Be Prepared to Pay More For Tech Expertise
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IT organizations will pony up decent size pay raises this year, despite the past few shaky economic months, thanks to continuing business investment in networking initiatives and internal application development work.
The move to boost IT compensation, while at the same time meeting company mandates to improve efficiency and cut costs, will remain a big challenge for IT leaders, say industry watchers.
The 2008 IT Salary Report , released this week by Computer Economics, anticipates that US-based IT employees, as a whole, will be getting a median pay hike of about 3.7 percent in 2008.
Tech professionals at larger-sized companies may even see a 4 to 4.5 percent salary increase. Higher pay increases will be doled out to those working on Web projects, database application builds and those working on voice-data network efforts. The reason is two fold, say experts, as those areas reflect where tech spending has already been expended and skills in those specialties are getting harder to find.
"Salary compensation increases are still fairly healthy though the economy, overall, slowed a bit. What it shows is that IT jobs are holding up fairly well in the marketplace as is the IT segment of business," John Longwell, Computer Economics' research director, told InternetNews.com. "It's a reflection of the investment companies are making in technology and that they're seeing those investments are enabling them to increase productivity."
The median 3.7 percent raise is a healthy figure given that the average salary increase was about 1 percent just three years ago, though it's not as high as last year's median 3.8 compensation increase.
Networking gurus (and this includes administrators, Web masters and designers, telecom analysts, test engineers, security analysts and systems admins) are expected to get 3.9 percent while those in operations and management are expected to get closer to 3.5 percent raises. .
One salary driver is the expansion of network management staff's responsibilities, say recruitment experts. The job now includes dealing with security, compliance and telecom issues
"It's added complexity; it's added staff; it's a perfect storm," John Estes, VP of Robert Half Technology, an IT recruitment firm, stated in the report's release.
While middle IT managers may not be getting bold salary spikes, leaders in certain leadership roles will. Those spearheading system development teams, for example, could see a 4.5 percent raise, according to the salary report.
Job location also factors into compensation increases. The study says those working in the Pacific and South Atlantic areas will get more money than those anywhere else in the country.