Surprising no one, IT salaries in 2009 are undergoing a contraction so far modest as the economy grapples with a deep downturn. Based on the 2009 IT Salary Survey by Janco Associates, the mean IT salary dipped from $79,005 in January 2008 to $77,367 in January 2009, for a decline of 2.07 percent.
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The Janco survey, which culled data from more than 800 organizations and 50,000 respondents, indicates that positions across the IT industry saw declines. As evidenced in the chart below, the steepest salary declines were seen among executives and middle managers at mid-size companies, while staffers at both large and mid-size firms saw comparatively smaller pay drops:
Fringe benefits for IT professionals also suffered some erosion. Based on the multi-year chart below, the 2007-08 period appears to have been a high point for many categories. Note, though, that personal performance bonuses continue to be on the rise. This may be because employers are still willing to grant onetime pay rewards especially if it helps them avoid agreeing to a higher ongoing pay package.
The Janco survey was in contrast to the Robert Half IT Salary Guide, published in November 2008, which indicated that 2009 IT salaries would rise a modest 3.7 percent.
Indeed, the Janco survey, published in January 09 and so deeper into the downturn, presents an overall gloomier aspect of the IT job market. Echoing the headlines, Janco found that many companies have initiated hiring freezes for IT staff, are laying off staff and contractors and are taking another look at outsourcing.
Making the hiring picture still more difficult, some older IT staffers, faced with sharp stock market losses, are choosing to remain in their job rather than retire. And some IT retirees are hoping to reenter the workforce in hopes of replenishing savings portfolios that are now missing a few zeros.
Still, as most top tech recruiters will attest, skilled IT professionals, especially those with business savvy, tend to be in demand over time, regardless of 2009s dour outlook.
List of 2009 IT Salaries: