Surveys Show 'Surge' in IT Pay

Two new surveys show that pay is on the rise for IT professionals.
Two new surveys show that IT professionals, overall, are seeing a little more cash in their pockets.

Overall pay for certified and non-certified skills grew 1.6 percent and 2.8 percent respectively in the first three months of this year, according to a new report from Foote Partners LLC, the New Canaan, Conn.-based IT research consultancy. In the past 12 months -- ending April 1, 2005, -- pay rates have gone up 4 percent and 3.6 percent.

''We projected this continued growth earlier this year, due to several factors now in play,'' says David Foote, the company's co-founder and president. ''Probably the most obvious has been the economy and the return of hiring and concerns about retention of talent connected to legacy systems and critical technology and business initiatives.

''Employers are once again investing in onshore application development sills, notwithstanding their desire to offshore some applications and business processes,'' adds Foote, who calls this uptick a 'surge' in pay. ''They're demanding more industry-specific experience to go with tech skills mastery, and even systems-specific solutions experience within an industry, which is a fairly new development on a scale that we've been seeing it.''

Analysts at Janco Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm based in Park City, Utah, also notes an increase in IT pay.

The mean compensation, including bonuses, for executive positions in large enterprises now is $140,760. That's an increase over the previous mean of $123,998, according to figures from Janco.

Middle managers also faired well, pulling in a mean compensation of $76,981, which is up from the previous mean of $73,010. For IT staffers, their pay has inched up from $62,188 to $65,247.

Janco analysts report that job demand is high in the Internet and network areas of e-commerce, voice/wireless communications, object programming, data security and data warehousing. They add that where voice/wireless communications and security jobs were considered to be lower- to mid-level positions before 2000, these jobs have been upgraded in many enterprises.

''There has been a renaissance in IT roles and a redefinition of IT jobs so pervasive that traditional job titles are becoming increasingly meaningless,'' says Foote. ''But overhauling job titles is an enormous undertaking because both pay and career paths are normally tied to them.''

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