A shrinking dollar forces technology workers to accept positions at lower salaries than they did just a month ago.
With news of hiring freezes and budget cutbacks popping up
job market is looking increasingly stormy for new graduates
A new report offers scant encouragement.
Starting salaries for software developers and network and systems
administrators have dipped by as much as $10,000 in May, according to JobFox,
an employment firm.
Software designers and developers reported that though they'd been
requesting a median salary range of $95,000 to $105,000 in April, this range
had fallen to $85,000 to $95,000 in May. Networking professionals and systems
administrators reported the same $10,000 drop, but with a bigger impact on
their now $65,000 asking salary.
These two job categories were among five in which job seekers reported a
reduction in the salary range they were requesting, including product managers,
now asking a median salary of $85,000, and those in government contracts
administration, who were settling for $55,000 instead of $65,000.
To many, these lowered salary expectations are a sign that the economic
slowdown once limited in impact to the credit sector has now inched into other
"It is alarming. I don't think it's a two-alarm fire or anything yet,
but what we're hearing is that job seekers are maybe not landing the job or the
salary they thought they would, so they're lowering their salary
brackets," Barry Lawrence, a JobFox spokesperson, told eWEEK.
"We're feeling the squeeze at the pump, and new graduates are feeling
it as well."
Other economic indicators have also painted an
ominous picture of the job market new graduates are walking into
. The Labor
Department reported that hourly wages are stagnating, rising just one cent in
April, and that average hourly earnings are up 3.4 percent over the last
12-month period, lagging behind inflation. The Consumer Price Index, or
"cost of living" measure, has also increased, as has the number of
people working part time because their hours have been cut or they could not
find full-time jobs.
Despite this, JobFox says that software design and development positions are
still the top category in their online job board, in line with the Bureau of
Labor Statistics' 10-year economic outlook, which found that software
developers and engineers are expected to be the fourth
fastest-growing occupation between 2006 and 2016
JobFox advises graduates not to focus too heavily on salaries, which are
expected to improve in time.
"While overall median salaries may be slightly lower in a few
professions, keep in mind that many new job openings are filled by
professionals who are still getting a personal salary increase to go along with
greater responsibilities and opportunities to grow," said Rob McGovern, CEO
"I advise job seekers to pick the best jobs over the best salaries.
Salary rewards will eventually catch up."
Furthermore, graduates are advised to opt for jobs that will provide
them with the best training and foundation for future jobs
"Go for jobs that will give you exposure to the hottest technologies
and higher languages such as AJAX,"