Network World Survey: Job Satisfaction Not Rising as Fast as Salaries

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While a recent salary survey by Network World seems to offer some good news for IT pros -- raises outpacing the rate of inflation and handsome bonuses -- it may not be enough. Survey respondents appear less than satisfied with their compensation.


According to the survey, base pay for IT pros rose 5.2 percent in 2006, to reach $86,700, versus an average inflation rate of 3.2 percent. Bonuses and stock options rose 11.6 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively, bringing the average annual compensation to $96,700. Base pay ranged from $74,300 for low-level positions like network technicians and support desk staff to $128,300 for VPs, SVPs and CIOs.


Yet respondents expressed relative dissatisfaction with these figures when given the opportunity to rank 18 different job criteria. Overall compensation ranked first in importance, but 11th in satisfaction. Likewise, base salary ranked second in importance but 12th in satisfaction, and benefits packages ranked third in importance but seventh in satisfaction.


On a more positive note, respondents appear less worried about losing their jobs to offshore workers. Job security ranked fourth in importance and second in satisfaction. They also gave high satisfaction to "soft" benefits such as family friendliness and flexible work schedule.


That's not to say that there aren't worries over outsourcing. The specter of outsourcing loomed largest for lower-level workers, with 17 percent of them saying they have been affected by increased outsourcing. Employees at the largest companies, especially those in the manufacturing, financial services and high-tech industries, most frequently cited outsourcing concerns.


Some 54 percent of respondents with hiring authority are seeking workers. They expect positions in security, storage and networking to be among the most difficult to fill.


The Network World numbers mesh pretty nicely with recent surveys from other sources, including staffing firms Hudson and Janco.


While nothing to sneeze at, IT salary increases in the U.S. pale in comparison to those in India, where gains of up to 20.7 percent (for senior-level managers) are expected this year, says Hewitt & Associates.