Clearly, this year’s IT salaries show that the tech sector is feeling positive. Quite positive.
You may remember – it seems distant now – the 2008 financial crash put a big damper on hiring. IT salaries were flat, job openings were few. Headlines were grim.
But these days? The tech sector is partying like it’s 1999. For many positions, 2014 IT salaries are up a robust 5 percent over last year. Paychecks for Project Managers have risen an impressive 6 percent. Even better: Network Architects are up 6.8 percent, Developer/Programmer Analysts have jumped 7.1 percent, mobile app developers are getting 7.8 percent more. This in a period when core inflation is tame (or so the government numbers tell us).
Even unsung Technical Writer are seeing a 3.2 percent boost. And when’s the last time anyone read the manual?
Better yet for IT salaries, companies now need to compete for tech talent. My favorite part of this year’s Robert Half Salary Guide – the source for these IT salary numbers – is the section advising companies on how to hire tech talent. The tone is decidedly aggressive.
Don’t wait to extend an offer, the Guide advises, “a delay of even a day or two can cost you.” Employers must make themselves attractive to talent, the Guide recommends. It’s not enough to offer an attractive salary and bonus package – firms must tell prospective IT hires about their other advantages, like flexible work arrangements or training options.
This nugget of advice is almost desperate: “Remain in touch while the applicant is considering the offer, and even after he or she accepts it, so you can reinforce your enthusiasm about this individual joining your firm.”
And the IT staff appreciation doesn’t stop there. The Guide’s section on retaining top tech talent is just as serious about being supportive toward IT staff. It lists seven perks that firms use to keep tech pros on board. The list includes some standards, like professional development and family leave; it goes up a few notches with on-site health services and fresh food. And then – incredibly – notes that some employers offer housecleaning and a stipend for vacation travel.
Free housecleaning? Cash for vacation trips? Tech talent, are you feeling loved yet? Suffice it to say, these terms of endearment were nowhere to be found in the dark days of 2008-2009.
Will the good times last? In the ever-changing tech sector, fortunes change as fast as the latest iPad specs. New and emerging technologies constantly shift the job picture. And tech companies are economically sensitive; a few downbeat headlines and firms could rein in datacenter spending.
The upside: even back in those economically downbeat years of 2008-2009, tech talent was being hired. Despite tales of woe from employers, the world stops turning when tech stops functioning. If you know how develop and/or manage software or hardware or IT projects, you’ll find job openings at attractive salary levels.
Take a look at this year’s IT salary levels:
(Please note: These IT salary numbers are for starting pay only. Factors like seniority and performance reports are impossible to calculate.)
Salary data courtesy of Robert Half Technology. Request a copy of the complete Robert Half Salary Guide, which includes salary ranges for more than 60 different job titles in the U.S. and Canada.