IT Salaries to Climb in 2012, But How Much?

Two reports out this month show that IT workers will get a
slight pay raise in 2012, though conclusions diverge. While one report from
Computer Economics notes the bump in pay, it warns that salary increases will
not keep pace with inflation this year. But other findings out from Dice show
that IT workers could see their pay shoot up in other ways, namely through
bigger bonuses.

According to the Computer Economics IT Salary Report 2012,
the average IT worker will garner a 2.8 percent raise in 2012. At best,
organizations within the 75th percentile of technology salaries reported only a
3 percent increase for their workers expected over the next year. Those in the
25th percentile reported a skimpy 1.8 percent raise.

Meanwhile, Dice reported in its recent salary survey that
last year its respondents experienced just over a 2 percent increase in pay.
Though this may seem scant, Dice executives report that this is the biggest
increase since 2008. The average annual wage was $81,327 compared to $79,384 in
2010. Dice reported that the tech sector in Silicon Valley is leading the pack,
with the region’s technology salaries breaking the six-figure barrier for the
first time since Dice started its salary studies a decade ago.

“Compensation has mustered some momentum, as more and more
top tech markets are notching increases in pay. Silicon Valley’s compensation
moved first and wrote the playbook for highly qualified tech professionals to
ask for more,” said Tom Silver, senior vice president of  North America at Dice.

However, not everyone will be jumping for joy at their
career prospects this year. Computer Economics points to the 3.4 percent rise
in the Consumer Price Index as evidence that IT workers’ spending power has
gone down ever so slightly and expectations for hiring this year will remain muted.

“Although there are modest improvements in the general
employment picture, our research indicates hiring by IT organizations across
all sectors will remain weak in 2012, especially among large organizations,”
the report said.

In spite of this, Computer Economics did state that turnover
rates are climbing in IT, particularly among experienced workers.

“The voluntary turnover rate for IT organizations, after
dropping to nearly 2 percent in 2010, is on track to return to normal levels in
2012,” the report said. “Turnover rose to 4 percent in 2011, and we anticipate
it returning to the 5 percent level, which was typical during the period prior
to the 2008 recession.”

This trend may be driving what Dice sees as an interesting
phenomenon, as the size of bonuses and number of professionals receiving them
outstrips normal salary increases. Dice reported that

A recent report out from Computer Economics shows that while
IT workers will get a slight pay raise in 2012, technology salary increases are
not going to keep up with inflation this year.

“The increasing popularity of bonuses shows
companies are rewarding their top performers,” says Silver. “While everyone
loves a bonus, anyone who has been through a cycle knows that bonuses both
reward and punish. In fast-changing markets, it’s imperative for highly skilled
tech professionals to capitalize on their career and compensation options.” 

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