For those IT workers still employed, salaries are plunging. The report found that IT compensation in the United States is down, on average, $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the position. In spite of the fact that IT headcount has been shaved down so far, Rubin predicts that we still havent hit bottom when it comes to layoffs. "Over the next year or two there will be layoffs totaling in the hundreds of thousands in the IT field, as people are again pressured with budget concerns," he said. "It wouldnt be surprising to see a quarter of a million technology jobs get laid off next year. We see budget pressures on organizations up to 20 percent. Companies tend to take half of that out of the workforce."And because the IT workforce is glutted with talent, those outsourcers are fetching far lower salaries. Firms that were charging $110 to $150/hour three years ago are now getting $50 to $55/hour for the same work. And as U.S. salaries creep down, the move to ship IT work offshore may begin to ebb, as the gap between U.S. and non-U.S. salaries shrinks, Rubin pointed out. But thats feeble consolation when compared with the fact that headcounts and salaries are still getting pummeled. With the situation so dire, its no surprise that Metas respondents, when asked if theyve considered leaving IT due to the current job market, overwhelminglyto the tune of 62 percentsaid yes.
One thing that might offset permanent job loss is a move to outsourcing. "The trick is, you may cut people, which causes risk to the business and delivery, but you may end up going to systems integrators and outsourcing firms," Rubin said. "You can lay off your own people and get a contract with a provider to do the work, and you dont have to hire more people to do the work, and pay them salaries and benefits."