While most information-technology professionals say they are satisfied with their jobs, nearly two-thirds feel they are underpaid and do not have adequate training opportunities, which will leave many looking for new positions in 2018, according to an annual survey by IT community Spiceworks.
The 2018 IT Career Outlook survey of 2,163 workers in Europe and North America found that 32 percent of IT workers—and 36 percent of millennial IT workers—plan to search for a new job in 2018. Three-quarters of probable job seekers are seeking higher salaries, while 70 percent want to improve their skill sets.
Cyber-security is seen as the most desirable skill, but only 19 percent of IT workers consider themselves to have advanced knowledge of the discipline. Companies that cannot afford to offer higher salaries for their IT workers may want to consider dedicating more resources to training their IT professionals, Peter Tsai, senior tech analyst with Spiceworks, told eWEEK.
“The secondary reason that IT pros are looking to change jobs in the next year is to find a job where they can learn more and advance their IT skills,” he said. Offering more training opportunities “would be a big draw for workers of all generations, but especially younger IT pros.”
For the second year in a row, cyber-security led the list of the most important areas of expertise for information-technology professionals, with 81 percent of the survey’s respondents indicating that cyber-security is a critical skill. Knowledge of networking and infrastructure hardware came in second and third place in the list.
As a group, millennial IT professionals—those born between 1981 and 1997—showed more desire to switch companies to gain better pay and training opportunities, with 36 percent of millennials expecting to leave their job in 2018. While salary and training topped the list for every age group, the middle generation—GenX-ers born between 1965 and 1980—were more likely than other generations to specify work-life balance as a reason for considering a move.
Overall, demand is still high for IT professionals, according to Spiceworks. In a separate survey, the company found that 45 percent of organizations plan to increase the size of the IT department in 2018, compared to only 5 percent that will shrink their IT workforce.
“Even if the number of IT professionals that want to seek out new job opportunities is pretty high, the data shows that the job market will still be strong,” Tsai said.
While companies face significant a churn of IT workers in 2018, the year should not be any worse than this past year, according to Spiceworks survey. In its 2017 Tech Career Outlook survey, the company found that 45 percent of IT professionals planned to switch to a different company.
In 2017, however, more workers—69 percent—were driven by a desire to advance their IT skills. Pursuing a more lucrative salary came in second place at 64 percent.