be in the general communications department working on everything from web content to press releases to white papers. I'd just be doing it all for one company. Now I do that for multiple companies.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
11/17/2014 | 12:11:16 PM
Mixed news
This is great news for folks in those roles, but not so great for those of us hiring one or more of these over the next several months. The current market definitely favors the candidate. That's going to be a major pain point for companies needing any of these specialties. Candidates may not be there or be anywhere near affordable.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2014 | 7:22:58 AM
Where is QA?
And Quality Assurance is again absent from such a list. All nice to have all these high paid people making stuff, but where are the ones who make sure it indeed works? As I mentioned many times before, mediocre is the new black.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/18/2014 | 11:08:10 AM
Re: Where is QA?
QA roles didn't crack the top 10, and were below the national average for salary raises year-over-year:

QA Engineer, Manual: $63,750-$88,250 (+5.2%)
QA Engineer, Automated: $74,250-$103,750 (+4.1%)
QA/Testing Manager: $90,000-$122,500 (+4%)
QA Associate/Analyst: $62,000-$97,500 (+3.7%)
DAVIDINIL
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DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Strategist
11/25/2014 | 10:46:21 AM
Re: Where is QA?
@moarsauce123,

Great comment.  Companies will SAY they are super conccerned about high quality data and apps.  But when it comes right down to it, they will not pay up for quality.  This reflects my experience in the corporate world.  In developing a project, any comments I make regarding integrety and quality are met with "we will deal with that after we implement".  After we implement the quality improvements do not come until some VP notices some of the bad data.  Then it's a critical emergency.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/1/2014 | 3:21:18 PM
Re: Where is QA?
@Davidinil, I know this is utopian thinking, but if we are paying a premium for those working with data and building apps, shouldn't we get high quality from those individuals? QA is important because things are not done right to begin with, for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps many managers just don't expect enough out of their highly paid developers and data engineers.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 6:18:04 AM
Mobile app developer salary hike
The salary hike of mobile app developer and wireless network engineer and big data analyst comes as a pleasant surprise because of the fact that these three things would be the governing titles in the coming years due to IOT.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2014 | 2:25:33 PM
Re: Mobile app developer salary hike
"The salary hike of mobile app developer and wireless network engineer and big data analyst comes as a pleasant surprise because of the fact that these three things would be the governing titles in the coming years due to IOT."

The Data engineering salaries would be seeing a hike too because of the roles data mining has to play when cloud systems are integrated fully within the canopy of a company.
Solo123
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Solo123,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2014 | 1:12:52 AM
Re: Mobile app developer salary hike
Thats true. We see a great demand of Business Analysts and data scientist in market today. Businesses are hiring tech savy people for the analysis of their brands and markets so they can hike up their revenues. For all those who are in these field should tighten up their seat belts, theres good news for them in the coming year. 
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
11/21/2014 | 2:28:44 PM
Places where we can become successful
""The area of big data will continue to drive growth for IT professionals who can help companies harness and protect their data. Most companies are really just beginning to understand the insights that can be gleaned from the information they collect," he said. "Security also continues to be a hot issue. There just aren't enough skilled people in this area to fill that demand for talent.""

Security engineering coupled with data engineering would be the hottest topic in the coming years because of the fact that cloud computing needs ample amounts of security to become popular. Leaking of data is not an option nowadays because information is currency and the one who has information is a forced to be reckoned of.
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2014 | 10:17:55 PM
2015: The year of New Tech Titles and Skill Sets

Thanks Kristin for providing this interesting list.  I was not even close to guessing what the top three might be though I guess my hunch about security was a safe bet.

 

Surprised to see wireless engineer so high on the list as well.

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