IT Salary Hikes Lag Behind Growth in Job Opportunities

Don Tennant

The newly-released results of the most recent annual salary survey conducted by IT employment services provider Dice.com found that wages remained nearly flat for the second straight year. Dice is warning employers that their failure to adequately compensate their skilled IT workers, despite the fact that the economy is improving and demand for tech talent is rising, will come back to haunt them.


Salaries for tech workers increased a miniscule 0.7 percent in 2010, to an average of $79,384, up just $539 from the 2009 average. According to Dice Senior Vice President Tom Silver, employers need to wake up to the fact that that's fueling dissatisfaction in the tech ranks:

Employers are a bit slow to realize that they've got a growing retention problem on their hands. They really need to take note of the fact that tech professionals are going to start to show their dissatisfaction by starting to look around. We've been saying this for a while; we continue to believe this is a risk that employers are facing. The fact that they've essentially gotten away with not giving salary increases for the past couple of years I think is really going to start to catch up with them.

The Dice survey found that 40 percent of respondents believe they could increase their salaries by moving to a different employer in 2011. Rookies, on the other hand, don't have the luxury of being choosy. For the second straight year, salaries for IT workers with less than two years of experience have dropped. This group of workers is making 6 percent less than it did in 2008.


One path to making more money, according to the survey, is to move to a larger company. Employees working for companies with more than 5,000 employees had an average salary of $88,075, while workers at small companies with 50 or fewer employees made, on average, $69,658.


Of course the other path is to acquire high-demand skills. Jobs providing wages in excess of $100,000 include those requiring expertise in Advanced Business Application programming ($105,887); Informatica data integration ($101,898); Service Oriented Architecture ($101,827); Extract, Transform and Load ($100,983); and project management ($100,143).


The top five skills most frequently sought by employers posting job openings on Dice, and the average salaries for positions requiring those skills, are:


  • Oracle (Database-$90,914) (Application Server-$88,063)
  • J2EE/Java ($91,060)
  • C/C++/C# ($85,500 to $90,350)
  • Project Management ($100,143)
  • Structured Query Language ($84,375)

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jan 23, 2011 3:09 PM mataj mataj  says:

There is no lag in IT salary hikes (or better yet uhikes, if we take inflation into account). Global IT labor market sets them just about right, as always. On the other hand, growth in job opportunities is overhyped, as always.

Not giving salary increases is starting to catch up with employers for the last 20 years or so, yet, it never really started.


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