No 'Special Treatment' on IT Salaries


Back in August, 55 percent of CIOs surveyed by Rethink Recruitment said they expected salaries for permanent IT staff to increase in the next 12 months. Similarly, in a recent survey of Society for Information Management members that I referenced in yesterday's post on IT spending, 75 percent of respondents said they expect IT salaries to rise in 2009, while 22 percent expect pay to remain flat and just 3 percent predict pay cuts.


Yes, but how much will salaries rise? Based on responses from Computerworld's 22nd annual Salary Survey, maybe not much. According to the survey of nearly 7,000 IT workers in the U.S., total compensation (salary plus bonus) increased 3.5 percent in 2008, mirroring a 3.7 percent increase in 2007. And with no relief in sight for the shaky economy, IT pros probably shouldn't plan on big salary gains next year, either.


Says David Van De Voort, an IT workforce specialist at Mercer in Chicago:

I think IT professionals have reluctantly accepted that the days of special treatment for IT -- which did endure for nearly a decade -- are gone.

IT professionals, with a median annual base salary of $72,450, are obviously faring better than many other workers. The median annual household income is $50,233, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But 46 percent of respondents say they are taking on additional work responsibilities, as tech executives institute hiring freezes and cut spending on contractors and consultants.


Other interesting statistics from the survey: Forty-three percent of the IT pros are satisfied and 17 percent are very satisfied with their compensation. Yet 52 percent say they are seeking new employment, with a pay increase the primary motivation for 63 percent of the job hunters.


Computerworld has put together a nice package of resources to go with the story on the survey. For instance, you can compare salaries for different IT positions in a couple of tables or read several short articles that offer tips on how to improve your pay.