Forecast 2019: IT Pros Expect Staffing Increases, Higher Salaries

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Forecast 2019: IT Pros Expect Staffing Increases, Higher Salaries

With skills gaps in cyber-security, infrastructure and artificial intelligence (AI) driving demand, far more organizations are likely to increase IT staffing next year as opposed to those expected to reduce their tech department headcount, according to a recent survey from Spiceworks. The “2019 State of IT” workplace report indicates that a majority of tech professionals anticipate getting a raise and/or promotion in 2019. And if they don’t, a significant number are ready to seek a new employer—especially if they can earn a higher salary while advancing their tech skills. An estimated 1,000 tech pros from North America and Europe took part in the research. The following slide show presents survey highlights, with charts provided courtesy of Spiceworks.

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Staffing Plans Yield Net Gain for 2019

Nearly three of 10 survey respondents said they expect their employer to expand IT staffing next year. Only 5 percent anticipate a decrease in tech department staffing.

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Organizations in Search of Cyber-Security Talent

Cyber-security remains the top in-demand IT skill, as cited by 47 percent of respondents. Infrastructure/hardware skills ranked second, as cited by 35 percent.

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Demand for Security and AI Rising at Large Enterprises

There’s an even greater demand for cyber-security specialists within the largest enterprises (5,000 employees or more), as 57 percent of respondents at these companies indicate that they need more cyber-security workers. Artificial intelligence (AI) pros ranked second, as cited by 35 percent of respondents at the largest organizations.

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Bigger Employers Offer Bigger Paychecks

The median IT salary (in North America only) is $70,000. But this figure is largely influenced by the size of the employer: At the largest enterprises, the median IT salary is $100,000. At companies with less than 100 employees, it’s $62,000.

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Options Abound for IT Workers

Thirty-six percent of respondents expect to get a raise next year, and 16 percent anticipate getting promoted. And if they don’t, many have other options—26 percent of respondents said they’ll look for a new IT job in 2019.

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Employees Willing to Leave for Higher Salaries, Stronger Skills

When asked why they may seek new employment next year, 62 percent of respondents said they need a higher salary. More than one-half said they want to advance their tech skills. Thirty-six percent said they seek better work-life balance.

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Job Changes Sought for More Tech Prioritization—but Less 'Burnout'

Thirty-five percent of respondents said they may seek a new employer to benefit from a greater prioritization of IT. Nearly one-third, on the other hand, are simply feeling too much “burnout” at their current job.

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Outdated Infrastructure Creates Top Challenge

When asked about the greatest challenges that their IT department will likely face in 2019, 48 percent of respondents listed the need to keep infrastructure up to date. Forty-two cited the need to upgrade outdated software, while 41 percent listed the need to balance IT tasks and improvement projects.

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Tech Departments Struggle With Compliance Requirements

Regulatory compliance presents another top challenge, as cited by 33 percent of respondents. And security training/best practices enforcement—along with the need to persuade business leaders to prioritize IT—also ranked high, as cited by 29 percent.

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AI Drives Competitive Edge With Improved Products, Worker Creativity

The threat of cyber-security vulnerabilities isn't stopping enterprises from embracing artificial intelligence technologies—especially when AI drives product improvements that distinguish them from the competition.