Tech & Work

StatCenter: IT compensation

The workers still have an upper hand when it comes to negotiating for compensation—salary, bonus, stock options—but the cost of compensation hasn't risen out of sight, like in years past.

You need all the wiggle room you can get when you’re negotiating with potential IT employees. Salaries, bonuses, stock options—they’re all forms of compensation, and they are there to bargain with. Plus, your employees are taking full advantage of these forms of compensation.
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According to Inter@ctive Week, qualified IT workers have the upper hand in job and salary negotiations, in part because of the rush to the Internet. With fast Web site ramp-up times, “businesses can’t be selective in their hiring practices,” according to the weekly Internet publication. They have to take whomever they can get quickly. And the workers have room to negotiate in several categories—base salary, bonuses, benefits, and stock options.

According to Computerworld’s 13th Annual Salary Survey, IT salaries for 10 top categories range from $48,000 to $68,000, including bonuses. (See table 1.) All forms of compensation went up a little bit—but not a lot—between 1998 and 1999, including base salaries, benefits, bonuses, and stock options. (See charts 2 and 3.)

The largest salary increases came for IT consultants and IT workers in the construction trades. (See chart 4.) IT workers in outsourcing and in computer hardware also received some of the largest salary increases in the Computerworld survey. The vertical markets that had the highest entry-level salaries for programmers, tech support, and help desk included pharmaceutical, IT consulting, utility, telecom, and defense industries.

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