IT Pros' Big Promotions on Quarterly Pattern: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is mining its users' data to paint a picture of promotions among U.S. employees. For IT pros, promotions tend to come at the beginning of each quarter.

Social-networking Website LinkedIn, which focuses primarily on business connections, has leveraged data from its 90 million users to reveal some things of interest to pretty much every employee: promotions.

More specifically, LinkedIn's data reveals that the most popular month for a promotion continues to be January-although that's changing. During the 1990s, some 22 percent of promotions occurred that month. In the past decade, however, that number has fallen to 16 percent-and more promotions are apparently taking place throughout the balance of the year.

"The data confirms that January is indeed the most popular month for promotions," Monica Rogati, LinkedIn's senior data scientist, wrote in a Jan. 26 posting on the network's official blog. "However, we do see a surprising phenomenon: promotions are starting to spread more throughout the year."

Rogati goes on to suggest that Millennials-i.e., professionals born in the 1980s and 1990s-could be responsible for a lot of this evening-out of promotions throughout the calendar year. There are several potential factors at work, including Millennials' potential "overrepresentation" in industries with fast promotion tracks, and quicker cycling among more junior positions.

Overall, though, more widespread timing in promotions means potentially good things for workers in the United States, particularly those working in certain industries.

"In the U.S., while January is the top month for promotions, the spread throughout the year is more uniform than the global average," Rogati wrote. "That's good news for U.S. professionals who have missed the January wave, especially since more than 98 percent of U.S. companies plan to increase base pay in 2011."

For tech workers, that spread of promotions tends to follow a certain pattern, one the blog posting illustrates with a series of graphs.

"We've removed the peak month of January from these last graphs to highlight the differences among industries," Rogati added. "Information Technology companies follow a typical quarterly pattern, with promotions concentrated at the beginning of each quarter."

According to a recent "50 Best Places to Work" study, a number of tech companies rank high in their employees' esteem. Intel,, Google, and Facebook all placed on's list, with Facebook landing at No. 1. Chances are-based on the LinkedIn data-that at least some of these companies will be looking to promote their people up the ladder come the beginning of next quarter.