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The Almighty Buck IT

IT Salaries and Hiring Are Up — But Just To 2008 Levels 198

Posted by timothy
from the living-in-the-average-of-past-and-future dept.
tsamsoniw writes "A mid-year salary survey has a mix of good and bad news for IT professionals: The good news, hiring is slowly increasing as companies bring more IT operations back in house and salaries are creeping up a bit. But compensation (including benefits) are just now reaching 2008 levels — and hiring will remain soft, at least until the presidential election is over."
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IT Salaries and Hiring Are Up — But Just To 2008 Levels

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  • Citation needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ccguy (1116865) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:24AM (#40581415) Homepage
    The article says this:

    "However, hiring overall will remain soft in coming months, particularly with the presidential election in the United States and economic turmoil in the European Union."

    The EU part is obvious, but there's no explanation about why the presidential election would have an impact or where they are getting that data from.
    • Re:Citation needed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:29AM (#40581435)
      Businesses may be hesitant to make major investments in hiring (or anything) until they know which way the wind will blow after November.
      • Re:Citation needed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gorobei (127755) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @09:05AM (#40581549)

        Businesses may be hesitant to make major investments in hiring (or anything) until they know which way the wind will blow after November.

        Businesses hire because they need more people to do the work they have in the pipeline. Outside of a few firms in Washington, presidential elections have about 0% impact on that.

        Anyone saying otherwise is has either never run a business or has an agenda to push.

        • by Virtucon (127420)

          .Businesses hire because they need more people to do the work they have in the pipeline. Outside of a few firms in Washington, presidential elections have about 0% impact on that.

          Anyone saying otherwise is has either never run a business or has an agenda to push.

          I run a small business and work with other businesses small and large daily. What happens in DC affects every job in this country and the administration is responsible for setting the tone and direction of the nation in terms of it's social and economic agendas. This gets codified into laws on: ... From taxes, regulations, foreign trade the list goes on and on. Have you ever taken a look at the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs)? [slashdot.org]

          Once a law goes on the book it stays there unless somebody passes another

      • Meh. The only businesses that I can think of that would need to plan directly around a presidential election are companies that contract with the government. To all other businesses not involved in any type of corruption, republican or democrat makes zero difference.

    • by oztiks (921504)

      IT spending would be reduced in preparation to the election because people in govt jobs would be concerned for their own jobs. Plus spending on anything big would be put off until after the election incase a new govt is put in place, the old govt wouldn't want the new govt to get the kudos on anything good and anything bad can easily be blamed on the past govt decision

    • by vlm (69642)

      there's no explanation about why the presidential election would have an impact or where they are getting that data from

      We don't live in a free market state. Its assumed that major government provided economic numbers are kind of pencil whipped before the election to support the incumbent. Reality is never completely on display, however, you'll get a much better look at it a couple months after the election, rather than before. You can tell any lie with statistics.

    • The current makeup of the US government means cooperation between parties is required to do anything useful. Current political polarization means no cooperation. The election has the possibility of changing this.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      It's nonsense, that's what it is. Same as when the business press talks about "uncertainty" - it's always uncertain what's going to happen in business, and what they're really saying is "There's a slight chance that the federal government won't just do exactly what we in industry want, Waaaa!."

    • Here's a few things I hear about when I talk to business owners. 1) bush tax cut - hopefully it stands 2) buffet tax increase - hopefully it just stays a gimmick 3) estate taxes - should I divest now and drop the cash in a trust or can I wait a few years 4) h1b - how many more Indians can we get

    • would prefer Romney get elected. This isn't wacko conspiracy theory either. You need only look at the fact that Romney is the first challenger in history to out-raise and out-spend an incumbent president. That money isn't coming from the rank and file after all (they don't have it).

      It's not hard to see why the ruling class prefers Romney. He's one of them (Desert Bagels anyone?) and he's made it very clear he will cut taxes on high income earners and slash government spending to make up the difference (
      • Actually, I doubt this. I think that Romney is being set up by the RNC to fail. Look, the RNC leadership knows what's coming. The economy isn't going to get magically "better" or start to grow in any *significant* way, ever. By the time we get to either debt forgiveness, or debt payback, the energy resource problem starts rearing it's ugly little head (i.e. ever declining energy return - not quantity), energy prices rise globally, and down the world's economies go again.

        Who the hell wants to be the party in

    • Well, you see if Obama is selected there is uncertainty over what the future holds, while if Romney is selected there is uncertainty over what the future holds.

      I hope that clears up the question for everybody.

  • by khallow (566160) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:34AM (#40581455)

    However, hiring overall will remain soft in coming months, particularly with the presidential election in the United States and economic turmoil in the European Union.

    It'll be interesting to see if this really is perceived as the problem. At least with the US, we'll see or not see big shifts in the markets after election day which is a means to test that particular part of the claim.

    • by Kergan (780543)

      However, hiring overall will remain soft in coming months, particularly with the presidential election in the United States and economic turmoil in the European Union.

      It'll be interesting to see if this really is perceived as the problem. At least with the US, we'll see or not see big shifts in the markets after election day which is a means to test that particular part of the claim.

      Alternatively, shit hits the fan in financial institutions, and it'll be 2008 all over again before the elections.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:42AM (#40581473)

    One of the biggest problems that I see with people who are still without jobs is that they wouldn't accept anything less than what they were making before. I know plenty of contractors from AT&T who were making $45/hr in 2006 with only Network+ and Security+ certification and a little bit of vim experience. Since the market reset itself, a couple of those guys simply refuse to take anything less than their pre-recession salaries, but they will complain to high heaven about not being able to find a job.

    On the other side of the spectrum, I know plenty of kids straight out of college who expect to make $45k/year with their fresh MIS degree, and won't accept anything less. One example--it's been two years since a guy at my gym graduated college--he's still working at the same gym as a personal trainer--and won't even get his foot in the door by taking a job in the industry because they won't pay him (as an entry-level worker) what he "expects" to get paid.

    Finally, and this is not a knock on our military IT people, but a lot of guys who are getting out expect to make $100k+ just because they had a high-tech job and were making $50k as an E5 (that includes a housing allowance). IMO--and I did eight years in the USMC--most of the military has a very comfortable life in terms of benefits and pay compared to the civilian world. Simply put, a lot of military IT jobs have no direct equivalent in the civilian sector unless you are willing to stay on base as a contractor, or move to DC.

    My advice to these three groups: take whatever job can get. At least you will be working, and will remain marketable. The industry--hell, the entire marketplace in general--is still re-adjusting after the crash. There will likely be another crash + recession very soon. Don't expect to be flying high like we were in the Web 2.0 crash.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There's a flipside to this. IT workers *have* been traditionally underpaid since around 1995 and the first wave of large-scale internet boom. Our salaries gained a bit and almost approached "worth it" around 1999-2000, but then the big dotcom bubble hit in 2001 (the people I'm talking about worked for real businesses, not stupididea.com, but were all still affected). From then on as the markets have gone through periodic mini-recession cycles and layoff seasons, the net result has been no raises. Most p

    • I'm not so sure. Some companies are loathe to hire people when they know it will be a cut in pay for the job candidate they are considering. I've had this happen to me. The potential employer assumed that I would be uninterested and not motivated when all they had to do is ask. Then, some employers have opined that new employees that have taken a pay cut from a previous job will only stay a short while. This is also flawed thinking because most people change jobs every 3-4 years nowadays anyway. In f
    • well IT does not need college / the loans that come with it.

      It need a trades / apprenticeship system that no only is quicker then a 2/4 year college it also give people real job skills.

    • Mod parent up. I've seen this pattern so many times, it's ridiculous. I've walked friends through the process of finding places to work, but they feel it's undignified to be paid less than the guy who's been there for a while.

    • I have seen JR / level 1 / entry-level jobs that want a lot of experience so are there even real entry-level jobs out there.

    • I am one of those techs that does not settle and it simply for one reason. Cost of living. If I am forced to suffer a tech job that will pay me 20k a a year or less for my abilities and experience, why bother put up with the stress. I could simply go work commission based retail or go back into the catering business. I have been in the workforce for so long and worked in so many different fields that I find that it is just plain silly to "accept" what they are offering. IMO all techs that see jobs that unde

  • It's the gut-level certainty of most small business owners that things will get worse that's keeping them from hiring.

  • Expectations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by billybob_jcv (967047) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @12:27PM (#40582809)
    I had an employee recently come to me and say that he wanted his title changed to "VMware Administrator" and that he deserved a 35% increase in pay. We are a small shop and his job is about 60% PC technician, 20% network admin and 20% server admin. We have 2 ESX servers and about 10 VMs. VMware administration is about 10% of his job. He looked at me like I was crazy when I told him that if he wanted to be a VMware specialist, he probably needed to find a job at a larger company that could afford to let him be a specialist, and that at *this* company, the role I needed was the role he holds, and that he is fairly compensated for this role. I then showed him the competitive salary information for our area for his role and that he is above the midpoint for similar jobs.

    He did not understand the sad truth of corporate salaries today: It no longer matters how long you have been with the company, or how long it has been since you last had a raise - the only thing that matters is what is on your job description and what other companies are willing to pay for that role in your area. If you want a raise, then you have to get your job description changed to represent a larger scope of responsibility and a role that is worth more money. My employee was on the right track - he wanted to change his job title - but he failed to understand that it isn't the title - it is the job description and the scope of the role that matters.

    Corporate life sucks. We are all replaceable, and we are only worth whatever it would take to replace us with some poor, unemployed worker that would take anything as long as it provides benefits and pay better than COBRA and unemployment.
    • by Mr.CRC (2330444)
      Bingo! And if he is good enough to be a full-time specialist VMware Admin paying 35% more, then he should be able to find such a job and come back to give you a resignation letter. And if not,..., well I know that in my position I am fairly compensated so I am just grateful for my job and try to do as best I can to keep improving myself and contributing to my company's viability.
    • by Rinikusu (28164)

      Weird. Out here in SoCal, I was bluntly told by a recruiter that they look strictly at "title" and "pay history" to make those sorts of decisions, but only if you get through the skills filter first. "Yeah, so what you spent the last 5 years writing perl, python, and java applications, your job title doesn't reflect that and neither does your salary. So, we're going to offer you a jr. programming position at bottom market rates because that's a raise from your current salary, and you're going to like it,

    • He did not understand the sad truth of corporate salaries today: It no longer matters how long you have been with the company, or how long it has been since you last had a raise - the only thing that matters is what is on your job description and what other companies are willing to pay for that role in your area.

      Weird. I do not think I would run a business like that... but that may be why I am not a wealthy business owner. Why would a person's salary at YOUR company depend on what other companies are paying? What if they were overpaying? I guess you would be forced to overpay too or else do without help.

      I guess what I am saying is that a business should offer what it is worth to them. The only time they should be looking at what other companies pay is when they can not figure out why they are not getting the help t

  • Considering the stock market crash of 2008.
  • It's not just IT. This link is a graph of all reported employees in America over the past four years: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-chart-public-sector-vs-private-sector-employment-2012-6 [businessinsider.com] In summary, the number of workers in the private sector is back up to about where it was in 2008 (which is still too small for a growing economy). It's the lagging public sector that's keeping overall employment rates below where they were before the recession.

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