Career Central - 12

A brief compendium of the IT workplace.

Study: For IT execs, men face salary gap

While the gender wage gap may be alive and kicking among technology workers, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction among executive-level IT professionals in 2006, according to the annual salary survey released on Jan. 24 by Dice, a career site for IT and engineering professionals.

The report noted a continued occurrence of the gender gap in technology salaries, with women earning on average 9.7 percent less than men in 2006. The gap narrowed slightly from the prior year, when the difference was 10.9 percent, and it beats the national average of 74.7 cents on the dollar earned by college-educated women, according to Department of Labor data.

The gender IT salary gap was largest among database administrators, at 15 percent.

But, according to the report, female professionals actually surpassed their male counterparts in salary among specific job titles.

Female help desk professionals earned $40,937 on average, or 4.8 percent more than men; female technical writers earned $73,816 on average, or 2.5 percent more than men. Female IT executives (CEOs, CIOs, chief technology officers, vice presidents and directors) earned an average of $109,912, or 1.4 percent more than men.

IT workers confident about job market

IT workers reported confidence in the job market, job availability and the economy at the end of 2006, according to a report released Jan. 22 by staffing and recruitment company Spherion.

The results suggest that many technology professionals will be jumping ship this quarter.

Nearly half of IT workers (46 percent) reported they are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, up 6 percentage points since the third quarter of 2006.

In addition, the number of workers saying they believe more jobs are available now also jumped 6 percent at the end of the year. No respondents felt they were likely to lose their jobs this quarter, according to the survey, nor were any concerned about the future of their employers.

Confidence in the job market may reflect an improved impression of the economy at large, with nearly one-third of IT workers reporting that they believed the economy was getting stronger in the fourth quarter of 2006, up 13 percent from the previous quarter. IT workers were more confident than the U.S. work force at large in the economy (32 percent versus 25 percent) and in their likelihood to job hunt this quarter (46 percent versus 36 percent).

Execs: Telecommuting holds back careers

Telecommuters are less likely to advance in their careers than workers who toil in traditional office settings, according to survey results released Jan. 16 by recruitment company Korn/Ferry International. More than half of the 1,320 executives surveyed said they saw career stagnancy among telecommuting workers.

"You can see these numbers as the glass half empty or half full, but Id guess these numbers were much higher five years ago, with even 80 or 90 percent [viewing telecommuters as less ambitious]. I think that number will continue to come down as the technology improves our ability to work remotely," said Brian Gabrielson, vice president of Robert Half Technology, in Menlo Park, Calif.

Executives were not all negative about telecommuting. Forty-eight percent indicated that they would consider a job that involved telecommuting on a regular basis, while 78 percent said telecommuters were either as productive or more productive than in-house office workers. —Compiled by Deborah Perelman