Tech & Work

Greener pastures--and wallets--for tech workers?

Study predicts better salaries and more competitive IT job market in the next three years.

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By Ed Frauenheim CNET News.com

Tech workers can look forward to fatter paychecks, according to a new report from research firm Meta Group.

Salaries of information technology staff will increase by as much as 15 percent over the next three years, Meta Group said Wednesday. As the economy improves during the next 12 months, key IT employees will seek "greener pastures" with competitive firms, Meta predicted.

"As the economy heats up, so does the desire and incentive to seek higher-paying work and greater development opportunities," Meta analyst Maria Schafer said in a statement. "Although this is true throughout all industries, it is particularly indicative of an industry such as IT, which has had one of its longest periods of job and salary stagnation."

Meta's report comes amid conflicting signs about the job market for tech workers, who weathered massive job cuts earlier this decade and still face the threat that their jobs could be sent offshore. Technology services firms are hiring, and the U.S. economy added jobs in technology-related services categories in September. But IT workers' confidence in the job market slipped in September, according to a survey.

To keep important IT employees, chief information officers will need to pay closer attention to human resources management programs, such as employee morale programs and compensation strategies, Meta recommended. IT organizations must come up with innovative retention strategies such as allowing for more flexible work rules, according to the analyst firm.

"The 'grass is greener' mentality must be dealt with head-on," Schafer said. "CIOs must begin to work more closely with human resources professionals to implement strategies that address human capital management trends and innovative retention programs—an area in which IT has historically been reactive rather than proactive."

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