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Flat Pay Prompts 1 In 3 In IT To Consider Jump

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the this-time-tomorrow-where-will-we-be dept.

Businesses 608

CWmike writes "Companies have cut salaries and training, held back on bonuses and piled more work on employees in response to the economic downturn. These tactics may well be pushing many IT pros to go job hunting, Computerworld's latest salary poll has found. More than one third (36%) of the 343 respondents to a recent poll said they are looking to move to a new employer in the next six months. And 69% reported they had not received a pay raise in the past six months. The poll was conducted during the last two weeks in September. For employers, the warning could not be more clear. As the economy improves, the most able IT workers may leave for something better."

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As the economy improves??? (4, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | about 4 years ago | (#33828716)

I love a good fiction story.

I'm gonna become a farmer.

Re:As the economy improves??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828742)

it's pretty bad there as well, however you do get about 8 months of the year off...

Re:As the economy improves??? (3, Informative)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33829270)

Obviously you've never been a farmer or lived near one.

Re:As the economy improves??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829102)

The recession is over.. The economy IS improving, albeit slowly.

Re:As the economy improves??? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 4 years ago | (#33829130)

The economy(GDP) has been growing for a while. The employment market overall is nearly stagnant, but that certainly differs by industry and specialty.

Re:As the economy improves??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829272)

Yeah, the rich have been getting richer. Meanwhile, real wages haven't gone up for a couple decades.

Re:As the economy improves??? (0, Flamebait)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#33829236)

My guess is that the economy will improve pretty quickly after November elections if Republicans win. Not because they will do anything major but because the businesses will start spending and hiring more once the prospects of more oppressive regulation and higher taxes are diminished. So if you want some easy money, buy stocks now and hope for a Republican win.

Re:As the economy improves??? (4, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | about 4 years ago | (#33829248)

I'm more curious about this:

69% reported they had not received a pay raise in the past six months.

If raises were given evenly distributed throughout the year you should see 50% answering no. My experience is that most companies give raises at the beginning of the year (Feb/March) so 70% saying no isn't surprising. Is anyone really getting raises every 6 months? If you do, is your company hiring Java developers? I've clearly been doing this wrong.

Re:As the economy improves??? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | about 4 years ago | (#33829310)

I've worked at companies (as a Java developer, even!) that did reviews and thus (smaller) raises on a 6 month schedule, though I'd say they're in the minority and your observation is an astute one.

Re:As the economy improves??? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | about 4 years ago | (#33829252)

It probably depends on what you do.

Around here, the job market for developers was pretty rough last year. This year? Not so much.

Re:As the economy improves??? (2, Interesting)

danlip (737336) | about 4 years ago | (#33829260)

Well the better job is another job in the same field.
I've been a software engineer for 15 years, and during that
time I was lucky to get 1 or 2 cost-of-living pay increases.
But I got enormous pay bumps by switching companies (and
the last switch was mid-2009, the height of the Bush economic
meltdown). Why companies insist on doing things this way is
a mystery to me, but that's how it is.

Re:As the economy improves??? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 4 years ago | (#33829274)

What I like is that statistic about 69% not getting a raise in the last 6 months. Most companies I know do pay raises as part of an annual review cycle, so excepting those getting a mid-cycle promotion, I would be completely unsurprised if at any given time of the year, very close to 50% of people would not have gotten a raise in the last 6 months.

And right now it's October. My employer finalizes reviews at the end of Q1, so my last adjustment was (two weeks) more than six months ago... I'll be others have review cycles which allow for adjustments at other times of the year; maybe others from that 69% will be getting their raises later this month.

Statistics, misused, are useless.

Guess what ... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33828718)

The company you "jump" to is facing the same economic realities, and will funnel those same pressures on to you.

They don't seem to have a problem with CEO pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828916)

They don't seem to have a problem with CEO pay.

But isn't it funny how the senior management get higher pay with the explanation that "We want the best, so we have to offer a higher salary than other places" but apparently the workers have to get the "industry average". Even (or espeically) when cutting back (though again, they justify high pay with the size of the company, but don't downgrade C*O pay when the company loses size, but UPGRADE it...)

Obviously they don't want the best for the rank-and-file.

And, remember, as they keep telling us, "you get what you pay for!".

Re:They don't seem to have a problem with CEO pay (4, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about 4 years ago | (#33828976)

It's not so much the CEO pay that concerns me as it is the ratio to everyone else in the company [] .

Re:Guess what ... (5, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | about 4 years ago | (#33828988)


However sometimes you must switch jobs for the 'tards in charge to realize that the salary offered is not making the position attractive to employees.

No amount of pissing and moaning will get me more money. Period.

On the other hand, if I can find a position elsewhere, I get to actually have a salary discussion. Whereas that's not on the table now.

I risk getting fired if I talk about money. I do not risk getting fired if I talk about money with a new company.

I can pick and choose where and when, and to a certain extent what I do with a new company. I get shit thrown at me to do extra at my existing company.

If companies don't like the brain drain, they can fucking step up to the plate to talk about salaries once in a while.

I have nothing to lose by talking to some other company about a job, that turns a 0% chance at a raise to a non-zero chance, with some slight risk.

Re:Guess what ... (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 4 years ago | (#33829132)

Perhaps, but when they want you, they're willing to play ball at least int eh short term.

You are a company. You have a sys admin. He does shit. you don't really know what kind of shit, but he must be doing some shit because the computers mostly work. He wants more money and keeps talking about needing some training and upgrades. Fuck him... you don't even know what he does and the computers mostly work.

You are a company. Your sys admin left a month ago. The computers have stopped mostly working. They now often don't work, and sometimes threaten employee's children with things that you're almost certain will get you fined. You have found a person with a pretty good resume who appears not to be a Troll. He says he can get the computers to mostly work again. He wants more money than the old guy, but he says he can get the computers to mostly work again. He wants a training budget, but he says he can get the computers mostly working again. He says you need to spend some money on infrastructure upgrades, but PLEASE GOD GET THE COMPUTERS WORKING AGAIN.. Ahem.. sorry... yes.. we can probably pay that.

You see. There's a difference. In reality land probably not quite such a huge difference, but companies are always more willing to negotiate and play ball with a new hire into a "need to fill" vacancy than they are with a current employee.

Re:Guess what ... (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | about 4 years ago | (#33829204)

True, but what a lot of these companies should realize is this treatment of IT staff is only worsening their situation.

The company I used to work for was one of the very first to start putting pressure on their IT staff, threatening (and carrying out) pay cuts and layoffs, and in a few cases even outright lying to their employees to misrepresent the financial and employment situation.

In response, all the most qualified and experienced of the IT staff left quickly for other pastures (many even left for lower-paying jobs; they just wanted away from the company that had treated them so poorly). They were promptly replaced by poorly-trained staff overseas, and now IT in the company is an absolute disaster. It's now a study in how not to run IT. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing because the people who were instrumental in that communication left and are not coming back. Most of those who are left are super demoralized because of this miscommunication, because they are no longer given the tools they need to make their former level of productivity possible (many of those who developed and managed those tools are gone), and because they now make less than when they were originally hired years before.

It will take the company years to recover anything resembling efficient IT operations even after the recovery because of how poorly they treated their employees.

Let this serve as a warning to other employers: don't treat your IT like dirt (or at the very least don't lie to them), or you too may see your IT come grinding to a near halt.

Re:Guess what ... (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33829278)

Yup, lying does more damage to employee morale (and everything else that follows along after morale) than just about anything else you can do. People who feel lied to go into self-preservation mode and it's almost impossible to get them back out.

Re:Guess what ... (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 years ago | (#33829320)

Doesn't matter. It was like this even in good economic times, and hasn't changed at all; the only thing that's changed is how much hiring is going on.

Companies don't give substantial raises, period (except to executives, of course). They give paltry raises, and that's it, and that's only in good times. However, they'll pay "market rate" for new hires, regardless of the current economy. So if they want a guy who has 10 years' experience, they'll generally pay the current going rate for that position with that much experience (what the going rate is can be easily found in salary surveys, which there's several websites that specialize in). The companies do this, because if they don't pay going rate, they won't fill their open positions at all, and the time and effort spent interviewing candidates is significant and costly, so it's not worth it to interview a bunch of people only to have them reject your offer for being a low-ball.

However, for existing employees who are loyal and don't jump ship for the next higher offer, companies don't bother much with raises. They might give you a 1% raise here and there to keep you happy, but that's about it. It doesn't match the market rate, so if you stick with a company for 10 years, you'll find that the new hires (with the same experience level as you) are getting much higher salaries than you are, for the same job.

The only answer is to change jobs every few years. Don't be one of those suckers that stays at the same job for 15 years; it's a rare company that actually keeps your pay in line with market rate (if you found one of those, and you like the job, then great! Stay there.).

Why do companies do this? As best as I can tell, it's because of the aforementioned suckers that are too lazy, afraid, or whatever (perhaps overspecialized?) to change jobs. The companies are happy to exploit them and their fear of change.

Personally, my "secret recipe" is to make sure you have skills (and take jobs that require and use these skills) which are in high demand, keep your skills up and constantly improve them on-the-job, and change jobs every 2-3 years. Changing jobs too often looks bad (under 1 year is very bad), and changing too slowly means you're missing out on a much higher salary. Also make sure you live in an area where there's plenty of competition for your skillset; don't live in some podunk town where there's only one employer that needs your skills, because they'll take advantage of that, knowing that you'll have to pack up, sell your house (good luck!) and move long-distance to get a higher salary. I've also found it's good to stay at one (probably large) company for a longer time; I have a 7-year stint at a megaTechCorp that looks great even though my subsequent jobs were much shorter. One long term will balance out any short terms. This can also be helpful if you find yourself in a job you really, really hate and need to leave early.

So no, the new company will NOT "funnel those same pressures on to you", at least not until it's time for a raise (1 year). They'll pay the going rate or else you won't take the job, and they know it (well, there are a few companies that are rather clueless and give low-ball offers; pass these by). And when it's time for a raise, it doesn't matter what the current economy climate is. In a great economy, you'll get a paltry-to-mediocre raise, and in a poor economy, you'll get a zero-to-paltry raise. There's not much difference between the two; $1-2k/year difference really isn't very much money. Just put in your time there, and after you've been there between 2 and 4 years, start looking at new jobs.

Jump? No better word? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828732)

Cause they couldn't figure out a better way of saying Switch Jobs...they used JUMP...I was totally thinking something else when I read the headline...

Re:Jump? No better word? (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 years ago | (#33828872)

Cause they couldn't figure out a better way of saying Switch Jobs...they used JUMP...I was totally thinking something else when I read the headline...

You could try polymorphism too: "WTF, I'm a chick today! Hey, this feels niiiiice."

Re:Jump? No better word? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#33829256)

Cause they couldn't figure out a better way of saying Switch Jobs...they used JUMP...I was totally thinking something else when I read the headline...

Back in the day we used to call that dual classing. It was the only advantage humans had over elves in the long run but most people used house rules instead.

Now with FFXII you can switch jobs by putting on a new outfit and in FFXIV you can switch jobs just by picking up a new weapon. Kids these days...

This just in... (1, Insightful)

sunking2 (521698) | about 4 years ago | (#33828754)

IT really isn't all that hard for the most part. It's time to stop equating yourselves to engineers. Again, for the most part.

Re:This just in... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 years ago | (#33828828)

IT really isn't all that hard for the most part. It's time to stop equating yourselves to engineers. Again, for the most part.

They both have their hard sides. IT changes faster than engineering, for example. There's also less age-discrimination in engineering.

Re:This just in... (4, Interesting)

cptdondo (59460) | about 4 years ago | (#33828836)

Hehe.... I manage $10M in construction. I deal with contract disputes, State and Federal funding and regulatory agencies, local politics, you name it. Oh, and I'm a licensed engineer.

My pay is less than the guy who goes around wiping viruses off people's computers.

Go ahead and jump, IT. There's nothing on the other side.

Re:This just in... (1, Interesting)

NetNed (955141) | about 4 years ago | (#33828966)

Yeah, because IT people only deal with one type of person, answer to no one and only "wipe viruses" off people's computers.

And the costs of certs and education in the computer and network field is ALWAYS just a drop in the bucket compared to becoming a "licensed construction engineer" in any city or state. I mean they have that fee you have to renew every once in a while.

Re:This just in... (2, Insightful)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | about 4 years ago | (#33828972)

Sounds like you should dust off your resume and look for a new job. You are the reason why people are underpaid.. You accept a shitty wage. Move to green pastures.

Re:This just in... (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#33829112)

Whoa there cowboy, don't go blaming the victim, it's not like he was "asking for it." He is not the reason why people are underpaid. You confuse symptom with cause. The cause is C*O pay, plain and simple. These guys call the shots, and surprise, surprise, they decided they need to get paid more, at the expense of people who actually create value instead of shuffle papers.

Re:This just in... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 4 years ago | (#33829140)

Whoa there cowboy, don't go blaming the victim, it's not like he was "asking for it." He is not the reason why people are underpaid. You confuse symptom with cause. The cause is C*O pay, plain and simple. These guys call the shots, and surprise, surprise, they decided they need to get paid more, at the expense of people who actually create value instead of shuffle papers.

In other words, the C*O knows how to bargain, the people doing the work don't. Maybe it's not a good idea to jump ship right now, but when the economy improves, someone who can handle that kind of work can be getting paid more for it.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829192)

This is not a cause and effect problem, it's an effect-effect problem. After you've been around the block a few times the concept of crying about "he started it first" becomes void. Your kind of thinking is what helps this system become commonplace to the point that it's expected.

Re:This just in... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 4 years ago | (#33829020)

I work with communications engineers that pull down between $100k & $200k a year.

What are you doing wrong?

Re:This just in... (4, Insightful)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about 4 years ago | (#33829080)

69% have not had pay raises in the last six months

They work in an industry where 31% have received pay raises across a short span of time which likely doesn't intersect with the organization's fiscal year (e.g. did many run on Federal or Calendar years). [sarcasm] Oh, my - what a hardship.[/sarcasm] In such a climate as this - that sounds pretty good to me. You want to talk about flat pay - then make that time period at least a year, and compare it to other fields.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | about 4 years ago | (#33829190) the last 6 months does not mean they get raises every six months. Some of them may have gone 2yrs or more without a raise, but happened to get one at the tail end of this recession. should try it some time.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829176)

If you wanna get in a dick wagging contest, I manage about $20M worth of hardware that processes a few billion dollars worth of transactions a day. I don't wipe viruses, I probably get paid more than you, and I'm not licensed to do anything. Just because your job sucks doesn't mean that a) You're better than everyone/anyone in IT or b) There's no better jobs out there.

desktop != to "IT" (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about 4 years ago | (#33829186)

Desktop is a piece of the IT pie. Usually the entry point for young people. Definately not a career job. IT as this article refers to it is probably a combination of analysts, PMs, Developers, Sys admins, server engineers, and app admins.

Probably not going to jump if you are in desktop, and are skilled and patient, now might be a good time to transition to one of the other "opportunities."


Re:This just in... (1)

master0ne (655374) | about 4 years ago | (#33828874)

Working on the space shuttle really isn't all that hard for the most part. It's time to stop equating yourselves to rocket scientists. Again, for the most part.
being a CEO really isn't all that hard for the most part. It's time to stop equating yourselves to big shots. Again, for the most part.
Designing Bridges really isn't all that hard for the most part. It's time to stop equating yourselves to engineers. Again, for the most part.


Re:This just in... (3, Insightful)

Nickodeemus (1067376) | about 4 years ago | (#33828892)

IT really isn't all that hard for the most part. It's time to stop equating yourselves to engineers. Again, for the most part.

That's because you're doing it wrong. IT done properly, with change management, proper testing, business deadlines, purchasing, project deadlines, budgeting cycles, politics, etc. etc. can be very stressful and difficult. People who think its easy are likely not doing these things, or not doing them properly. Flying by the seat of your pants can be pretty easy most of the time, but most of the time it also gets you in trouble.

Re:This just in... (2, Insightful)

digitalsushi (137809) | about 4 years ago | (#33829058)

nothing done properly is stressful.

if you're doing too much, you're doing it wrong. live with doing it wrong, find a boss that isn't bad, or be a better boss.

Re:This just in... (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | about 4 years ago | (#33829160)

Depending on what you mean, you are either correct, or incorrect. Sure, installing a mouse is easy. Installing a $WindowsApp is easy. Try writing a mostly idiot proof install script for some cheese sandwich to use to not break their system. Choose the best performance settings for your new $LinuxApp. Yes, it IS engineering. Yes, it can be hard.

Re:This just in... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 4 years ago | (#33829210)

I have a degree in engineering. I design and analyze complex interconnected systems. What I do is magic to 99% of the population. It's engineering.

Now, there are IT engineers and there are IT technicians. Don't call yourself an engineer if your job is to answer the phone and advise people to reboot their laptops. But if you design software or make complex systems work together optimally, you're doing engineering.

Six months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828774)

We only get annual raises.

Re:Six months? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828802)

I don't even get any raise, you insensitive clods!

Re:Six months? (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | about 4 years ago | (#33829082)

You get to keep your salary?
My salary decreases over time, you insensitive clod!

Raise in the past 6 months? Try year. (5, Interesting)

crow (16139) | about 4 years ago | (#33828786)

Most employers do annual pay adjustments, so asking if they received a pay increase in the past 6 months would, on average, get at least 50% saying no. The report was engineered from the start to get the result that they published.

Agreed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828852)

I thought that same thing myself reading it.

Re:Raise in the past 6 months? Try year. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828952)

True.... but its not entirely wrong, 69% is still above the expected 50% by almost 20%. We haven't gotten a raise in about 2 years here, with a hiring freeze. This resonates with me since, its exactly what I told a head hunter last night.... I am looking to leave because they haven't given raises in 2 years, and the group dynamic means that I can epxect to be waiting quite a while for a promotion....all the while being told "you are one of the senior guys"... even though I don't have the title.

That and, I know I could make more elsewhere.

Re:Raise in the past 6 months? Try year. (3, Insightful)

crow (16139) | about 4 years ago | (#33829016)

Yes, it is above the expected 50% if the date of pay raises was random, but I doubt it is. My company is within that 50% for its date, but until a few years ago it wasn't. The question is plainly biased.

Further, saying that 36% are looking is a much softer threshold than saying 36% have submitted resumes or job applications. At least it wasn't the completely nebulous "considering" that they sometimes use.

That said, changing jobs is often the best way to get a pay raise, and I don't blame you one bit for trying for it.

Re:Raise in the past 6 months? Try year. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829002)

Where I am at they haven't given any pay increase for the last 3 or 4 years for engineers working on market leading commercial software products. Too busy hiring people in India and China.

Product is making $40M a year... 70,000 customers... Getting great performance reviews... but no raises. Just a matter of time before my job goes as well I imagine...

Maybe this has something to do with it...

Re:Raise in the past 6 months? Try year. (2, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | about 4 years ago | (#33829026)

Seriously. I want to see the result for the past year. Or better yet, the past two years. Not everyone in the private sector gets a pay raise every year, even in good times.

Re:Raise in the past 6 months? Try year. (1)

tsstahl (812393) | about 4 years ago | (#33829028)

You are assuming that pay raises everywhere follow the calendar year. Almost every place I have worked at has adjusted pay based on their fiscal year.

Pay raises? (1)

Haelyn (321711) | about 4 years ago | (#33828830)

I work for Hewlett-Packard. "Pay raises" happen to other people

Re:Pay raises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828998)

I worked for Hewlett-Packard... The way to get a payraise is to find another job...

Re:Pay raises? (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | about 4 years ago | (#33829298)

I work for local government, and had my pay cut last year (furloughs), and looks like it will be cut again this year (increase health care costs)

Flat pay happens to other people.

No problem, we'll just ship more jobs overseas .. (1)

fkx (453233) | about 4 years ago | (#33828840)

No problem, we'll just ship more jobs overseas .. hire more H1B and just keep making more and more money.

Win, Win, Win.

Re:No problem, we'll just ship more jobs overseas (2, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 years ago | (#33828948)

Mrs. Fiorina, Welcome to Slashdot!

The laundry list (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33828848)

From TFA:

In years past, it may have been good enough to have six to eight out of a list of 10 technical skills wanted by an employer, but now "there are enough people who don't have work that they can find someone who has all" the qualifications being sought, said Hibbits.

I still see a lot of job ads where the list of mandatory skills and experience is ridiculous, including a half decade of "proven" execution in each of 3-4 often competing technology areas or methodologies. My first thought when I read them is "seriously? you have all that in your shop? and you want a single person to be responsible for all of it?"

Now move on to the list of "desirable" skills where we see pink unicorns prancing through fields of golden sunshine, an acronym farm, and an MBA thrown in for good measure. There is no sane hiring manager who legitimately expects to see a candidate with every checkbox filled in ... or if they do have that expectation at the beginning of the recruitment process they quickly readjust after a few weeks.

Re:The laundry list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829096)

It's not that hard. With my previous employer(s), I always found ways to weasel in technology that I wanted to play with. When time came to jump ship, I had 90% of every checkbox that any potential employer could look for. And for the other 10%, a little creativity helps.

Re:The laundry list (1)

El Rey (61125) | about 4 years ago | (#33829128)

Those kinds of ads are what they use to prove that they couldn't find anyone in the US to do the job and justify their H1B visa for someone who doesn't have all those skills either. That's been happening for years.

Re:The laundry list (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 years ago | (#33829206)

Either that or they're tailoring it to a specific person they've already picked out, but due to policy or law they still must publish all vacancies.

They do it where I'm at. We're in government. You can't just promote someone directly to a higher position. They have to apply for it and go through the standard HR process. The catch is that if the person hiring has already picked them for that job, they're going to write up the skill description to be so specific that the person they're looking at is the ONLY person who will be qualified.

Credit typically increases at 9-12% per year (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 4 years ago | (#33828856)

Anyone who stays more than 3 years in a position is going to be very much left behind and facing increasing inflation in housing prices, cars, and eventually the basics as well.

Re:Credit typically increases at 9-12% per year (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 4 years ago | (#33829136)

By "credit", do you mean "cost of living"? The cost of living does tend to increase an average of something like three percent, but it seems to me that pay typically scales along with it, over time. (You may have a company-wide pay freeze this year, but a five percent or more raise next year, for example).

The problem seems to be that there is so much instability right now, that that next thing you might be moving to could be a sinking ship that takes a chunk of your career down with it, for awhile. The number of people I've seen move on from one place -- to another and another and another -- in quick succession is fairly stunning, recently. And these are seasoned professionals that any company would be fortunate to employ.

Re:Credit typically increases at 9-12% per year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829240)

I don't know....there can sometimes be something said about staying put. I just hit my ten year anniversary with my current employer. I'm a software engineer at a medical device company and although we did layoff about 10% (when the recession was at its worst), it was the first layoffs the company has seen since it was created back in the 1960s.

As it turns out, medical companies didn't do as bad as other industries. I often wonder if I'd be unemployed had I left to aerospace like I wanted to a few years ago. On top of that, I now get up to 5 weeks vacation a year. Sometimes it's not always about money. Just my $0.02.

Ageism. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33828876)

An energy industry employee, who asked for anonymity, said younger workers have greater job security because they cost less, but the better-paid baby boomers are in danger of job loss.

Is that news to anyone?

As far as taking classes, it's been my experience that if you don't have on the job experience with those skills, it doesn't matter. So, if you take classes in something, be ruthless about using it on the job - figure out a way to make it part of your job.

Re:Ageism. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 4 years ago | (#33829238)

Baby boomers are mostly in their 50s and 60s, so that quote is fairly stupid, anyway. There are far fewer of them in the industry to begin with, I suspect, simply because the industry boom (and therefore, population within the industry) didn't happen until that age group was well into their careers.

Not to say there isn't age-ism and I certainly hope I don't become involved in it (I have no aspirations for MBA or management - I like tech). Just that it seems a hard statistic to validate, considering the shift in popularity and numbers of the age groups over the course of the industry's growth.

Also, younger workers don't have all the job security suggested by that claim, since there's always someone willing to do your job cheaper and be worked over with less complaint somewhere else. We're in a global economy and that means that while you have a fixed cost of living defined by the country you live in, the employer has an entire planet to cull from in direct competition to you. Even if you're an eager twenty-two year old kid happy to sleep under his desk for two hours a day so he can work the other 22 for low wages.

useless statistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828878)

69% had not received a raise in the last 6 months? Wth does that prove? How about what percentage of respondants that have been working for the company for at least a year have not received a raise in over a year? Or at least what about the percentage that were expecting to get a raise in the last 6 months did not receive it?

Grass is not always greener... (3, Insightful)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | about 4 years ago | (#33828890)

Its not always about money. I recently (about a year ago) went from being a partner at an up and coming IT firm, to the number 2 IT guy for an agriculture company. Before, I was stressed out, always worrying about this client or that client, income, taxes, ticket systems, just in general had too much on my plate. I left due to business structure and strategy disagreements, but now I am working in a laid back environment where I do a good job, and can still take the time to study after hours. IT guys are far too often over-taxed, over-used, and under-appreciated. That is why I think there needs to be a shift in the work environment for IT people or else we will continue to see this constant migration to the always greener grass.

time for a union? (2)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33828946)

time for a union?

Re:time for a union? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#33829040)

Yep, that worked out really well for the auto industry. It will work out even better for the IT where the jobs are dead easy to move overseas.

Re:time for a union? (1)

El Rey (61125) | about 4 years ago | (#33829174)


I read that the SCOTUS is taking a case to decide if AT&T has property rights. If corporations are people, can companies that ship jobs overseas be tried for treason? Same thing for the companies that caused the crash and put the nation in danger. I mean they are people and everything, right?

Funny how they are people when it comes to rights but not when it comes to responsibilities...

Re:time for a union? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 4 years ago | (#33829110)

Good luck getting the people in India etc to join your union.

Well actually it is (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 4 years ago | (#33829216)

For a lot of IT people priorities change, when I started out I was content to work my ass off for no good reason as long as there was experience, then it was pay, at some point the pay started to not matter, the fact that life was passing me by mattered, so I changed my situation. Less money rolling in but a lot more sanity.

I see people working around me that find the pace too sedentary and want to work like maniacs and make bigger money, for them, the grass is greener where I was situated before.

What I do find disturbing though is that overall the average IT persons pay doesn't seem to sync up with inflation. I look at seniors who are just a generation or two older than I am and by the time they were my age they had mortgages, vehicles, families and curious things called "savings", most of my peers are still renting, driving older vehicles or riding transit and are all about as far away from family life as one could imagine, I have a mortgage and some RRSP in the bank but not anything like my parents or grandparents.

Does IT in general just have less value these days?

Insert sensationalist headline here (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | about 4 years ago | (#33828928)

  • Economy bad...
  • People not getting raises every 6 months...
  • IT professionals looking for better jobs...

Computerworld couldn't find anything else to fill their pages with than this? I knew they were useless, but this is pretty sad.

Flat technology! (3, Interesting)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | about 4 years ago | (#33828936)

My concern isn't so much flat pay - I have more money than I know what to do with - but flat technology. I spend my days fixing idiotic bugs in legacy systems, with few prospects for learning anything new.


Re:Flat technology! (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 4 years ago | (#33829158)

I have more money than I know what to do with

I presume you might be just being facetious, but if that's really true then you are not doing it right. Invest. Start a business or help someone else start one. You'll be helping yourself and the economy. That's how the world works, you know. There are more uses for money than spending it on crap.

Re:Flat technology! (1)

CRC'99 (96526) | about 4 years ago | (#33829182)

My concern isn't so much flat pay - I have more money than I know what to do with - but flat technology. I spend my days fixing idiotic bugs in legacy systems, with few prospects for learning anything new.

I think you're probably the majority. When I decided to take the leap out of IT nearly 3 years ago now, I was on roughly the same wage as I first started in IT nearly 10 years earlier. Yes, it was a little better, but nowhere near what I would expect.

My positions were:
1) Desktop support / network admin - first ever IT job - ~$40k AUD
2) 3 months contracting - much more than $40k when averaged over the 3 months.
3) 3rd level network support for a telco - about 300,000 users or so - ~$48k AUD
4) VoIP design / rollout - ~$41kAUD
5) Network Operations - mid-size ISP covering AU/SG - ~$45k AUD
6) Call centre team leader - ~$41k AUD.

Then I left IT to go fly planes. Less stress. Less bullshit to deal with. More enjoyable. Go Figure.

Re:Flat technology! (1)

uzd4ce (1916592) | about 4 years ago | (#33829208)

I have more money than I know what to do with

Are you hiring? I'm looking for a position outside my current company....

Re:Flat technology! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 years ago | (#33829246)

Working legacy systems can also provide some job security. Nobody new is learning those systems and competition for your spot is limited. Look on the bright side of life... de do, de do

Re:Flat technology! (1)

sockman (133264) | about 4 years ago | (#33829302)

Oh wow do I hear you! I'm a stamped maintenance programmer for life, I think. I guess it pays the bills and I can contribute to open source, but it sure gets depressing spending at least 8 hours a day fixing old code.

True (sample size 1) (3, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 4 years ago | (#33828942)

True for me. I made the jump this past January. 2009 my company said no raises for anyone (except executives, of course). 2010 they claimed the same thing, I declined, they offered me an insulting pittance, and away I went.

Cut my expenses to the bone, picked up some contract work, and now doing economic research most of the time. Getting ready to publish my first paper, if the vetting goes well. Also took some time to do my first fine woodworking -- produced two nice footstools(*), which I gave to my parents.

Damned fine thing. I strongly recommend it if you can bzip your budget.

* []

Re:True (sample size 1) (1)

e122aa0b9c4149d57533 (1910192) | about 4 years ago | (#33829194)

Nice craftsmanship.
Was the marble countertop & stainless steel stove part of cutting expenses to the bone?
It might also be wise to turn off directory browsing. Not sure if Bob at work wants to be on /.

Six Months (1)

David Greene (463) | about 4 years ago | (#33828954)

Six months without a pay raise? Is that all? I haven't had a significant pay raise (over the rate of inflation) in several years. Most people in the U.S. have had declining real wages for 30 years.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33828956)

All you old foggies getting paid to much need to get out of IT and give us recent college grads a chance. We are cheaper, willing to work more hours, and desperate. It's hard to have sympathy for someone making $50K+ not getting a raise in 6 months when your a contractor lucky to get 3 months steady employment.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 4 years ago | (#33829178)

hah, that's hilarious, screw the old guys because I'LL NEVER GET OLD

Re:Good (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | about 4 years ago | (#33829280)

You make more mistakes, work more because of them and generally have no idea of what things cost or how much your extra hours of JOLT fueled crap cost the company down the line. I'm not really old myself, but frankly, $50K/yr here is enough to rent an apartment and make payments on a cheap car. Listen to your elders. Sometimes they have more than war stories to share. Process helps. Sometimes, the wrong answer is burning through it. You burn out doing it.

Even when the market was "good" this was true. (3, Informative)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 years ago | (#33828974)

I never once got a raise I was promised. All any employer ever did was blow smoke up my ass in the performance reviews. I never once got a salary increase that I didn't have to quit my old job for. Once or twice jumping ship for better pay got the rest of the team members *their* promised raises though.

Unionize. (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 4 years ago | (#33828990)

Despite what fanatical libertarians around here may say, this is exactly the sort of situations unions are for.

Re:Unionize. (1, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | about 4 years ago | (#33829010)

Think it could work? Or would all the jobs just immediately go to India?

Re:Unionize. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829212)

They'd go to India. And China.

Just ask the American manufacturing industry. You can "demand" any entitlements you feel you deserve, you can even get together with a lot of other people and demand it which can force someone into giving it to you in the short term. But you can't "demand" that someone overseas not out-compete you, so in the end you just drive the nails into your own coffin and help China replace the USA as the world's #1 economic powerhouse. If more value for the money can be had in India, then guess what? Your job is going to India. There's nothing wrong with this - it's a healthy process because while it can be painful for a few, it helps the many.

Change is not always comfortable. Living in the same world as 6 billion others and having to compete with many of them for jobs is not always comfortable. But it IS reality, and you have to deal with it whether you like it or not.

Re:Unionize. (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 4 years ago | (#33829266)

Okay, you first.

I think I get the intention of this article (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 4 years ago | (#33829012)

I bet the author xeroxed it and left a few copies laying strategically around the office.

Pay Raise? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 4 years ago | (#33829032)

I work in Public Sector, I like my job, I work hard, and I'm not paid very well for what I do (51K/yr) I haven't had a pay raise in two years, and this year they are requiring three furlough days (pay cut). Next year, they're saying four.

I realize that is is popular to criticize Public Employees as being lazy and overpaid Union drones, but guys in IT at the Public Sector are often the exception.

I realize that times are tough, and with unemployment hovering at (or hidden) above 10%, I'm just thankful I have a job.

The world has changed.

Re:Pay Raise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829254)

Public employee salaries aren't the problem. It's the total cost of your compensation. Specifically the pension and health benefits.

Botnets ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829044)

Bitchez !

Yours In Minsk,
K. Trout

This is crazy talk! (5, Funny)

orsty3001 (1377575) | about 4 years ago | (#33829060)

According to my girlfriend's students they are all going to grow up to be big rich software engineers. They will all run their own companies and have no one to answer to. It's just the old neck beards that worry about the economy.

Re:This is crazy talk! (1)

El Rey (61125) | about 4 years ago | (#33829220)

She must be teaching in India or China...

Outsourcing and visa abuse (2, Informative)

Thundercleets (942968) | about 4 years ago | (#33829124)

It and engineering pay has suffered badly because of outsourcing and visa abuse. According to Love to Know here: [] It seems that if the Obama administration was to take job creation seriously and curb outsourcing of American jobs to cheap foreign contractor slavers it would save close to 1.5 million jobs for Americans. Most of those in IT are familiar by now with the visa abuse that takes place in the US. Many unscrupulous companies are playing games and pulling stunts to meet even the lax standards setup for foreign nationals to obtain work visas in the US. If the Obama administration were again to take job creation seriously then they could come up with almost 5 million US jobs by simply denying visas per the US State Department. []

Re:Outsourcing and visa abuse (1)

El Rey (61125) | about 4 years ago | (#33829288)

Obama can't even control his own branch when it comes to this:

Raises in 6 months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33829142)

Is it normal for companies to give mid-year raises? The company I work for switched to reviews/raises in March a few years back, so I would be covered by the 6 month thing. But people who had received their yearly raises in December would not.

its pretty clear (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 years ago | (#33829170)

It's pretty clear how most companies work today. They hire kids from the local community college that are half way to getting their 4yr degree and little more than they could make at McDonalds and then don't give them raises with the clear intention of driving them away so they can rehire other students even cheaper. Most places only have 1 or 2 people with any real experience. Usually those are the ones too lazy to go looking for something better.
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