IT salaries were flat in 2020, according to a January 2021 IT Salary Survey conducted by Janco Associates, a management consulting firm that focuses on management information systems. The finding is the worst since the dot.com bust, with IT middle managers hardest hit as the mean total compensation for those positions were lower than in previous years, with only 0.08% growth. Janco interviewed over 101 CIOs in the last several weeks as part of its data-gathering process for the survey.
“In reviewing the data from our latest IT Salary Survey we found that total compensation was flat,” said M. Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates. “The one factor that stood out the most was the reduction or flat-out elimination of discretionary bonuses. That added to the fact that SMBs, where most IT pros have positions, were the most adversely affected by the shutdowns. That drove many companies to manage costs by limiting hiring and salary increases.”
Janco’s findings show that 116,000 IT professionals were laid off or terminated in April and May due to COVID-19 shutdowns, reducing the demand for IT salary increases. The IT market recovery was further slowed by a second wave of shutdowns with more than 8,000 additional jobs eliminated in November. By year’s end, there were 84,000 fewer IT jobs than at the start of 2020.
“On the bright side, there has been a pick-up in development activities associated with initiatives which support Work From Home telecomputing and related mobile applications,” Janulaitis said. “That could be the spark that drives any growth in salaries and hiring in the near term. However, in our opinion, salaries for IT pros will remain flat for at least the first and second quarters of 2021.”
The survey also found that hiring for many positions at all levels of IT management were put on hold, with consultants who augment IT staff being all but eliminated. Hiring for key replacements and employees with very specific skills continued, however, to support C-Level mandated development activities, according to Janulaitis.
Other major findings of the 2021 IT Salary Survey are:
- Between January 2020 and January 2021, the total mean compensation for all IT Professionals increased from $94,535 to $94,609 or 0.08%.
- Most salary increases were limited to 1% or less
- Demand has remained highest for IT professionals who support Work From Home (WFH) and e-commerce
- KPI metrics are the focus of C-Level management to understand and manage WFH employees.
"CIOs are now less optimistic about the direction their organizations are moving and are cautiously managing budgets, salaries, and staffing,” Janulaitis said. “They are waiting to see what the impact of the vaccines will be on the overall economic picture.”
More information on the 2021 IT Salary Survey can be found at https://www.e-janco.com/salary.htm