January 29, 2013

Let’s talk about Tech, Baby

Internet Concept of global businessWhen you do a lot of writing about recruiting and HR stuff, you can become overwhelmed with report findings, survey conclusions and emerging technology. But today, I want to talk to you about something very normal—tech salaries.

It may sound boring at first—unless you work in technology, recruit for technology or are hiring for technology type hires right now—which, according to the interwebs, everyone is. In the last week alone, I’ve been deluged with stories about how tech salaries are increasing, how and why they are increasing and even where they are increasing. Behind every single one, you see Dice Holdings CEO discussing their latest research. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Folks who are well schooled in the tech realm are pretty confident they are going to be finding a job, should they need it. From Wall Street and Tech:

Despite the shaky general economy, a majority (64%) of tech professionals said they are confident that they could find a favorable new position in 2013.

  • Average salaries jumped over 5 percent, the biggest raise many of these folks have seen in more than a decade. But entry-level tech professionals have to wait at least three years to see increases like these. From Network World:

Average salaries for tech pros climbed 5.3 percent to $85,619 last year, up from $81,327 in 2011. It’s the largest salary jump in more than a decade, according to career site Dice, which specializes in jobs for tech and engineering professionals.

  • It’s not all about the Benjamins. Tech professionals aren’t just making more, they’re getting more interesting perks too. Analysts surmise this is because in the early stages of the recovery, companies couldn’t offer actual cash and instead looked for creative ways to keep technical talent. Now the businesses are backing those perks up with money. PC Mag says:

Besides the salary bump, companies are increasingly giving tech workers more interesting assignments, and perks like the ability to telecommute.

  • The growth exists everywhere, but many of the cities experiencing double digit growth may surprise you. Phoenix, St. Louis, and Cleveland are all experiencing huge (12-13%) increases. However, Silicon Valley is still the only place where tech pros consistently make above six figures.

By location, Pittsburgh tech pros saw the largest salary increase, up 18% year/year to $76,207. Six other cities also reported double-digit growth in salaries — which is the most ever registered by the Dice Salary Survey.

  • While it might make headlines, it’s not mobile that commands the highest salaries, it’s those that work in DATA. Those pros who deal in cloud and mobilization, using skills like Hadoop and Jquery, earn an average of at least 20K more per year than their mobile programmer counterparts.

“We’ve heard it’s a fad, heard it’s hyped and heard it’s fleeting, yet it’s clear that data professionals are in demand and well paid,” Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, said. “Tech professionals who analyze large data streams and strategically impact the overall business goals of a firm have an opportunity to write their own ticket. The message to employers? If you have a talented data team, hold on tight or learn the consequences of a lift-out.”

While every one of these pieces was based on the Dice survey, it’s significant to note that more than 15,000 IT professionals were surveyed to glean this information. Tech professionals can gain confidence in their emerging skills and direct future career choices. Recruiters can begin to make a business case for specific skill sets and become more competitive in the market and HR professionals and hiring managers can get an idea of just what “competitive salary” really means across the United States.

Read more in Employee Compensation

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space. Hogan speaks and writes on all career and workforce related subjects. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and SMBs around the globe. Red Branch Media was formed in 2006 as a simple consultancy. Today, the firm is a full-service B2B Marketing Agency that serves clients in the U.K., Africa, China, Israel, Europe and North America. Primarily focused on the Human Resources and Global Workforce vendors, Red Branch Media handles clients of all shapes and sizes.
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