IT Salaries Take Big Leap … Up

Have an information systems degree or thinking about getting one? Then there’s some news you will want to hear. Salaries in high tech have seen their “biggest jump in more than a decade,” according to the most recent salary survey by jobs site Dice.com. The site, which focuses on tech jobs, analyzed year-over-year changes for a decade.

The 2012-2013 survey of 15,049 technology professionals between September 24, 2012 and November 16, 2012 found that between 2011 and 2012, average salaries rose by 5.3 percent. The average went from $81,327 in 2011 to $85,619. Average bonuses were down to $8,636 in 2012 from $8,769 in 2011, although the number of professionals who received bonuses rose from 32 percent to 33 percent. The next largest salary increase in the last decade was 4.6 percent between 2005 and 2006, which was during an economic bubble, as the graph below shows. The third highest increase was between 2007 and 2008, just as the bubble was ending and the global economy going into a tailspin. [insert NEW-DHX_DSS_overall_ann_sal.png] The current state of the economy suggests that this most current increase is to reaction to speculation, but the need of companies of all types to invest in technology and get the best talent they can. Interestingly, another result of the survey was that 64 percent of technology professionals are confident that they could find a new position in 2013 if they wished. Employers not only must spend more to retain people, but take other actions to retain staff, including providing more challenging assignments and allow telecommuting. Even people just starting their IT careers saw the effect. Those with one or two years of experience could expect a first year-over-year increase of 8 percent to bring them to $46,315. Professionals with 15 years experience saw an average income of $103,012. Silicon Valley had average overall salaries of $101,278, the highest in the country. But salary increases were significant in a number of other geographic areas:

Leading the surge with an 18 percent increase to $76,207 are Pittsburgh-based tech professionals, followed by San Diego ($97,328) and St. Louis ($81,245) each garnering 13 percent increases. Rounding out the double-digit debuts is Phoenix ($83,607) and Cleveland ($75,773), with 12 and 11 percent gains, respectively. Rounding out the double-digit debuts is Orlando ($81,583) and Milwaukee ($81,670), both up roughly 10 percent year/year.

But even some top 10 markets saw significant increases. For example, tech salaries rose to $94,742 in Boston. But averages are tricky to interpret if there are some outlying values that sway the overall results. That was the case in tech. Three areas — cloud, mobile, and bid data — drove much of the salary growth. For example, salaries of people who know such big data tools as Hadoop, NoSQL, and Mongo DB topped $100,000. Cloud and virtualization skills averaged under $90,000 and mobile commanded about $80,000.

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