Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IT Salaries Edge Up Back To 2008 Levels

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the is-that-your-experience? dept.

Businesses 266

tsamsoniw writes "A soon-to-be released salary survey finds that the average salary for IT professionals in the U.S. is $78,299, putting overall compensation back at January 2008 levels. More heartening: Midsize and large companies are both aiming to hire more IT pros. The midsize are seeking IT executives (such as VPs of information services and technical services), as well as programmers, database specialists, systems analysts, and voice/wireless communication pros. Enterprises are moving IT and data center operations back in-house, which means greater demand for data center managers and supervisors."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yay! I'm above average. (0, Redundant)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618136)

But not by much. However I get to work from home, and environment where pants are not required. So its all good.

Re:Yay! I'm above average. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618154)

by reading this message, you have lost The Game!

Re:Yay! I'm above average. (2)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618384)

Porn cam working out for you then?

Re:Yay! I'm above average. (4, Insightful)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618806)

Exactly why this type of survey is so absurd.

Comparing a work from home sysadmin's salary with an enterprise architect's salary is like trying to get an average salary for lawyers (add one public defender to a credit default swap lawyer, divide by two.)

IT jobs cover a lot of space. $78K/year is just a silly summary statistic.

Re:Yay! I'm above average. (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619168)

I was going to say I'm closer to half the average but at least I get to work from home.

I guess I'm the outlier (or rather, sucker) out there ruining the numbers for the rest of you folks. ;)

Well your not the 99% then (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619248)

You scum sucking rich bastard!

The real 99% live on a fraction of a fraction of what your earn.

I think you should only get 24K a year and if you were in my union shop I would make sure that you did not get a dime more.

But this is why OWS wants socialism. You high on your horse faggots thinking that that you get to earn more than 30k a year. Ill decide who bitch.

______________
J.R.
President, Local 509 Union
Auto Paycheck draft now required

Average (5, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618146)

The average is going up because all the lower end IT positions are over seas mostly now, at least that is my guess. I always found these 'average' salaries to be very misleading. Because I always seem to be making below the average.

Re:Average (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618192)

well over seas and being replaced by the nebulous 'cloud'

Re:Average (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618218)

I wish they'd report median salary more. It's probably much lower. Executive pay is ridiculous. Even IT executives.

Re:Average (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618270)

It really needs a breakout by state (or some other COLA) to begin to be useful.

Re:Average (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618362)

It all depends on where you live and even then what you make in dollar terms means little when it comes to how well you can live. Making $78K in some big cities gives you a decent livable apartment and a decent, but not extravagant, lifestyle. Making $78K in some other areas of the country gives you a large house and a more extravagant lifestyle.

Re:Average (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619092)

Best post yet. Silicon Valley is expensive, we start people out of College at 100k plus stock.

Re:Average (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619224)

Yes, fringe benefits -- they can use the stock to wipe their asses after getting laid off.

Re:Average (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619268)

Huh... can I have that job and sleep in the cafeteria?

Re:Average (4, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618426)

You call this going up?

I made $85k in 2001, before 9/11 and before my layoff (after 10 years in IT) Ever hear the saying, "If you're out 6 months, you're back at square one?" It's true.

The economy is fucked as ever. The kids they're paying $78k to have vastly more talent than I ever did, and had they been getting paid 2001 wages, would be making closer to 130k if not more.

Re:Average (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619020)

Stop bitching and follow the money. Some of us are making the 130k even though the economy is "fucked".

Or you're still pimping your vertas+solaris skills and not following the buzzwords. There's at least another year on the cloud train, time to hop on it buddy.

Re:Average (3, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619136)

No shit. We are almost done virtualizing our entire datacenter, I assume the next step is to realize that having a single point of failure for 20 virtual servers isn't as cool as having 20 dirt cheap real servers, each independant. So maybe we can squeeze a few more years bouncing back with de-virtualization. "From the cloud to localization, the next revolution! Have a little piece of the cloud right in your own office!"

Re:Average (5, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619324)

No shit. We are almost done virtualizing our entire datacenter, I assume the next step is to realize that having a single point of failure for 20 virtual servers isn't as cool as having 20 dirt cheap real servers, each independant.

What are you virtualizing them onto? If it's a big machine that's highly redundant, then the "single point of failure" mantra is false. On a big iron machine where you can hot-swap power supplies, hard drives, memory, CPUs without missing a beat, there is no single point of failure, and you get much higher availability than 20 dirt-cheap servers where something could break at any time.

Re:Average (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619080)

I made $85k in 2001, before 9/11 and before my layoff (after 10 years in IT) Ever hear the saying, "If you're out 6 months, you're back at square one?" It's true.

You seem to be completely missing the context here.

First, 2001 was still during the hey-day of the dot.com bubble. You're upset that you aren't earning as much as you think you should be, but here I missed out on the bubble entirely, as really Jr. level people I worked with were getting $150,000 job offers as soon as they got some certification or other...

I know it sounds harsh, but you need to consider the possibility that you weren't ever worth $85k, and you were lucky enough to have been getting an insanely inflated salary for a few years. It's "found money" to you.

And the 6-month rule? Did you happen to notice that the dot.com bubble burst around that 6-mo period? I very, very seriously doubt that was anything but a coincidence. It's really not like your skills are out of date in 6-mo, as I'm still impressing some very higly paid pros with lots of stuff I was doing a decade ago. I wouldn't even note the gap on my resume, and I've yet to find a company that cares enough about about minutae to track down exact employment dates, rather than just confirming rough details, and making sure your references aren't giving an unenthusiastic endorsement.

Re:Average (2)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619246)

Tech unemployment in the Bay Area is currently 3%. Fucked.

Re:Average (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619364)

Yep. I've been told it's 2% here in Madison.

Re:Average (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618442)

No offense intended, but generally speaking a sizable portion of the group will be paid below average. Perhaps you're just part of that group?

Re:Average (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618580)

Yes, but if they're just reporting an average salary half of the people will be getting below average salaries. It's a lot more informative if you get mean, median and standard deviate. Preferably with some indication of how the samples are distributed.

A mean alone is of very little value unless you've also sorting things in a way that makes sense. For instance a mean that covers the entire country is going to be somewhat worthless as one could be making a good salary in one part of the country and effectively impoverished someplace like NYC, and be making the same amount of money.

Re:Average (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618646)

Exactly. In Hollywood, CA, you are paying $1million USD for mortgage a one bedroom living space, where in rural PA, you could pay $40k USD for a 4 bedroom, 3 story house.

Re:Average (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619178)

Exactly. In Hollywood, CA, you are paying $1million USD for mortgage a one bedroom living space, where in rural PA, you could pay $40k USD for a 4 bedroom, 3 story house.

I don't think either of those things are true.

Re:Average (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618674)

And of course "IT" is a nebulous job classification in the first place. It's almost like measuring the average pay of "health care workers" (which range from orderlies to brain surgeons).

Re:Average (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618762)

"Yes, but if they're just reporting an average salary half of the people will be getting below average salaries."

Nope. Given the usual pay scales, far more than half the people will be getting below average salaries. Exactly half the people will be getting below the median salary. Different things.

Re:Average (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619114)

give this guy all the mod points you got. seriously. all this fucking up between average and median is ridiculous. this is /. after all...

Re:Average (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618724)

Congratulations on understanding how an average is calculated! You realize that, unlike a mode, an average does not require anyone to actually make the average pay. 10 schmucks well below average and one overpaid CIO makes an average higher than the schmucks are paid. Of course, more seriously - it also depends on where you live; at least for smaller companies. My global company (for example) doesn't differentiate pay geographically in the US because they claim they are competing "nationwide" for professional talent. So I get the same pay in the SF Bar Area of California as others in my company in say Houston who have substantially lower cost of living. But for smaller companies at least, generally, location is a factor in pay. So if you live in say Tennessee, you should expect to make well under the US average since the cost of living is so much lower there.

Re:Average (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618788)

HB1 visa, people have them for decades, and are hired over qualified Americans
These people are not qualified, but they are cheaper than the Americans sitting at home, because Americans have to pay thousands upon thousands for heal care unlike the rest of the world

Good for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619052)

Capitalism is working.

My Salary (4, Interesting)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618156)

Now I just wish that *my* salary would move back up to 2008 levels. To be fair, I was laid off in 2009 and needed to change specialties in order to find work. Fortunately, I have an immediate opportunity to move up, and may be able to get myself back where I was within a year.

Re:My Salary (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618712)

My salary has not quite recovered up to 1998 levels yet.

Please... (4, Informative)

tak amalak (55584) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618166)

Please let my boss know.

YOU must let your boss know (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618288)

Your boss isn't going to go out of his way to pay you more than he thinks he needs to in order to retain you. The only person who will always have your best interests at heart is you. YOU must ask your boss for a raise and present evidence that your market value has risen to justify it.

If he doesn't pay up, jump to a new job that will. Apparently, there are some openings now.

Re:YOU must let your boss know (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618484)

In most big companies, your boss has little or no control. Assuming your company isn't under a pay freeze, he has to wait until the next annual review period and then he is only allowed to give you a raise in accordance to your review score. Even if you're the top of the review pyramid, there's only so many percentage points he can raise your salary by - and it comes at the cost to other employees. And, of course, since it's all on a curve, *someone* has to be the bottom fifth - even if they're great. Because if you have 10 employees, two of them have to be at the bottom. Even if they're all awesome.

When the power to give raises and adjustmeents is out of your boss' hands, the whole idea of "just go ask for a raise durpa durp" is kind of silly.

Also, big deal. 2008 levels. Hurrah. We're only four fucking years behind, now. Well, 8, because you would have had the increses during those four years, too.

Re:YOU must let your boss know (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619350)

Because if you have 10 employees, two of them have to be at the bottom. Even if they're all awesome.

When the power to give raises and adjustmeents is out of your boss' hands, the whole idea of "just go ask for a raise durpa durp" is kind of silly.

Exactly. This is why, if you want a raise, you just need to quit and go find another job. Companies will give higher salaries to new employees to get them in, but their dumb HR policies prevent them from giving substantial raises to existing employees, so you'll do better switching companies every 3-4 years.

in-house (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618168)

All those employees who were replaced by cloud-sourcing are now getting back to business - smart, simple, administration for less than you pay your average accountant to cook the books.

Re:in-house (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618400)

All? Those? Employees?

No. Different employees are getting different jobs. Those other jobs? Those jobs are gone. It's dynamic.

Hmm... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618198)

I really have to relocate to the US.

Seriously, people, is that figure for real?

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618246)

I really have to relocate to the US.

Seriously, people, is that figure for real?

Yeah, with two caveats.
1) That assumes you have a job. Lots of unemployed IT people and IT people working in other professions aren't counted.
2) A lot of these jobs are in high cost of living areas like New York City or Silicon Valley. When a 1BR apartment costs north of $2000/month, $80k/yr gross doesn't seem like so much.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618330)

I really have to relocate to the US.

Seriously, people, is that figure for real?

Yeah, with two caveats.
1) That assumes you have a job. Lots of unemployed IT people and IT people working in other professions aren't counted.
2) A lot of these jobs are in high cost of living areas like New York City or Silicon Valley. When a 1BR apartment costs north of $2000/month, $80k/yr gross doesn't seem like so much.

3) before federal/state income taxes, sales taxes on stuff you buy, taxes on cars, gas (if you need one), cost of living factored into the area those salaries are higher... it's not just 2k/month for the 1BR apartment, its 10 dollar beers if you go out to a bar, more expensive food, etc.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619148)

I live in Texas and make $120k. Note that Texas has no state income tax. Since I'm renting a (real nice) home (2200 SF house for less than $1,400) I pay no property tax either. So I live really good. I always try to be ahead in open source technologies and stay away from Windows. This worked well for me.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618750)

2000/month is BS. I live in Silicon Valley (San jose area), in a studio apartment and I pay $850/month. Granted, that's about as cheap as you can get when you live on your own, but I know many many people that share HOUSES and pay less than I do. Salary ranges are starting at 80k these days. If you want a nice 1 bedroom in Menlo Park (a very nice area near Palo Alto), it can be had for $1400. The most I know of somebody paying is $4500/month for a 3 bedroom penthouse in a posh neighborhood in the city (there are three people living there).

Re:Hmm... (3, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618862)

So, no families?

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618856)

Exactly.
I pay $2600 for a 1BR and .. you could get 1BR that sucks for 2000 (like, really sucks - average for $2400, good for $2600, good and 5min from downtown for $2800.

That's a freaking huge dent in the budget

Re:Hmm... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618950)

Only 2?

3) Higher salary puts you in higher tax bracket as well... I'm actually comtemplating going back to a job that paid half as much as I'm making now, because after increased taxes and higher cost of living, I have very little extra take-home to show for the miserable working conditions.

It's amazing how housing prices can increase/decrease by more than an order of magnitude within a 30 minute drive.

Re:Hmm... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618266)

No, these are actually imaginary Canadian dollars, which are worth much, much less than real American dollars.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618462)

No, these are actually imaginary Canadian dollars, which are worth much, much less than real American dollars.

As of this writing, an American dollar will purchase 1.02 Canadian [bankofcanada.ca] dollars. I admit that I was surprised. I stopped following it for a while, but I had thought the Canadian was worth more. What did Canada do to screw up their economy?

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618520)

Canada wants their dollar devalued to keep American citizens crossing the border. When it goes the other way, Canadians flock over here to pay less in prices and taxes.

Re:Hmm... (1)

CTachyon (412849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618576)

No, these are actually imaginary Canadian dollars, which are worth much, much less than real American dollars.

As of this writing, an American dollar will purchase 1.02 Canadian [bankofcanada.ca] dollars. I admit that I was surprised. I stopped following it for a while, but I had thought the Canadian was worth more. What did Canada do to screw up their economy?

You have it backwards: the CAD per USD [goo.gl] ratio hasn't gone much above 1.07 CAD per USD in the last 10 years, and used to swim in 0.75 territory for the longest time. Hence the well-known phenomenon of books and magazines with two list prices, a US price plus a Canadian price that's a good nudge higher. That suddenly became obsolete when the CAD achieved rough parity around 2007 or so, in part because of the USD inflating a bit faster than the CAD.

Re:Hmm... (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618736)

What did Canada do to screw up their economy?

The value of the basic unit of currency has little to do with economic strength. (If you doubt this, consider that a Mexican Peso is worth 7 times a Japanese Yen).

The Canadian dollar, and the Australian dollar, have a correlation to commodities. As commodity prices went up, so did the Canadian dollar.

That's not the only thing that affects the exchange rate, though. It's a supply/demand thing. Over the last 6 months, demand for the US dollar has jumped, because of the European crisis. So it isn't the Canadian dollar that has dropped so much as the US dollar that has risen.

Re:Hmm... (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618778)

If you are a programmer in the San Francisco area, you can easily pull down $100,000 - $150,000. Cost of living is more expensive too, but you can still save a LOT of money if you are careful.

Re:Hmm... (2)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619166)

And you can make more outside of the San Francisco area (or, at least, I could - YMMV). Don't get me wrong. I loved living in the Bay area, but when I got the offer for more money (and a more interesting job) in a place where I could buy a house twice as big as my Fremont house (and for less money with a much shorter commute), I couldn't pass it up. I always thought that I'd gotten premium pay for working in the Bay area, and putting up with the high prices and long commutes, but it turned out not to be true.

Re:Hmm... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619300)

lol come on, you can't go on with a post like that, talking about what a great place you moved to, and not tell where it is!!

Re:Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618834)

Its an average across who knows what range and with what distribution. Executives make a ton more than people that actually work, and consultants skew the scale, also.

I.e. "average" pay for anything is a worthless statistic. Since nearly all journalists have never taken a stat class, and even fewer understood it (I dare them all to differentiate mean from median without a reference, much less find a standard deviation), and they sure as hell aren't being paid for usefulness, its the thing they always report about.

Welcome to 21st century journalism. It gets even better when they're reporting on politics and polls.

tub86irl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618204)

The Orwellian Truth (4, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618206)

And my compensation package in 1999 was roughly $80,000/year. Things have improved how? Those numbers are still LESS than I made 13 years ago!

Wasn't it in 1984 that someone was told to say the government increased the chocolate ration to a lower number than previously?

Re:The Orwellian Truth (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618232)

1999 was in the middle of the dot com bubble. You might as well be a real estate agent complaining you aren't making as much as 2006.

Also, I have no idea what technology you worked on then compared to now to assess your statement.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618240)

Does it matter that you're underemployed as long as unemployment is down? That's what "they" are counting on us forgetting to stay in office.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (3, Insightful)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618492)

Does it matter that you're underemployed as long as unemployment is down? That's what "they" are counting on us forgetting to stay in office.

They don't care if you don't have a job ... as long as you've given up looking. Then you're not counted in the unemployment figure. The "unemployment" rate is meaningless without also looking at the Labor Force Participation Rate [bls.gov] .

Re:The Orwellian Truth (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618608)

Which is one of the reasons why it's good to be in a country with a guaranteed standard of living and why it sucks to be poor in America.

We spend so much money ensuring that people won't get more than they've earned that we end up ensuring that most people end up getting a lot less than they've earned. What's worse is we don't pay any attention to people plundering the economy when they do it via white collar crime.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618242)

We have managed to increase the decline of productivity!

Re:The Orwellian Truth (1)

bieber (998013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618308)

You do realize that average statistics aren't based solely on your individual salary, correct?

Re:The Orwellian Truth (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618370)

As a staff manager, I knew what other people were being paid. My salary was very typical across a pretty broad range of experience levels.

And so what if it was the tail end of the Y2K bubble? That means people should still be getting paid less after 13 years of inflationary pressure on their actual disposable income?

Drink that government Koolaid. All is right with America. Just trust The Great Leader.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618432)

And my compensation package in 1999 was roughly $80,000/year. Things have improved how? Those numbers are still LESS than I made 13 years ago!

Wasn't it in 1984 that someone was told to say the government increased the chocolate ration to a lower number than previously?

Ah. This article isn't about you. It's about average IT professionals, in the real world. When the Narnia survey hits we'll let you know.

Seriously though. I am concerned about people who think that average salaries going up is a good thing. Imagine a system where if YOUR pay goes up, everyone's pay goes up and suddenly you're paying ten dollars for an apple. Who's better off? There's the world now.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618628)

I'd like to live in such a system as it's better than what we have currently. What we have currently is a system where most people's income goes up less slowly than inflation and the various costs of living and a tiny minority's income sky rockets during a recession.

Compared to your alternative where ones income would be going up at roughly the same rate as inflation, I know what I would take.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618868)

I believe you mean "less than" or "slower than."

Re:The Orwellian Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618894)

No, I mean what I wrote, if you're going to be a grammar nazi at least spend some time and get it right.

Re:The Orwellian Truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618952)

Yes. They also "increased" production of shoes and other items to a lower number. It didn't matter, because all the numbers were made up anyway.

Except for inflation... (5, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618340)

According to the inflation rate calculator I used, the consumer price index (one measure of inflation) has increased 5.08% from 2008 to 2011.

So, on average, IT pro's are effectively paid about 5% less than in 2008.

Quick! get Bill Gates before Congress! (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618414)

Quick! corporations need more cheap foreign labor to suppress wage increases, Call Bill Gates to testify before congress again!

Re:Quick! get Bill Gates before Congress! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618472)

Whew, I was worried slashdot wouldn't be able to fit an anti-Microsoft comment on this one. You sure proved me wrong! Pip pip good lad

Re:Except for inflation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618928)

It could be worse. I'm a teacher and our pay was cut by 7% with the last contract. That comes out to 12% less than staying even.

Oversupply *and* higher wages? (5, Interesting)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618366)

I've noted two trends in the job market lately: the jobs are paying a good deal more, but there are a lot fewer of them. It seems counter-intuitive because an oversupply of candidates would tend to drive wages down. However, what I see happening is companies almost *want* to pay top dollar...but only because they want absolutely stellar, walk-on-water, can-do-no-wrong, all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips candidates. I'm making *more* than I was during the dot com bubble. I'm also working my ass off managing projects that would've taken a team of people to do a few years ago. They're certainly getting their money's worth, but I have no room to complain because I'm making top dollar. And that's just how they want it: I have no incentive -- and no opportunity -- to jump ship for something better paying because I'm already way above the average wage, and a less stressful position would pay me so much less that it's not worth searching for.

everything was going fine until the revolution (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618486)

i dont know what happened! we payed like 1000 guys top dollar to run society, and then all of a sudden these unwashed masses show up, screaming about 'food' and 'medicine' and 'water'. the fuck? maybe if we just payed them MORE, they would do a better job, and all the masses would shut up.

Re:Oversupply *and* higher wages? (4, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618616)

I'm making about a third of what I was making in 2001. Back then I was a stressed out asshole. I was responsible for keeping A large "bookseller" connected to the Internet and making 6 figures. After a string of jobs doing much the same, I burnt out. I'm glad I put my money into a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood. Sold that for a nice profit and now own a smaller home with no mortgage. Now instead of sitting at a desk playing George Jetson I'm out in the field fixing problems for people. Not big problems, more of the get the credit card machine working again or upgrade the VPN router type. 2-4 jobs most days, just drive there in my car. I get to meet all sorts of folks, save the day and on to the next job. Sure, I could make much more but my sanity and well being is worth than the pay cut. I'm happy, my wife is happy, and I don't get calls at night when something breaks.

Prisoner, I hope you're still young and have time to save money so you don't have to stress all your life. The cubical can eat your soul. Plan so you can have a way out someday.

Re:Oversupply *and* higher wages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618726)

Ain't that the truth. I've worked 8 straight years, 3 people have retired or left, 0 new people hired. The remaining crew just has to do more.

I have devised an 'exit' strategy. It isn't really 'retirement', I will still work or volunteer for projects that I find interesting, not because of money. I'm in my 30s and have enough money to survive a simple, back to nature lifestyle.

I want to do this in 2-3 years, but could do it now if on unemployment...

Re:Oversupply *and* higher wages? (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618792)

It makes sense that companies would want to pay top dollar for stellar software developers, given that (I would assert that) the variance in developer quality is generally greater than the variance in developer pay. Presumably this extends to other positions and fields too.

It's all about bang for the buck, and if you can get someone three times as productive as an average developer (for some reasonable definition of "productive" and "average") by paying that person two average developers' salaries, it's the logical path to take, setting aside potential pitfalls such as putting all your eggs in one basket.
Not to mention this point: "The real trouble with using a lot of mediocre programmers instead of a couple of good ones is that no matter how long they work, they never produce something as good as what the great programmers can produce."
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/HighNotes.html [joelonsoftware.com]

Re:Oversupply *and* higher wages? (2)

mini me (132455) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619308)

I've written about this before. There is no incentive for companies to hire anyone except the very best. If the best are too busy, the companies can just wait it out until they become available. Unlike sectors that have been major employers in the past, like agriculture and manufacturing, where the is a physical demand to get the job done now, information-based jobs have no such limitations.

need to hire people who went to tech school not CS (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618468)

CS is not a different way of saying Software Engineering. CS is about how computing works and more efficient ways to do it (like improving the algorithmic efficiency of sorting), not about how to efficiently and effectively produce 1 000 000 lines of code dedicated to special case X (e.g. flying a plane). Some fields are like that, there's a difference between being a physicist (perhaps a mathematician might be more accurate even in some contexts) and an engineer too.

Re:need to hire people who went to tech school not (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618684)

odd, my cs degree had a software engineering class

The tech / IT feld needs apprentice systems. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618512)

The tech / IT feld needs the apprentice systems so people can get the skills to do the job and so we have people who know what they are doing. Tech school is a good starting point but for most tech jobs 4 years CS is not.

Federal workers could sure use that raise (4, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618614)

Arg.. Just pisses me off even more about the federal pay freeze. I'm a lead developer and project manager making $10k less than the average developer, who has no management responsibilities. It's getting harder and harder to justify staying in the public sector..

Re:Federal workers could sure use that raise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618874)

Raise? What raise? The OP states that wages are just now getting back to 2008 levels. That means, of course, that between then and now they actually WENT DOWN! Did that happen to the public sector? No? Everybody I know has seen wages fall or at best stagnant for at least the last four years. If your pay freeze hasn't been at least that long, you have nothing to complain about.

But go ahead and explore your options in the private sector. I think you'll be shocked at what passes for "benefits" on this side of the line.

Re:Federal workers could sure use that raise (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619110)

Raise? What raise? The OP states that wages are just now getting back to 2008 levels. That means, of course, that between then and now they actually WENT DOWN! Did that happen to the public sector? No? Everybody I know has seen wages fall or at best stagnant for at least the last four years. If your pay freeze hasn't been at least that long, you have nothing to complain about.

But go ahead and explore your options in the private sector. I think you'll be shocked at what passes for "benefits" on this side of the line.

Actually I worked in the private sector until 2010, and took a 20% pay cut for those very same benefits as well as the annual raises I was expecting. The benefits have been good, but not good enough to outweigh the lack of raises for 2 years.

Re:Federal workers could sure use that raise (1)

1stpreacher (848239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618962)

Having worked in the educational sector for almost a decade (still have friends in it), I can see your dilemma. I used to LOVE my educational benefits (and I'd still like them), but once I moved to the private sector I've been much happier with the pay. There is a lot more stress though.

Re:Federal workers could sure use that raise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619028)

But you probably get a pension which is worth at least 20k a year....

Many "highly compensated" developers in the private sector don't even get matching 401ks anymore, so you can estimate salary - $17,000 (max 401k contribution).

Re:Federal workers could sure use that raise (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619086)

But you probably get a pension which is worth at least 20k a year....

Many "highly compensated" developers in the private sector don't even get matching 401ks anymore, so you can estimate salary - $17,000 (max 401k contribution).

Nope. After 1980-some-odd all federal employees get a 401k with 3% matching. There's a modest pension if you stick it out 30 years, but you gotta make it the full term.

mod 3owN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618618)

problem stems AAproximately 90% private sex party I have a life to For election, I

Underpaid IT worker... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38618650)

Yaay, I make half what i'm supposed to...

Re:Underpaid IT worker... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619118)

no, you're the hero who balances out the person making 150% of average. I don't feel good either, I'm making less than 10% above average. ah well, beats zero and lately the work is really fun because I get to create new things.

Unemployed averaged in? (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618820)

Since we're talking averages, this would really only be meaningful if unemployed salaries ($0) were averaged in.

Re:Unemployed averaged in? (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619134)

could also factor those forced out of IT altogether since the massive downtown around 2002....imagine a government shooting half the poor people. then saying, yay average income just went up!

These Surveys Can't Be Taken Seriously (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38618906)

Salary surveys suffer from the worst of all maladies that surveys can suffer from. Everything from self-selection bias to mis-reporting. Face it: compared to other kinds of surveys, NOBODY reports their salary accurately. Even worse, many who have low salaries never even participate.

I'll believe it when it hits my own pocketbook.

Re:These Surveys Can't Be Taken Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619094)

Yeah, but the fudge factor due to self-selection bias and mis-reporting is probably pretty similar year-vs-year, so even if the absolute number is BS, it can still be a useful to compare to relative to prior years.

Re:These Surveys Can't Be Taken Seriously (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619116)

"Yeah, but the fudge factor due to self-selection bias and mis-reporting is probably pretty similar year-vs-year, so even if the absolute number is BS, it can still be a useful to compare to relative to prior years."

Not a bad point, but I don't know of any cases where it was done that way.

This will sound insensitive (4, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619132)

But do heed the advice: get off your ass and change jobs every now and then. I changed jobs twice during the crisis. Good people are always in demand. If you want more than sub-inflation raises (or no raises at all), get off your butt and see if you can find something better. With luck, you will. If you don't try, you definitely won't. As simple as that.

rubbed lamp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38619208)

"Yeah, yeah, yeah⦠Back to that fuckinâ(TM) COPS show. âCuz Iâ(TM)ll tell you who the threat to freedom⦠no, no, not to freedom. Iâ(TM)ll tell you who the threat to the status quo is in this country: itâ(TM)s us. Thatâ(TM)s why they show you shows like fuckinâ(TM) COPS. So you know that state power will win and weâ(TM)ll bust your house down and weâ(TM)ll fuckinâ(TM) bust you anytime we want. Thatâ(TM)s the message." - Bill Hicks

Not just one number (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38619210)

Salaries going "back to 2008 levels" does not take into account the benefits that you have all lost. Every one of you is paying more for health care, higher deductibles, higher co-pays. Your employers don't contribute as much to your measly 401ks that won't be nearly enough to retire on anyway.

Don't get me wrong, it's good that there are signs of life in the economy, but we've got 2 percent growth and 4 percent continual federal stimulus. If the federal government should stop the stimulus, you're going to lose ground in a hurry. This isn't going to change in 2012 or 2013 or 2014 no matter who is elected. There are structural problems in the US economy, in the WORLD economy that aren't going to change and there really isn't any path to improvement as long as a relative handful of transnational corporate entities and bank holding companies continue to act as a self-appointed world government.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?