IT Job Trends: Job Satisfaction, Compensation and Hiring in 2014

Computerworld’s newly released 2014 IT Salary Survey revealed some interesting trends about the IT job market, mainly the increasing importance placed on softer compensation factors. While traditional incentives remain important to the average worker, their significance has declined over the last few years. Instead, less-tangible rewards such as supportive work environments, team composition (i.e. talent) and management style are all playing a bigger role in job satisfaction.

For workers with the right skills, jobs are hot and can be easy to come-by, with many respondents reporting being actively recruited in the last 6-12 months. As a result, many positions are going unfilled for longer periods of time.

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IT job salaries are slowly on the rise according to the 28th iteration of the annual salary survey. In 2014, 60% of respondents reported receiving a raise versus 8% who reported a pay cut. In 2013, 57% reported receiving a raise compared to 9% of IT employees reported a pay cut.  The average raise increased by a modest average of 2.1% this year, compared to last year’s increase of 2.3%.


Job Security

The number of respondents who feel secure in their positions has slowly increased over the years, from 57% in 2012 to 59% in 2013 and 61% in 2014 – largely in part to the slowly recovering economy. On a similar note, IT employees tend to be more optimistic than in previous years when it comes to salary advancement, with 42% of respondents believing their potential for a salary increase is as promising as it was five years ago compared to 29% in 2012 and 38% in 2013.


(Fair) Pay Grade

Slightly more than half of the surveyed respondents (53%) reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their total compensation, while only 23% reported being dissatisfied. However, when asked if they think they are paid fairly, 52% of respondents say they’re underpaid based on their role and responsibilities, compared to only 23% who feel that their salary is keeping pace with business growth and demands.


Skills in Demand

The highest skill in demand for IT hiring managers continues to be Application development, selected as a growth area by 49% of managers who plan to hire IT staff in the next 12 months. Other highly sought skills include help desk/IT support, business intelligence, and database analysis and development, all of which rose by at least 5% from 2013. Other findings revealed that 63% of open IT jobs are highly skilled specialist positions, while 33% are staff or entry-level positions.


What IT Workers Want

When asked what matters most about your job, IT workers ranked job stability (45%), benefits (36%) and a challenging role (34%) as top factors. As expected, traditional factors continue to rank, such as vacation time (32%) and career development (19%), while softer compensation factors dominated the list: Job atmosphere/community (28%), having their opinions and knowledge valued (28%), skills development/training opportunities (19%), and receiving recognition for a job well done (18%).


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Category: IT / Tech Career and Employment Advice

About Grant McElmury

Grant McElmury is a 12-year IT Job professional, specializing in career advancement and work-life satisfaction.

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