Also see: The 2011 IT Salary Guide
And: IT Salary Survey, January 2009 (compares '08 and '09 IT salary levels.)
Clearly, the 2010 IT Salary Guide reveals that average starting salaries are suffering a rough patch. Its a bit grim to look at the list of IT salaries and see numbers that have fallen since last year: database administrator, down 4.1%; systems administrator, down 2.8%; IT manager, down 2.4%. Factoring in inflation, these modest declines represent true budget discomfort.
These slumping numbers are in contrast to 2009, when average starting IT salaries increased by 3.7% from the prior year. And the bountiful harvest of 2008 enjoyed a robust 5.3% increase over 2007.
If youre seeking sunshine in the IT job market, realize that unemployment remains relatively low in the tech field. Moreover, the 2010 IT Salary Guide, published by Robert Half Technology, indicates that several IT skills remain in solid demand. These include network administration (where cloud computing and SaaS are boosting the complexity), virtualization, applications and Web development, and (as always) help desk and desktop support.
Particularly hot is information security, identified by 45% of CIOs in a Robert Half survey as an area of investment which should drive hiring. Other tech areas that are top-of-mind among hiring CIOs are datacenter efficiency (a good buzzword to use at your next interview) at 28%, VoIP, 26%; SaaS, 20%, and Green IT, 20%.
Another ray of hope: in its November 2009 newsletter, the IT job site Dice reported that tech job openings have risen in the two largest markets, New York and Silicon Valley. Smaller markets such as Charlotte and Austin are also gaining ground, with Dice reporting increases in job postings of 45 percent and 31 percent, respectively, from January 2009. And customers are searching the Dice resume database more frequently than at any time this year.
One more pleasant fact to chew on over your morning java: IT staffers, compared with the overall workforce, remain some of the highest paid professionals. A veteran IT pro who can change with the times and versatility is more important than ever can command a good salary even in rough times. Given that the Dice numbers suggest that the job market is seeing signs of life, perhaps the salary levels will return to rosy good health. Lets hope so.
IT Salaries by Specialty
The 2010 IT Salary Guide, based on data from Robert Half Technology, lists IT salaries for a broad range of professionals, from IT manager to software developer to security administrator to help desk manager. The Guide also provides data about IT salary levels for regions across the U.S., and suggests the salary incentives for related IT skills (such as C++, Oracle database, Cisco network, or Visual Basic skills).
The 2010 IT Salary Guide also lists salary levels going back (in some cases) to 2006, which allows IT staffers to compare rate of pay increases for various job titles.
To view the average starting salaries for todays tech jobs, GO TO 2010 IT SALARY GUIDE.