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The IT Salary 'Wave': Skills, Salaries, and the Coming Reckoning

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The financial prognosis for information technology jobs appears to be good, but there's an underlying condition attached: cutting-edge skills are set to have a big impact on IT careers. 

 

According to a recent 2013 salary survey conducted by Computerworld, not only are average annual pay rates up for some IT workers, but bonuses are showing signs of climbing out of the dip they took last year. 

 

Of the more than 4,200 respondents to the poll, the average increase in salary was pegged at 2.3% in the 2013 report — up 0.2% from last year's check-in. That increase is smaller than the 0.6% bump from 1.5% to 2.1% between 2011 and 2012, but part of an upward trend nonetheless. And bonuses, which were cut by an average of 1.1% in Computerworld's 2012 report, saw a 0.9% increase. 

 

All of this should prove encouraging for IT professionals — think of it as a rising tide to lift all boats. But what's especially interesting about the Computerworld report is not only that it shows an incoming wave of salary increases, but also that it supports an idea that has percolated in the IT industry for several years now: new, cutting-edge skills are becoming increasingly in demand.

 

Salary and Skills: The Interdependency of Cash and Cutting Edge

Want to be among those enjoying that average 2.3% salary increase? Computerworld's report identified some key factors that make IT workers attractive to companies, and they're all skill based.

 

The new report shows that currently employed IT professionals see application-development, support, security, and analysis as the important skills to acquire. According to the report, the top five skills that hiring managers are expected to seek are:

 

— App Development: 49%

— Support/Help Desk: 37%

— Security: 29%

— Network Administration: 28% 

— Business Intel: 24%

 

Equally important is what's at the bottom of the list: skills related to software-as-a-service and virtualization. That those skills aren't as highly valued suggests IT departments may be moving away from cloud implementation—rollout being well and done—and into a phase of refinement and improvement. In other words, knowing how to get what you want out of Big Data and cloud-based systems is going to become very important, while skills related to build out may be on the decline.

 

Reverse Curve: The Coming Shakeout

Considering the way that salaries and bonuses are edging upward in the 2013 report, you might infer that the situation is rosy for most every IT professional. But 44% of the survey's respondents said a career in IT is not as promising as it was five years ago. Why, if the salaries are on the rise, would this be the case? The likely answer is skills. 

 

Think about it: with a new emphasis on new skills in IT, there's a necessary learning curve underway. Not every IT professional is going to successfully embrace those changes. If nearly half the IT professionals see a narrower future for the work they do, they may be judging their own skill sets as inadequate, in light of where the industry is headed.

 

That's backed up by another study. In March 2012, the Computer Technology Industry Association pointed to the writing on the wall: 93% of employers identified a skills gap among their IT staff, and 80% of those respondents said the skills gap was having an impact on their business. 

 

If you want to continue to feel secure in your job, like the 36% of IT workers who told Computerworld that they did, then pay attention to those top five skills IT employers are looking for. They're likely the key to your future in IT.

 

TAGS IT | Posted in Trends

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commentsShowing 19 comments

Daniel Staggers says:

Despite what this article says, according to what I've read, IT has way too many people then have jobs. Once Obama gives illegals a free pass, the market will be even more flooded. Time to get out of IT.

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Venkataramanan Thiru says:

a recent decision in one of the courts of US is affecting Net Neutrality, this may even affect the fast growth of the IT industry, just having the skills may not be sufficient ,the industry should also go in for cost reduction, further reseach & devolopment.

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Anil Srikantiah says:

@danial Staggers ,

IT development and architecture is like AD visualization and only a few can excel in this and this guys would grab all the top $$$$$ .if you are in that league , you don't have to worry at all !!!! If not , you are not fit to be in IT ,most illegals can't sign their name , so how can they come into IT of all places.

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John Leschorn says:

Most ridiculous comment of the day... "Once Obama gives illegals a free pass, the market will be even more flooded. Time to get out of IT."

Daniel Staggers - Really... You may be in that bottom group who does not have sought after skills. Move yourself out of it. Being in IT means always looking to the latest trends, sitting in a cushy administrator job with 5 year old skills will soon find you at the bottom of the list.

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John Leschorn says:

Most ridiculous comment of the day... "Once Obama gives illegals a free pass, the market will be even more flooded. Time to get out of IT."

Daniel Staggers - Really... You may be in that bottom group who does not have sought after skills. Move yourself out of it. Being in IT means always looking to the latest trends, sitting in a cushy administrator job with 5 year old skills will soon find you at the bottom of the list.

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Vincent OuYoung says:

@Daniel Staggers

You're a help desk guy aren't you?

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Vincent OuYoung says:

@Daniel Staggers

You're a help desk guy aren't you?

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Al Rowland says:

It's already starting. Look at the Target breech where the technolog (IDS) was in place but the staff ignored the multiple warnings. A job title/certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and govenment, is a historical concept seldom discussed/applied today.

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Al Rowland says:

It's already starting. Look at the Target breech where the technolog (IDS) was in place but the staff ignored the multiple warnings. A job title/certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and govenment, is a historical concept seldom discussed/applied today.

Flag post as inappropriate

Al Rowland says:

It's already starting. Look at the Target breech where the technolog (IDS) was in place but the staff ignored the multiple warnings. A job title or certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and govenment, is a historical concept seldom discussed or applied today.

Flag post as inappropriate

Al Rowland says:

It's already starting. Look at the Target breech where the technolog (IDS) was in place but the staff ignored the multiple warnings. A job title or certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and govenment, is a historical concept seldom discussed or applied today.

Flag post as inappropriate

Al Rowland says:

It's already starting. Look at the Target breech where the technology, IDS, was in place but the staff ignored the multiple warnings. A job title or certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and govenment, is a historical concept seldom discussed or applied today.

You also need to look at your blog code, use of parentheses and forward slash generates web errors. You need to fix that vulnerability.

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Al Rowland says:

It's already starting. Look at the Target breech where the technology, IDS, was in place but the staff ignored the multiple warnings. A job title or certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and govenment, is a historical concept seldom discussed or applied today.

You also need to look at your blog code, use of parentheses and forward slash generates web errors. You need to fix that vulnerability.

Flag post as inappropriate

Al Rowland says:

It's already happening, just look at Target. The technology was in place, IDS, but staff ignored the multiple warnings. Having a job title or certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and government, is a historical concept seldom discussed or applied today.

Flag post as inappropriate

Al Rowland says:

It's already happening, just look at Target. The technology was in place, IDS, but staff ignored the multiple warnings. Having a job title or certificate doesn't guarantee a work ethic. Accountability at all levels, industry and government, is a historical concept seldom discussed or applied today.

Flag post as inappropriate

Jack Cox says:

@Daniel -

Where are you going to go (besides IT) if you want to earn a decent salary anymore? No other profession outside of healthcare pays what IT does - and most healthcare professions aren't even close.

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Balakrishnan Gurumurti says:

Never ever in any period of time none helped by free moneys if you cannot develop skills in yourself please!

No entrepreneur would sustain loss to feed you Mr. Unskilled worker;

In USA thy call all IT engineers as skilled worker, what wrong!

If u do not want to develop better quit an look for some unskilled jobs, true u may not get fat packets!

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Balakrishnan Gurumurti says:

what happened to my comment! i see u do not like perhaps as I called skilled or high skilled worker any IT PROFESSIONAL after all every worker is indeed a professional not a pen pusher!

you need to be skilled in the areas now needed, if not possible better look for some other job

thus give way to one who has the relevant skills needed!

IT industry never needs Engineers but highly skilled working workers!

it is just a fad I am an engineer!

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Gaspar E Santos says:

The idea that an illegal immigrant take current job as an IT Project Manager is ludicrous at worst and laughable at best.

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