High demand and low supply of IT professionals may lead to turnover in the new year, a new report found. Some 32% of IT professionals said they plan to search for or take an IT job with a new employer in 2018, according to Spiceworks' 2018 IT Career Outlook.
Among those planning to make a job move, 75% said they are seeking a better salary, 70% said they want to advance their skills, and 39% said they want to work for a company that prioritizes IT more than the one they currently work for.
Of the 2,163 IT professionals from North America and Europe surveyed, 7% said they plan to start working as a consultant, while 5% said they plan to leave the IT industry altogether. Another 2% reported plans to retire in 2018.
Some employees said they expect positive changes from their current employer in the new year: 51% of IT professionals said they expect a raise from their current employer next year, while 21% said they also expect a promotion. However, 24% said they don't expect any career changes or raises in the next year.
SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)
Millennials in particular (36%) were more likely to say they were seeking new employment—more than Gen Xers (32%) and baby boomers (23%). Millennial IT professionals are also more likely to leave their current employer to find a better salary, advance their skills, work for a more talented team, and receive better employee perks than older employees. Meanwhile, Gen X IT professionals are more likely to leave their jobs to seek a better work-life balance, while baby boomers are more likely to leave due to burnout.
Despite those who plan to leave their jobs, 70% of IT professionals say they are satisfied with their current jobs—though 63% say they believe they are underpaid, the report found. This number is even higher among millennials: 68% of millennial IT workers feel underpaid, compared to 60% of Gen X and 61% of baby boomers.
In terms of salary, millennial IT professionals are paid a median income of $50,000 per year, while Gen X IT professionals are paid $65,000, and baby boomers are paid $70,000. These salaries also correlate to years of experience, the report noted.
In terms of tech skills needed to be successful in any IT job in the coming year, 81% of IT professionals reported that cybersecurity expertise was critical.
Despite understanding how critical this area is, only 19% of IT pros reported having advanced cybersecurity knowledge—potentially putting organizations at risk. This echoes previous research about the dearth of cybersecurity professionals currently available to companies, as well as the need to upskill employees to fill security gaps.
About 75% of IT professionals also said that it was critical to have experience in networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user devices, and storage and backup. Of these, 41% said they have advanced networking skills, 50% said they have advanced infrastructure hardware skills, and 79% said they are advanced in supporting and troubleshooting end user devices, including laptops, desktops, and tablets.
"Although the majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs, many also believe they should be making more money, and will take the initiative to find an employer who is willing to pay them what they're worth in 2018," Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, said in a press release. "Many IT professionals are also motivated to change jobs to advance their skills, particularly in cybersecurity. As data breaches and ransomware outbreaks continue to haunt businesses, IT professionals recognize there is high demand for skilled security professionals now, and in the years to come."
Want to use this data in your next business presentation? Feel free to copy and paste these top takeaways into your next slideshow.
- 32% of IT professionals said they plan to search for or take an IT job with a new employer in 2018. -Spiceworks, 2017
- Among IT pros planning to make a job move, 75% said they are seeking a better salary, 70% said they want to advance their skills, and 39% said they want to work for a company that prioritizes IT more. -Spiceworks, 2017
- 81% of IT professionals reported that cybersecurity expertise was critical in the field, but only 19% said they had advanced cybersecurity skills. -Spiceworks, 2017
- How to find and interview nontraditional tech job candidates: Tips for managers (TechRepublic)
- AI and jobs: Where humans are better than algorithms, and vice versa (ZDNet)
- CIO Jury: Nearly 60% of IT leaders have a data scientist on staff (TechRepublic)
- IT pros will need a diverse skill set to be employed in 2020 (ZDNet)
- Free PDF download: IT Jobs in 2020, a Leader's Guide (TechRepublic/ZDNet special feature)
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.