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Tech Salaries Up, Job Security Down

Survey says IT workers saw increases in 2008, but many are now worried about layoffs.
Technology industry salaries increased by 4.6% last year, despite the recession, according to a survey released this week.

Dice released its annual salary survey Wednesday. The majority of about 19,000 workers tracked between August and November 2008 increased their earnings but also worried more about job security. The survey found that the average salary for technology professionals is $78,035.

"That average tech salaries are rising even as the economy falls reveals how much has changed since the dot-com days," Tom Silver, senior VP and CMO at Dice, said in a statement. "Today many technology professionals are seen as core assets where they work. As they enhance their skills, they'll need to align those efforts with the market's shifting demands. However, over the long-term, updating and broadening one's skill set is the key to continued salary gains."

Dice reported a 67% increase in the number of new resumes posted to its site in the last quarter of 2008, compared with the same period in 2007. Dice said the increase in "passive job hunting" reflects growing anxiety about the job market.

The biggest fears among technology professionals this year are: keeping their skills current (22%), job elimination (20%), lower salary increases (14%), canceled projects (12%), and increased workload because of staff cuts (10%), according to the survey.

CIOs and CTOs earned about $112,000 annually in 2008, while project managers earned about $103,000. The skill sets that drew the highest earnings include: advanced business application programming ($106,975), extract transform and load ($102,364), and business intelligence databases ($101,585).

Last year, technology professionals' salaries rose 5.8% in New York, 3.8% in Chicago, and 3.6% in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. They rose 0.4% in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Smaller cities, like Charlotte, N.C., and St. Louis, saw double-digit percentage increases (14.7% and 12.5%, respectively).

Women in technology earned 12% less than men, on average. Dice said that women generally had less experience and education, as well as lower job titles. When Dice weighed the lower job titles, as well as experience and education levels against average salaries, it said the "so-called gender gap disappeared."

A detailed list of average salaries by job titles and metropolitan areas is available on Dice.com.

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