Are IT Salaries Really on the Rise?

In this blog, we dedicate a lot of space to talking about improving IT efficiency and reducing the impact of failed file transfers on IT operations staff.  So it wouldn’t hurt to take time out to talk about something very near-and-dear to the hearts of those folks whose jobs we try so hard to simplify, namely IT salaries.  Enjoy this post from our team.

Are IT Salaries Really on the Rise?

IT jobs mean high salaries. That’s been the trend over the past couple of decades, at least. Want to be set for life? Study computer science. Become a developer. Learn about SQL and databases or choose your favorite programming language.

To be fair, there have been some blips on the IT jobs radar. The 2000 dot-com bust put a damper on demand for IT professionals, at least for a little while. And many tech jobs are still on the rebound from the worst days of the current recession.

But have IT salaries remained the same? Are they rising? Recent compensation trends tell us a lot about the current technology marketplace and what the future holds for IT professionals.

Rising or falling?

If you’re a recent entrant to the IT workforce or you’re looking to increase your earnings, there’s plenty of good news. IT salaries are rising, and that’s in nearly every tech-related job category.

According to the latest salary guide published by IT services company, Bluewolf, pay for software developers, data analysts, user experience technologists, and many others is rising and will continue to do so throughout 2012. These jobs don’t pay entry-level wages, either. For IT professionals with even the most modest compensation, salaries rarely dip below $50,000 at the low end.

And many positions pay well in excess of $100,000, even for bottom-level earners.

While some IT positions will experience only modest increases in salary – quality assurance analysts, for instance – the overall trends are promising. On the whole, IT pros will earn more in 2012 than they did in 2011.

Reasons for the increase

Why do IT salaries keep rising? For one thing, pay is still lower than it was four years ago. As the economic recovery takes hold, salaries are slowly returning to their former glory.

Data analysts and business intelligence professionals, for example, will finally see their pay surpass 2008 levels. Many others are still approaching their pre-recession earnings.

But it’s the prominence of mobile technologies and cloud computing that is breathing life into the IT job market – big data and user engagement, too. As demand for better mobile access and enterprise cloud services rises across a number of industries, more companies are looking for capable, professional IT talent with specific skill sets.

High-growth areas

Even though pay for nearly all tech jobs is increasing, some positions are experiencing faster growth than others.

Software developers, in particular, will see significant salary increases in 2012, and that’s for professionals with various levels of experience. Entry-level software developers in the San Francisco Bay Area who earned $74,000 to $114,000 last year will earn between $79,000 and $121,000 in 2012.

Web development pros are faring well, too. A mid-career front-end developer in the Bay Area who earned $129,000 in 2011 can expect to earn up to $138,000 this year, a serious increase if there ever was one.

While the numbers in Bluewolf’s analysis only account for US cities commonly thought of as “tech hubs,” the numbers cover regions on both coasts and should closely mirror the country at large. That’s good news for all IT professionals – no matter where they live.

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