IT Salaries Remain Flat

maademperor

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I gotta agree with most of these posts, IT is a tough field to get into and to make some real money you HAVE TO BE SKILLED. knowing how to build a machine and the difference between processor and ram speeds (the stuff talked about heavily on tech forums) isnt exactly in demand or skilled labor. developers are heavily wanted and being self motivated is the key. if you arent interested in coding, you need to be a well skilled network/security guy and even then you will probably find yourself working a lot of contract gigs for awhile to get your resume built up.
 

Manaknight

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I left a job last year for a 20K raise and a lot less hours. Was working 70-80 as a norm, with sometimes 100+ hours.
The thing is though, I was lucky. Many of my friends are being undercut left and right with the down economy.
Hell, I've seen system analyst jobs at 18$ an hour. (are you freaking kidding me?)

IT is a bad field for the new people. They will be seriously underpaid and overworked.
Its bad enough that people with 10+ years in the field are looking to leave. Companies can go to hell for the abuse they lay on IT.

Go into engineering instead. Make way more money and work way less hours.

this. i make 15 bucks an hour as a sys admin.... not HORRIBLE...but certainly under median.

back in school for software engineering, development is where its at.
 

dirksquarejaw

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What about hospitals/colleges(including community colleges)once you get your foot in the door many avenues of opportunity for growth.just started school ending out with a degree specializing in the software end.after i finish im hoping to do a career change from the automotive field.(service manager)
 

oscrogo

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For most people in IT..its not so much about education. Yes you need to know the products and a willingness to learn processes but what I have seen is that folks who are problem solvers make it. Education or not. I've worked help desk & system admin jobs and am [24] a lead technical architect. Try getting your foot in the door somewhere..find a niche & strive for success!

I kind of agree with you on the problem solvers rising to the top bit. You start to realize the difference between people with paper certs and people with real ability pretty quickly. The paper cert guys are always asking for help, screwing things up, taking too long to get stuff done, take forever to learn...the only reason they're employed is the money they spent and the memorizing they did.

The guys with ability usually get noticed and move up, regardless of paper.

(this isn't knocking certs, I'm working on a GCIA right now...just the people who get them and can't apply them)
 

heatlesssun

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back in school for software engineering, development is where its at.

+1, the money here still is pretty good, IF you have experience, it can be rough on newbies. You just have to go where the money is, which is where the need is.
 

The Red

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There is a bit of advice I forgot to give with my post that I wanted the new IT ppl to know.

You will be treated very differently whether you apply to work as IT for a company that does something else, vs IT for a company that does IT. In one place you are seen as the *Cost* in the other place you are the *Product*. This relationship changes absolutely everything.

You should also not rule out non-profits. I work for one and make good money with my MS MIS, that I only received in May. I, however, turned down an entry level position from HP that would pay me $20k more, but send me out in the middle of nowhere Ohio.

And if at all possible, go for something higher than a Bachelors in IT, it will change your life in intense ways that will make the field make a lot more sense, and give you the kind of in-the-trenches grad school spirit you will need to get yourself unstuck later in life. Whether in horrible jobs or on difficult projects. It will introduce you to motivated people who are serious about what they do, like what they do, and are there to better themselves by truly challenging means where they know they will grow to rely on YOU to work together with to pass and you on them. It will also remove you from the same pool of candidates as ITT, even for entry level positions.

This kind of knowledge only comes from experiencing the IT world but you'll save yourself a lot of of suffering if you remember that the most important thing about the job will be how happy it makes you. And what ultimately makes one happy in the IT world where gaining new skill is a frequent task is autonomy, mastery, and purpose, it is when you don't get these things that work feels like hell.

If you think about it, you only need enough money to take the money issues off of your mind.

There have been numerous studies about the correlation between money and happiness, and the curb goes relatively like this.. 5k to 50k a year salary change equals big increase in happiness, 50k to 50 mil, a distinct decrease in happiness. I believe these numbers were averages for the study group, and by those salary numbers I'm also pretty sure it was not in LA or NYC, but you get my point.

I high recommend you take a gander at this RSA video regarding finance, motivation and happiness to gleam what you can about their well researched studies on the topic.

PS: It took a horrible, demeaning, depressing, soul-destroying job at a commodity brokerage to make me leave for grad school and come to where I am. Happy, satisfied, challenged, and purposeful. I am just trying to save you guys the heartache and say the things I wished someone would have said to me in 2006 when I graduated with my Bachelors and chose to go straight into the IT work force.
 

mrgstiffler

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I'm going to call bullshit on that article. looks like they only surveyed in larger tech-oriented cities with higher cost of living.
 

Taco

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You will be treated very differently whether you apply to work as IT for a company that does something else, vs IT for a company that does IT. In one place you are seen as the *Cost* in the other place you are the *Product*. This relationship changes absolutely everything.

This is only true if you are part of the sale, delivery or architecture of solutions for customers, even then be wary of long term staff augmentation gigs. If you are supporting internal infrastructure you are disrespected as someone who is not capable enough to be on a team that brings in money.

If you can get with a large tech company in a position where you are or you deliver the product , jump all over it. Great experience and fantastic on your resume. But I wouldn't wish an internal support gig at a company like that on my worst enemy.
 

crispyb

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I started off working in a mom/pop computer shop for $6 an hour in 2001 just to get my foot in the door. I knew my stuff very well from 386 processors to Pentium down packed with components/software. I worked there for 6 months and got a $28K consulting job. Worked my way up with experience and got a $40K job the next year. After that I met some right people and got a job overseas doing hardware QA engineering with a $80K, plus housing/commute expenses. It looks like a ideal career flow, but I definitely had to swallow pride and be truely honest with experiences. I left the career as I was not satisfied emotionally and started with helpdesk again.

I moved back to the US and started from scratch with a $22K salary trying to support a family of 5 in NYC. Worked my way up as a Senior Tech at my job with a $60K salary. I'm looking to get a small bump as a Sys Admin later this year.

Advice I have is to swallow the pride to get the experience and don't bullshit on what you can do. You will get busted really hard.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Despite wages remaining flat, about 50 percent of the surveyed IT professionals said they are either "somewhat" or "very satisfied" with their salaries, according to the survey.

Given at least 50 percent of IT "professionals" are blathering idiots lucky anyone employees them, I would say this is about accurate. Meanwhile the ones of us who aren't complete morons are either out of work or stuck working for far less than what we are worth. As for those thinking about getting into IT, Don't. As much as I love what I do the roller coaster ride just isn't worth it. Pay for most It positions right now is a sad joke. My salary has remained mostly static, but when I factor in gas prices, rent increases, electricity increases, food increases I am making far less then I was in 08. My salary was comfortable with a little surplus in 08, today I am working weekends just to make ends meet and even better they cut our health benefits in half.

So sure, if you like working for peanuts for idiots who make unreasonable demands and being the first one laid off..IT is for you.
 

zEp

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The PC support and related are becoming a commodity service much like other service industries but it is still a place to get some of that ever important real world experience.

On a positive note the storage and virtualization areas are really hot right now and employers pay well for those candidates that are able to understand and apply the concepts. If you are the social type and good at articulating your knowledge at a high level then you can look at pre-sales technical positions as many are paying six figures.
 

GishForever

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I'm doing fine as a Java developer, good luck to all those having trouble finding work though.
 

umcpgrad

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We should be lucky to be getting what we are getting
but sometimes I wonder why are there so many retarded so called "IT Recruiters"
who blasts people's phones/ e-mails about jobs many of those idiots blast my phones and e-mails about dba jobs I am like wtf you idiots see any dba experiences on my resume what so ever
I also love these 1-2 weeks contracts that pay 10 dollars an hour I am like get the f out of here
I have not gettng paid that low since 16 years old wtf are you morons contacting me about those jobs
to be honest sometimes I wonder why I have tech leads, admin leads, manager, senior manager, project manager, director, project director on top of me doing nothing and wasting office space/ air
maybe if company/ government cut all those waste of jobs/ money... people who actually do the work can get more money... just maybe
 

MrGuvernment

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Well I can't complain. I'm making 50k working as an on-site technician for the government. Plus benifits, 3 weeks paid vacation and an annual pay raise. Looks like I got lucky :)

Similar,

high school drop out, self taught in what i know, with a company 8 years now, 30 days paid holiday and other benefits.
 

_bdiddy_

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wow, some of you posters w/ the low income and jobs sure have kick ass PC's. I've been in the game for a little bit over 16 years. Not like what it used to be in the mid to late 90's; all I needed was a few words like: "yes - i know Lotus 123, yes I know what Windows 3.1 and 95 is...", and "yes - i own a computer and i'm studying Computer Science". Bam! I was a "System Admin" making $30k/year w/o a college degree yet. I got to do everything from networking to Novell, to desktop support; and this was a fairly large company.

Fast forward to 2010; I find myself building application disaster recovery solutions for a large hospital, with very good pay and benefits. Over the 16 years though, I had to do what I could to survive the onslaught of re-orgs, mergers, lay-offs, and outsourcing/off-shoring. What I realized was the people who came into work content and happy with just pushing a few buttons, all fell of the bandwagon and disappeared.

I learned to embrace changes, and never turned down an opportunity to make a few extra bucks. Playing the office political game helps too. I always follow the market; what's hot and what's not before jumping into that particular environment. I managed to stay afloat by keeping my knowledge updated constantly, and my salary is definitely not stagnant: 3% to 4% bump a year and 10% bonus on top of that.

In my opinion: healthcare and government sectors provide best security right now. I stay away from work that is "offshorable" or can be outsource like helpdesk,local desktop/server support, database managements, emails, backups, etc...anything that is "operational" support. Engineering, Architecting, Consulting, Planning, Data Security, all seems to stay back in America.

It helps to keep a connected network with old colleagues, that's where the big money gigs are.
 

eon

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IT is a very broad term
IT people at my job range from helpdesk techs to very skilled developers, unix admins and oracle dbas
 

extide

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IT is an interesting field. It is the one field where experience can actually significantly outweigh having a degree. I have experience in pretty much every aspect of IT, from fixing computers 10+ years ago to sysadmin/network admin, support for enterprise level network management software, to doing c# now. Never been to college and I make more than every salary posted in here. nearly 2x most of them. My goal is to get into a Software Architect position and a six figure salary within the next 2 years, although it may take me 3.
 

extide

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IT is an interesting field. It is the one field where experience can actually significantly outweigh having a degree. I have experience in pretty much every aspect of IT, from fixing computers 10+ years ago to sysadmin/network admin, support for enterprise level network management software, to doing c# now. Never been to college and I make more than every salary posted in here. nearly 2x most of them. My goal is to get into a Software Architect position and a six figure salary within the next 2 years, although it may take me 3.

Since I can't edit, I will also say that my salary has remained pretty flat for the past 3 years EXCEPT when you can move up in positions. That's the only way to do it in IT right now.
 
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+1, the money here still is pretty good, IF you have experience, it can be rough on newbies. You just have to go where the money is, which is where the need is.

I disagree (it depends where you live probably). I am graduating in May and have had a software engineer position locked up for a while now, earning a lot of money. It isn't even like I was some amazing student either, but friends of mine who are amazing students are doing even better with offers from Microsoft/Google/etc. getting insane starting salaries.
 

heatlesssun

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I disagree (it depends where you live probably). I am graduating in May and have had a software engineer position locked up for a while now, earning a lot of money. It isn't even like I was some amazing student either, but friends of mine who are amazing students are doing even better with offers from Microsoft/Google/etc. getting insane starting salaries.

Awesome, good to here. I'm simply conveying what I've seen and heard and to be honest I've not heard a lot of people saying that landing a good job right out of school is easy these days. Perhaps things are picking up.
 

SirMaster

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To say all of I.T. is a bad field to go into and doesn't pay well is very inaccurate.

I.T. is a huge field and it includes positions like computer and software engineers. I went to the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated last spring. Me and the other ~35 or so students from that graduating class who got Software Engineering degrees all had at least 2 job offers before we even graduated in the spring ranging from $50-$60k starting salary not including benefits. These are also ~8-5 40hr a week positions too. No overworking or anything from what I have seen and heard.

I would say it is a great field to go into and rapidly growing. I'm sure the rest of my class would have agreed with me.
 

piscian18

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Too many people for IT support.

I'd suggest moving towards what I do Network/transport/ISP/Voice/Video engineering. It's tough work and the criteria for getting in can be high but we typically make more than IT folks.
 

extide

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Too many people for IT support.

I'd suggest moving towards what I do Network/transport/ISP/Voice/Video engineering. It's tough work and the criteria for getting in can be high but we typically make more than IT folks.

IT support is the janitors of IT. I would include development into that group as well as if you can get into a senior position as an architect or something then you can make pretty good money.
 

Taco

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I would include development into that group as well as if you can get into a senior position as an architect or something then you can make pretty good money./
This has been my experience as well. A lot of people in this thread say go development. From what I've seen there are more development jobs, but they aren't any better paying. Unless you get to a high level senior or architect position. Which is the same in the network/server side of things.
 

MavsX

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I'm one of the lucky ones who live in an area with more jobs than IT people, but living by DC, you'd kind of expect that. The amount of contractors being flown over from India to fill positions is astounding.

In the datacenter I work in, about 40% of the employees are either current contractors or contract to hires from India. Nothing against it, but just shows you what some companies have to do in this area to fill positions because the talent is usually siphoned off into the Fed or Fed contractors.

what a bunch of Bullshit. I wish they would leave those assholes in india.
 

Koko56

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I disagree (it depends where you live probably). I am graduating in May and have had a software engineer position locked up for a while now, earning a lot of money. It isn't even like I was some amazing student either, but friends of mine who are amazing students are doing even better with offers from Microsoft/Google/etc. getting insane starting salaries.
Damn...

That is pretty awesome. Is the assumption that if the Uni is close to "a" Silicon Valley there may be better chances to secure work there right?
To say all of I.T. is a bad field to go into and doesn't pay well is very inaccurate.

I.T. is a huge field and it includes positions like computer and software engineers. I went to the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated last spring. Me and the other ~35 or so students from that graduating class who got Software Engineering degrees all had at least 2 job offers before we even graduated in the spring ranging from $50-$60k starting salary not including benefits. These are also ~8-5 40hr a week positions too. No overworking or anything from what I have seen and heard.

I would say it is a great field to go into and rapidly growing. I'm sure the rest of my class would have agreed with me.

50-60 out of University? Is this some kind of leet class or what?
 

MISMCSA

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I've continued to have 2 - 3 percent raises over the last 2 years. Prior to that they were more significant, with promotions occurring more frequently. I work as a business systems analyst, and have been able to double my salary in 5 years.

I would not steer people away from this career, but mileage may vary.
 

SirMaster

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Damn...


50-60 out of University? Is this some kind of leet class or what?

No, it's a good University, but anyone can get in and make it through really.

http://www.msoe.edu/academics/academic_departments/eecs/bsse/

Placement rates into careers right out of University are upper 90% each year (99% for my class of 2010) and for my graduating class the average starting salary was $57,175.

Even students who got a 3.0-3.25 GPA landed jobs with 50k salaries.
 

Koko56

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Damn... that sounds like some pretty good stuff - quite contrary to the other guy out of Uni who's made 100+ applications as he said... Guess how the Uni helps may depends as well.
 

Tau

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Sounds like the IT market is oversaturated down there...

Up here in Canada (atleast my section of it) IT jobs are relativly plentiful... now we dont have alot of them open, but there are enough that if someone was looking for one he could find one.

I'm not sure if the people discussing wages in this thread are working in a diffrent level of IT than myself... or if the market is just that bad down there... Up here though I am comfortably making 60-70K sallary, full benefits, and a bonus.... thats my 9-5, I also do alot of consulting on the side as well...

This is one of those rare times that I guess im happy living in Canada >.>

I would expect someone fresh out of uni with a degree in some level of IT to make atleast $18-20 MINIMUM. If you are desperate for a position in IT you could find a position for $12-15 relativly quickly... (Again in my area of Canada that is, cant speak for the other side of the country)
 

Benny Blanco

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I guess I should be glad I read this thread because I just got my first cert (A+) and was kinda hoping for a career in IT. Maybe I'll apply at the DMV after all.

I just graduated with a degree in music. I've been kicking myself for not majoring in something more useful like Computer Information Systems or Computer Science. I guess now that I know all this, I don't have to kick as hard. :rolleyes:

This is one of those rare times that I guess im happy living in Canada >.>

Ahhh HA! The TERRUTH COMES OUT!
 

piscian18

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Sounds like the IT market is oversaturated down there...

Up here in Canada (atleast my section of it) IT jobs are relativly plentiful... now we dont have alot of them open, but there are enough that if someone was looking for one he could find one.

I'm not sure if the people discussing wages in this thread are working in a diffrent level of IT than myself... or if the market is just that bad down there... Up here though I am comfortably making 60-70K sallary, full benefits, and a bonus.... thats my 9-5, I also do alot of consulting on the side as well...

This is one of those rare times that I guess im happy living in Canada >.>

I would expect someone fresh out of uni with a degree in some level of IT to make atleast $18-20 MINIMUM. If you are desperate for a position in IT you could find a position for $12-15 relativly quickly... (Again in my area of Canada that is, cant speak for the other side of the country)

I'm assuming you're in toronto? If so isn't it pretty expensive to live there though? The housing market is insane. Cost of living doesn't seem too bad though.
 

Tau

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I guess I should be glad I read this thread because I just got my first cert (A+) and was kinda hoping for a career in IT. Maybe I'll apply at the DMV after all.

I just graduated with a degree in music. I've been kicking myself for not majoring in something more useful like Computer Information Systems or Computer Science. I guess now that I know all this, I don't have to kick as hard. :rolleyes:



Ahhh HA! The TERRUTH COMES OUT!

Its actually pretty awful up here >.>

I'm assuming you're in toronto? If so isn't it pretty expensive to live there though? The housing market is insane. Cost of living doesn't seem too bad though.


Nope, im west/cent in alberta, 3 hours north of the Montana border in Calgary. We service all of Alberta, and some of BC.

Your right about the cost of living though in Toronto its through the roof... though it is relativly high here as well (costs of livings have been going up but wages have remained somewhat consistent for the past 5+ years or so)

The big killer is housing around here... we have alot of "subsidised" housing... basically rhe government giving people a break and they pay peanuts for rent...
 

intogamer

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Sounds like the IT market is oversaturated down there...

Up here in Canada (atleast my section of it) IT jobs are relativly plentiful... now we dont have alot of them open, but there are enough that if someone was looking for one he could find one.

I'm not sure if the people discussing wages in this thread are working in a diffrent level of IT than myself... or if the market is just that bad down there... Up here though I am comfortably making 60-70K sallary, full benefits, and a bonus.... thats my 9-5, I also do alot of consulting on the side as well...

This is one of those rare times that I guess im happy living in Canada >.>

I would expect someone fresh out of uni with a degree in some level of IT to make atleast $18-20 MINIMUM. If you are desperate for a position in IT you could find a position for $12-15 relativly quickly... (Again in my area of Canada that is, cant speak for the other side of the country)

What kinds of companies are up there?
 

BDV

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After this year's raises, I can't complain about IT salaries :eek:
 
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