Hiring and salaries have improved for IT positions in most North American metropolitan areas, according to the 2013 Salary Survey released by Janco Associates and eJobDescription.com. The study showed salaries up 1.98 percent for IT pros in the past 12 months, with CIO pay in the lead.
Between January 2012 and January 2013, the total mean compensation for all IT professionals increased to $79,312 from $77,773, which puts the overall compensation back at the levels in 2007 and 2008. In midsize enterprises, the mean compensation for all positions rose 2.39 percent, to $75,784 from $74,016. In larger enterprises, median compensation rose to $82,840 from $81,531.
Positions in the highest demand were associated with quality control, records management and data center operations management. Over the long term, IT executives fared better in midsize companies than large companies, where salaries have recovered the losses sustained during the recession in most cases. However, in large companies, IT executive salaries are still below their 2008 levels.
The survey also found median CIO tenure has increased from 4 years and 2 months to 4 years and 3 months, and companies are continuing to refine the benefits provided to IT professionals. Outsourcing has peaked, and companies are looking to bring IT operations back into their direct control. Moreover, a number of enterprises are moving help desk and data center operations in-house, which has resulted in an increase in demand for data center managers, the study found.
Companies are also continuing to refine the benefits, such as health care, provided to IT professionals, while they continue to trim costs, including the elimination or reduction of personal bonuses. Lower-cost benefits, such as company-paid life insurance and extended disability, have been provided in lieu of more costly perks, the survey indicated.
A report earlier this month from online IT career specialist Dice.com found more tech jobs have been created in the three and a half years since the end of the Great Recession than under the same recovery timelines in either 1991 or 2001. Positions in technology consulting led in the latest recovery, according to Dice.
The unemployment rate for tech professionals steadied in the fourth quarter at 3.3 percent, less than half the national average, which improved to average 7.8 percent in the quarter. In comparison, the IT sector unemployment rate stood at 4.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012. However, the strong jobs recovery in technology hasn't translated into more willingness or the ability of workers to leave their jobs, the report indicated.