Now available: The 2012 IT Salary Guide
Also see: The 2010 IT Salary Guide
The good news: the The 2011 IT Salary Guide demonstrates that IT salary levels are once again headed upward.
The 2011 IT Salary Guide indicates some respectable boosts in average salary. Lead applications developers get a 4.7% increase and software engineers enjoy a 4.1% boost in paycheck. Okay, so IT managers move up a ho-hum 2.5% and project managers rise 2.8%, but Web developers jump 4.6% and System Security Admins levitate a healthy 4% (seems like security is always hot).
The bad news: these rising IT salary numbers are merely compensating for last year’s 2-4% decreases. So alas, the net effect is that IT salaries are essentially flat over the last year or so. Yes, times are tough.
Still, IT remains one of the better-paid fields, and a multi-year look at the salary numbers bears this out. Between 2007 and 2008 – the tail end of the boom years – IT salaries rose an impressive 5.3%. And between 2008 and 2009, before the downturn squeezed IT, paychecks trended upward 3.7%.
Is more IT hiring on the way? I can point to one sunny indicator. I keep an eye on the Dice tech job site. Back around 2007, I remember Dice hosting some 90,000 plus openings. As the economic headlines turned darker and darker, the total slid down to a depressing 50,000 or so. But a recent glance shows Dice’s listings have risen back to 74,000. Someone tell the band to start playing.
So what’s hot in the IT job market? According to Robert Half Technology (the firm that publishes the annual salary numbers), specialties in demand include programming (particularly .NET, Java, PHP, Silverlight, Flex and SharePoint), ERP skills, security, infrastructure support (help desk pros), and networking (virtualization, cloud computing, SaaS).
IT certifications in demand include Cisco certifications (CCNA), Linux certifications (RHCE), Microsoft certifications (MCAD, MCITP, MCSE, MCTS), Project management certifications (PMP), and Security certifications (CISSP, CCSA, CCSE).
In short, IT remains a decent way to make a buck (if you can keep up with the changes….)
To view average starting IT salaries, go to the 2011 IT SALARY LIST.