IT Employment

IT hiring and salaries are down

According to the latest salary survey from Janco Associates, salaries and demand for IT professionals is down. Here are the more interesting results of the survey.

According to the latest salary survey from Janco Associates, salaries and demand for IT professionals is down. Here are the more interesting results of the survey.

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I have some bad news, and I have some bad news. According to Mid Year 2009 Salary Survey, eJobdescription.com (a division of Janco Associates), salaries and demand for IT pros is down.

Here are the most noteworthy observations from the survey:

  • Many companies have instituted hiring and spending freezes in addition to laying off staff. This has been augmented by extensive outsourcing, bonus reductions, and elimination of IT contractors -- which has decreased the demand for IT professionals and in some cases lowered wages, with higher priced positions being eliminated.

    ---Layoffs have focused on middle management and IT support staff.

    ---Many mid-sized enterprises have stopped hiring all together.

    ---There are more than 200 IT professionals in the Metro New York area who earned well into the six figures who are looking for work due to mergers, bankruptcies, and layoffs.
  • Companies are continuing to reduce the benefits provided to IT professionals. Though benefits such as health care are available, IT professionals are paying a greater portion of that cost.
  • Flexible hours and work schedules are not as available as they were before the recent economic conditions changed.
  • With outsourcing, lower bonuses, and the recent layoffs, there has been a slight decrease in the mean compensation paid to IT professionals. In addition, with the fall in the Janco Benchmark, it shows that hiring "new staff" has significantly declined.
  • There is a surplus of seasoned IT professionals available. For the second time in less than ten years, retirements are being put off because of the downturn in the stock market and the resultant reduction in savings available to support IT professionals as they retire. Added to this is an influx of retirees who are looking to get back into the job market due to the massive reduction in their investment portfolio.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

28 comments
ajtacito
ajtacito

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mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Again, dah! We are in a depression that the faint of heart don't want to give more life by calling it what it really is. I hope in all this mindless scrambling the government is doing they at least do the right thing by mistake. If they don't, after throwing away trillions of dollars we will really be in trouble; much more trouble than if they had let the miscreants who did this been allowed to fail. Americans think every personal story has to have a happy ending and when the government falls for that stupid idea we are all in trouble. Governments only do two things marginally well, if that, wage war and collect taxes we shouldn't give them.

efaheem
efaheem

IT is going through the overhaul just like health care. You would not see doctors/nurses managed by business people with no back ground in health care while IT is full of management specially in financial and insurance sector whose background is in pure business with absolutely no understanding of either technology or software engineering concepts and yet they are considered IT. Since outsourcing is becoming hard due to the hidden cost of maintenance afterwards therefore IT industry has no choice accept to elevate technical IT people to mid-management in order to reduce cost.

Mhofu
Mhofu

I'm fairly new to the industry just under six years. Got laid off in November, got a new job in December with a 50% pay increase for the same level of responsibility. Of course I had to prove myself by working as a contractor first, as opposed to on the day of interviewing.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

It's been happening for years already. Where's the opportune IT world of the dot com era? Gone. Where are the miltimillionaire IT staff these days? Gone. I have alwasy seen the bottom falling out of IT as it is no longer a market where skills and bodies are in high demand, it is inundated with staff now al getting garbage money for the same work that paid over $100K 10 years ago. This isn't new, it isn't an economic issue, it's reality. When IT started making people rich and famous, the schools opened up on every street corner to train IT hopefuls and take your money regardless of a future market that would fall apart. Anyone that could click a mouse and delete someone else's cookies became an MCSE, and now MCSE's are worth nothing on any value to anyone. Even CNE's and MCNE's are paid less, despite their trade still being in demand, but Suse has caused issues for Novell and cost them market share. I don't know how ANYONE could have been blind and naiive enough to think tah IT was going to be a long term, high paying career, when everyone and their dog has a cert. I find it better not to put all yoru eggs in one basket and focus on developing more than one skillset that is quickly becoming common knowledge as the 'skill' part is going to the wayside.

glenncon
glenncon

It seems that there is always room for pros with common sense and good people skills. It's amazing how critical your job becomes when an Executive can't connect remotely, then they tell you that there just not that much demand.....it just doesn't add up....

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

And I think you mean "offshoring", which in turn has lowered wages AND leaving execs wondering why people aren't spending anymore... no wiggle room. Been going on for decades, the cost of living ratio... One would think, especially because of the internet, flexible hours and telecommuting would be bigger. Rush hour is horrible, never mind high school brats that like to play chicken or otherwise endanger peoples' lives...

lokesh.mudgal
lokesh.mudgal

Hoe such recession helps an organization (obviously the one that survives) is they make their IT systems highly streamline and far more efficient than they were at the boom time, (just another way to cost cutting). So shall we assume that IT jobs are further going to slide to some unrecoverable abyss.

Professor8
Professor8

It's all three that have clobbered the profession.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Yes here in the northeast, jobs, contracts, salaries are all down. Its the nature of the beast. But as another post said, if you know your stuff, you have a good work history, and you have good references its not so bad.

Professor8
Professor8

Yep, the Bush - Clinton - Bush - Obama economic depression continues.

Kam Guerra
Kam Guerra

The only people this is news" or "surprising" to are the workforce detached individuals publishing these reports. Ask anyone who has been in the workforce both during the dotcom years, and the following dotbomb years (that still continues), and the need for IT personnel and the salaries has been dwindling steadily.

Fregeus
Fregeus

.. I was told that they will always need telecom guys. Nowadays, I'm being told I need to diversify if I want to stay in this line of work. Same old same old TCB

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

US companies come to Canada all the time, even Microsoft is here now as they have moved software development to Canada. They can find more skilled labour as there are too many limitations for employing immigrants in the USA. In Canada they find that there is more skilled labour availalbe and more opportunity to hire globally instead of being restricted to the limited, US pool. http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/07/09/microsoft-moves-software-development-into-canada/ Health care is also a big draw for US companies as they stand to save a bundle each year on employee benefits and mroe employees are covered and see doctors regularly, reducing time off.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

No matter how inflated VoIP egos get, no matter how important people think Skype is, telephone POTS lines will be needed. With ISDN BRI and PRI lines, DSL and Fibre now, telecom is as massive an industry as ever. I STILL get calls to design business telecom systems for organizations here and I haven't worked in that field for years now. The people i know at NEC and Panasonic have no issues with business loss either, it's just business as usual and a busy industry indeed. Great sector for a career!!

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

Oh well. That's why I've gone back to school; marketing and getting a B.S. degree to do it. (Well, Bachelor of Science or the colloquial use of the letters anyway...).

Alces
Alces

I'll try to make this understandable as the discussion now gets a bit cumbersome and confusing with TR limiting the depth. You make some good points with the current labor market situation. Yes, you should look at US employees first, and the available pool is larger now. But I can imagine that certain demands do not get covered (e.g. older employees that have not kept up with new trends, different location and unwillingness to move, ...) Re: intl. business language. True, there is not *one*. But put a Chinese, Indian, French, and American in one room. What will they resort to most likely? Re: great tech presence in India Considering thousands of companies that have their helpdesks and developers there (not saying that I support or like it, just a fact), I would consider that quite a strong tech (IT in this case) presence. Re: school education There are always good examples, and I am always happy to hear about someone like you who went the extra mile even as a student. But if you compare the average education, it's often lacking. And yes, I 100% support a well-rounded education. You should read poems and learn about that stuff. Just not in college. That's what high school is for, I think. Re: avg. H1B pay at Microsoft No, if you've done your research about H1B, you should no that there is no such thing as an employee 10-15 years working on H1B. And the number I gave you is indeed starting salary for FY 2008 for first-time H1B workers (whereas that starting pay could be for someone who has 10-15 year previous experience, but that should be the rare exception) Re: sending money outside the country With a few hundred I was referring to per person, per month. It adds up, sure. And yes, I am glad you pay Time Warner and taxes and rent. But you do that no matter what. So any foreign student that comes just ADDS to the GNP. Your argument is not working for that part. Once they go from foreign student to foreign worker, you have a point IF they do replace an American worker. That brings us back to the original discussion to the labor pool skills and we will never come to a full agreement here.

jck
jck

I am in no way against having the best and brightest work here in our tech sector and otherwise. My optician growing up was from India. My pediatrician was from Jordan. However, I have met Americans and Indians alike in tech who are oblivious or just flat out stupid. But since we have high unemployment here, there is no reason to maintain the consistently high-level of H1Bs in this country when there are highly qualified and competent Americans out there who are willing to work at a fair wage. It just makes no sense.

jck
jck

@Alecs: I'll try to take this point by point. [i]@jck: Many Indians are educated in the US. Not most.[/i] In the tech sector, most have been for the past 20 years. I remember even seeing this back in the 80s at several major universities I visited whom offered me various scholarships. And it wasn't just tech sector. I know that even the private university my oldest sister attended in the late 70s was innundated with immigrant students in their well-regarded law program. It's not like this is something that just started in 2008. It's been happening for decades. [i]The US and it's universities have the advantage of (mostly) using the english language, the international business language (so far). An Indian (and many others, not to single them out) would have a harder time getting a degree in, say, Poland. That's why nobody goes there.[/i] As far as I know, yes all immigrant students who attend public university are required to pass TOEFL (Test On English as a Foreign Language). As for international business languages, I didn't think there was *one*. From what I understood, business followed language based on region. Most recently, Chinese being accepted as a "standard" in the Asian market since China proliferation as the world's market product provider. French is also an acceptable language for Europe, as well as Spanish for the South American and Latin American markets and some business practice in Europe too. [i]And I know many Indians who give a rat's behind on working in the US after their studies. They have way more lucrative offers (not just the salary portion) from the Saudis etc. and go work there.[/i] Of the Indians I have known in my life, the ones who in the majority returned to India or went out of country were medical students. Legal and technical people tended to stay here. [i]And since when is the ETH Zuerich in the US?[/i] It wasn't the point that ETH Zurich was in the United States. I could have said Cambridge or Oxford too. It's the fact that India does not have a world-renown computer technology program in their country. We do. England does. Switzerland does. Germany does. If all those "many" tech people you claimed were going back to India or out of this country, wouldn't India have developed a great technology presence in their own country by now? Especially with Microsoft, Dell, Toshiba, and other American companies having off-shored so many support and technical jobs there? [i]Just having MORE schools doesn't mean you get an overall better education. More hp in your car doesn't make you a better driver. It's about quality, not quantity.[/i] True. But, we have both. Yes, there are some bargain-basement programs here in the USA. The public education system in this country is a joke. Kids are passed through it like cattle. I personally knew people who graduated high school and could barely read. [i]But start earlier please: Highschool. Indians (incl. many Europeans) have done math stuff in school that US highschools can only dream off. True for other areas, too. [/i] Actually, I went to a high school of some 500-600 students in rural Oklahoma. Before I graduated high school, I had 13 honors courses in things such as calculus, physics, chemistry, and computer programming, as well as English, history (of various types) and instrumental music. That in addition to my regular course work. So it's not that it doesn't exist here. [i]Consequently, you come to the 4-year college and have to read and analyze poems when getting an MIS degree. What the hell? That's supposed to be high school stuff. [/i] No, that's to give you a well-rounded education. [i]Regarding the lower wages for H1B: True in many cases, but: That's because the system is undermined. The are measures in place that are supposed to to prevent dumping salaries. Dishonest sweatshops work the system and know they can get away with it because it's just not being checked.[/i] It isn't that hard if you're the government to go into Wal-Mart, Microsoft, or Dell, pull their HR files, and confirm that foreigners (or even women) for that matter are being paid as much as the American men working in the company. So yeah, they need to make sure it gets checked. [i]Microsoft is the top H1B sponsor. Their 2008 avg. salary for H1B workers: $90,327. I know (non-H1B) people that get just a little bit more than half of that, on salary, no overtime, theoretically 24/7 on call and are still expected to "think job" even when going home.[/i] Personally? I know a guy who works for Microsoft (non-tech person) who makes more than that. I went to high school with him. Plus figure: "average" is going to include people who have been there 10-15 years. Not starting H1B pay. Compare the average pay of non-H1B people to that of H1B people with like experience and time of service. You'll see the difference. [i]So you have to look in your own backyard, there is a lot of cheap labor that is completely unrelated to any visa status.[/i] Actually, my employer doesn't employ anyone who is not at least naturalized. We contract to companies who do, but they are not benefitted, salaried or hourly, full-time employees. [i]And for the amount of money begin sent back to India that you mentioned, please take the preceding factors into account: That Indian came to the US: He/She probably paid some American landlord and outrageous rent for a run-down apartment. He paid thousands or tens of thousands to the college. He left tons of money in the grocery store, he paid his gas bill and paid more outrageous fees to Time Warner. He also most likely has cell phone with monthly bills, buys a car and gas for it, and then has a few beers in the bar now and then.[/i] Haha. I have a friend who pays $1700 a month for a place in Washington, D.C. that is just over 500 sq ft and it's nothing special. And, it's not great at all. I pay outrageous cable fees to Time-Warner cable. I have a cell phone. I have a car. I drink more than a few beers. Your point? My point: You don't see me sending my money all over the world. I give my niece or her kids birthday checks, but you don't see me sending half my check to some other country and not helping to build the country i live in. [i]Look at the loads of taxes and money these people bring in the country. Then if they stay and work here, they pay even more taxes. Way more than the burger flipper at Jester Burgers with no health insurance and maybe 5 kids and gets government money (financed through the H1B worker's taxes).[/i] And if the American was employed at what is usually a higher salary, there are more taxes paid and the country benefits even more. And, I'm not paying taxes for an American to be on unemployment so some corporation can hire in a foreign national to work at a lower wage to give them more profits which their either write off in expenses or "re-invest" into things bigger retirements for top level people. [i]So question: Are yo better off not having this person here and Microsoft (or any other company) moving to Canada because they don;t have the labor pool here, thus reducing the tax base.[/i] That's already happened. And, corporations are also taking advantage of tax loopholes to make even more profit by offshoring jobs. "U.S. tax rules let companies defer paying corporate rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits as long as that money remains invested overseas." -Bloomberg.com Obama wants to end giving corporations tax breaks for offshoring jobs, and people like Steve Ballmer say they will just move more jobs offshore if the tax breaks stop because: [i]?It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,? Ballmer said in an interview. ?We?re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.?[/i] -Steve Ballmer, Microsoft [i]Or have a few hundred bucks sent out to India, but at the same time the business pays taxes here and the worker pays taxes here and still invests money in the US economy (rent, food, movie theatre...)??[/i] Few hundred? if there were 100,000,000 H1B holders from India here, that'd be $1,000 a piece. I can assure you, the entirety of the US labor force isn't Indian. Here's another fact for you: [i]Microsoft reported an overall effective tax rate of 26 percent for 2008 in its last annual report. ?Our effective tax rates are less than the statutory tax rate due to foreign earnings taxed at lower rates,? the report said.[/i] -Bloomberg.com Microsoft paid less percentage wise of their income last year than I did. A corporation who makes BILLIONS gets more tax breaks than me making 5-figures. And they can't afford to hire Americans? It's just a harsh reality. American corps are exposing immigrant labor to maximize profit at the expense of the American people, the quality of life for everyone here, and the detriment to the country as a whole. H1B isn't needed. Hell, take an autoworker and train them to work in a call center. There's only 10,000s of them out of work now. Or how about the 100,000s of tech call center people who were put out of work when almost every major US corp moved their call centers to India to get labor at 10% of the cost? Couldn't we employ them? H1B is making it worse for America. We're not obliged to help corps maximize their profits, and we're definitely not obliged to be the employment office for every country who doesn't have as diverse or robust of an economy.

Alces
Alces

@jck: Many Indians are educated in the US. Not most. The US and it's universities have the advantage of (mostly) using the english language, the international business language (so far). An Indian (and many others, not to single them out) would have a harder time getting a degree in, say, Poland. That's why nobody goes there. And I know many Indians who give a rat's behind on working in the US after their studies. They have way more lucrative offers (not just the salary portion) from the Saudis etc. and go work there. And since when is the ETH Zuerich in the US? Just having MORE schools doesn't mean you get an overall better education. More hp in your car doesn't make you a better driver. It's about quality, not quantity. But start earlier please: Highschool. Indians (incl. many Europeans) have done math stuff in school that US highschools can only dream off. True for other areas, too. Consequently, you come to the 4-year college and have to read and analyze poems when getting an MIS degree. What the hell? That's supposed to be high school stuff. Regarding the lower wages for H1B: True in many cases, but: That's because the system is undermined. The are measures in place that are supposed to to prevent dumping salaries. Dishonest sweatshops work the system and know they can get away with it because it's just not being checked. Microsoft is the top H1B sponsor. Their 2008 avg. salary for H1B workers: $90,327. I know (non-H1B) people that get just a little bit more than half of that, on salary, no overtime, theoretically 24/7 on call and are still expected to "think job" even when going home. So you have to look in your own backyard, there is a lot of cheap labor that is completely unrelated to any visa status. And for the amount of money begin sent back to India that you mentioned, please take the preceding factors into account: That Indian came to the US: He/She probably paid some American landlord and outrageous rent for a run-down apartment. He paid thousands or tens of thousands to the college. He left tons of money in the grocery store, he paid his gas bill and paid more outrageous fees to Time Warner. He also most likely has cell phone with monthly bills, buys a car and gas for it, and then has a few beers in the bar now and then. Look at the loads of taxes and money these people bring in the country. Then if they stay and work here, they pay even more taxes. Way more than the burger flipper at Jester Burgers with no health insurance and maybe 5 kids and gets government money (financed through the H1B worker's taxes). So question: Are yo better off not having this person here and Microsoft (or any other company) moving to Canada because they don;t have the labor pool here, thus reducing the tax base. Or have a few hundred bucks sent out to India, but at the same time the business pays taxes here and the worker pays taxes here and still invests money in the US economy (rent, food, movie theatre...)??

jck
jck

You really need to go read about H1Bs in the United States. The H1B program was originally setup to bring the best and brightest to this country, not just to let anyone with a degree come here. The cap was set in 1990 at 65,000 H1Bs. But in 2000, a group of people who have been long-held in the pockets of major corporations and foreign interests did an end-around on the process to suspend the rules of the House of Representatives, pass a Senate bill, and do it all under the guise that they would do it later and adjourning the House for break. That group: The Republican Party The fact is, most people from India working in the United States in the tech sector were educated here, and kept here after school-related green cards by having corporate employers help them get their H1B. All of the H1B cap raises in this country have enabled corporations like Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Dell, etc., to hire in immigrant labor at lower wages. It's been proven here in studies: foreign nationals will agree to take less pay for the same amount of work. This wouldn't be so bad if we had low unemployment. But, the past decade in IT has not been the most fruitful. BTW, it is estimate that nearly $100,000,000,000.00 has been sent back to India in transfers to the families of people with H1B status. The government here has tracked that. That is money that could be spent here maintaining jobs, providing tax revenue, etc. Oh as well, have you ever compared the list of Indian universities with IT programs versus the number of universities in the United States with IT programs? We have a lot more colleges and universities and technical schools here. And as far as I know, there is not a technical university in India on par with MIT, ETH Zurich, etc. Anyways, say and believe what you want. The information is out there for the reading. Even Time and NY Times have done articles on this stuff, so it's not like this is something you have to search for in Hebrew on the Chinese Google site. But, H1Bs are screwing our country up no matter where the labor pool is coming from. And, H1Bs are only being kept in place because corps bribe politicians to keep them there or raise them so they can make more profit.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

"since most well-educated/well-trained people from India are educated in the United States" Sicne some, since many, since a lot of...but not 'since most'. They have a LOT of university programs that teach IT in India, it is second now only to health care (doctors and nursing)or medical/biological sciences, which have ALWAYS been their greatest strengths. But I would highly doubt, in fact I won't even consider it, that MOST skilled workers in India pass through the US educational system. The whole complaint from US companies seeking more skilled labour is that your schools are lacking. Why the hell would they hire foreigners that were trained in the same school as the pool they are trying to improve on? that is pretty illogical.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

You too can be a millionaire! Just look at Tom Vu! In order to create an illusion that the USA is still the land of opportunity, they must fabricate such opportunities, or at least HOPES for opportunities. I don't know how many times we've seen people here saying they had a degree in this a masters in that and still can't find more than help desk work. Perhaps, despite their degrees, the employer realized they were completely incapable idiots who just got a degree that anyone with two brain cells could get. I think the whole equal opportunity and no child left behind "media frenzy" disillusioned many into thinking it would be easy. Sure ALMOST anyone can be rich, or learn to build a great career, but you have to have the foundations and personal drive to do so; it's not just obtaining a piece of paper and people knock your door down to pay you. Maybe these issues with lack of new recruits for the military are a result of them being lead to believe their career in IT will be easier than an army career. It seemed that, at one time, if you needed work and education that would be respected, join the army. Now people seem to think a few days of gaming each week and they are IT staff. The disillusion reminds me of that stupid line drawing they used to put on the back of match books. "Can you draw THIS? If so, send it in and you could be a cartoon designer or respected animator!" :D It's not the 'people's' fault per se, beyond naivety and a desire to make an easy buck or get ahead in the game, it is the government and media that fills people's heads with this garbage and makes them believe that with little effort they can reap great rewards.

jck
jck

since most well-educated/well-trained people from India are educated in the United States, that India is not one of those countries with a higher competency. Plain and simple: Companies like MS hire the people from India who are here because they work cheaper. It's not about more skill. They can teach them more skill in all that overtime they make them work for their salary.

Alces
Alces

Not necessarily only a problem int he IT world: having a degree or certificate or having worked for x years in profession y doesn't make you a skilled person. The likelihood is higher, but I've met and seen people where you can just wonder. I have a Master's degree from one school in town. Excellent reputation and the program was very valuable and worth the money. I would say it made me more valuable. For whatever reason I am working on a second Master's (MBA) at a different school in town. The standard, honestly, is terrible. Some classes are completely useless and a 15 year old could manage it. Yet, you get that MBA, and then are considered are "highly educated professional". Face it, the education standards in many other countries (incl. 2nd and 3rd world) are way better than in the US. And if I know there are better employees out there, I want to have them and not waste money on inflationary degrees.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

They say themselves, not my opinion but those of companies like Microsoft, they simply cannot find enough skilled workers in the US pool and they seek the higher skillsets which they find in other nations. Havign trained techs means nothing, it is the level of training and capability of those techs that is important. The way every Tom, Dick and Harry opened up an MCSE training school over the last 10-15 years its no wonder that there are many who just get through school but have no real skills to offer. I know KIDS that have an MCSE these days, CHILDREN! But they lack in so many other areas. They are no longer able to eaily bring in people to the US so they are forced to move to Canada and seek skilld workers here where they have a greater pool to select from. If its hard to accept, contact Miscrosoft for details.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I still get calls offering to help me get an H-1B Visa and I was born in New Jersey! It's either the last name or maybe New Jersey has left the union. Thinking about it now, it must be that New Jersey has left the union because there was also a comment on how good my English is. :D

jck
jck

I saw no limit of foreigners working at the ISD of the world's largest retailer when I interviewed there. I bet 30-40% of their Info Systems people were H-1B. We have a flooded IT market, yet companies like Microsoft and Wal-Mart have got Congress to allow enough H1-Bs to be issued to make it difficult for unemployed, educated, well-trained Americans to get those jobs. To me, that's just wrong. I think America has a lesson to learn: Before you can take care of someone else well, you have to take care of yourself well first.