Tuesday, March 17, 2009

State of the IT Profession 2009

Some interesting thoughts from Jason Hiner at Global Knowledge. Do you teach your students how to streamline, automate, and find new efficiencies? How about teaching them how to demonstrate or make a case for the ROI of a project? What about a focus on maintaining older equipment? Looks like these could all be valuable skills to have in the current economy.

Sanity Check: State of the IT Profession 2009
Areas of strength
  • From our 2008 salary report to our 2009 report, the average base salary for IT pros increased 10% from $73,900 to $81,600 (see full comparison below). IT remains a very well-paid profession.

  • In our 2009 report, 78% of IT workers said they were Satisfied, Very Satisfied, or Extremely Satisfied with their jobs. IT remains a rewarding career path.
  • While the number of respondents reporting raises and bonuses dropped in this year's salary report, the amounts of those raises and bonuses increased in both cases. While this is partially due to a larger number of senior IT leaders in the survey, it also goes to show that many companies are likely providing additional compensation to their top performers in order to keep happy during these trying times that often mean long hours and fewer resources.

  • For the fifth straight year, 'improving business processes' was the number one priority of respondents in the Gartner CIO survey. IT departments are still focused on driving efficiency and productivity gains.

  • In the Gartner survey, only 21% of CIOs reported a cut in 2009 IT budgets, while 46% reported a slight increase and 23% reported no change. Over two-thirds of IT departments have the same or slightly higher funding than last year.

  • Despite the fact that many organizations are laying off workers - and IT is not immune to those job cuts - there are still lucrative IT specialties that are in strong demand this year, according to Veritude. Their 2009 survey cited Business Intelligence, Enterprise Solutions (SAP, PeopleSoft), and C Programmers (C, C++, C#) as examples of three hot IT specialties.

  • As businesses tighten their belts, they are looking to IT to streamline, automate, and find new efficiencies. In some cases, this is saving jobs in IT by helping reduce the number of needed positions in other departments.

  • In Veritude's survey, 38% of IT departments plan to decrease their staff in 2009, compared to only 4% in 2008 (see further details in the chart below).

  • In the TechRepublic salary survey, the number of respondents who reported receiving raises decreased from 80% in 2008 to 70% in 2009
    Meanwhile, the number of respondents who reported receiving a bonus decreased from 49% in 2008 to 43% in 2009.

  • In an effort to conserve costs, many companies will delay upgrade cycles and hold on to older equipment for longer than usual. This results in greater strain on IT operations to keep the equipment running and it increases the risk of unplanned downtime due to equipment failure.

  • Nearly all expensive, long-term IT projects are being put on hold. In most organizations, the only IT projects that are getting approved are the ones that show clear and immediate ROI.

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