Management Strategies

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Bryan Yurcan
Bryan Yurcan
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IT Salary Survey: Outlook Points to Cautious Optimism

The past several years have certainly been rough sailing for the financial services industry, but the market for IT talent in the sector is on the rise, according to the "2012 InformationWeek IT Salary Survey." After several years of painful cuts, the job market is improving, albeit at a slower pace than before the financial crisis.

1. Overall IT Salary Trends

According to results from the 2012 InformationWeek Salary Survey, salaries and total compensation for IT staff and managers seem to be relatively flat from 2011 levels. Median base salaries for IT staffers remained at $90,000, while median total compensation for this group increased $2,000, to $99,000, in 2012. For managers, median base salary dropped to $117,000 from $120,000 in 2011, while median total compensation, including bonuses, for this group dropped to $130,000, nearly returning to its 2010 level.

2. Bonuses for 2012

A majority of financial-services IT staff and managers expect to receive a bonus this year. Staff and management bonuses are most often tied to personal performance and then to corporate performance. Most staff and managers' companies offer a 401(k) match and health insurance as part of their non-cash benefits package.

3. On-the-job Training Benefits

On-the-job training is beneficial to IT staff and managers at financial firms. More than half of staff and 60 percent of managers received some company-paid training, while 15 percent of staff and 19 percent of managers attended company-paid certification courses.

4. What Matters Most

While the percentages change slightly from year to year, the same four items regularly garner top responses: base pay, job and company stability, that the company values employees' opinions and knowledge, and job responsibility challenges.

5. More Non-IT Job Responsibilities

It appears that more IT staff and managers must wear different hats in financial-services firms than in other industries. In banking and financial services, managers and staff are more likely to add research and development, finance, and business development to the scope of their job responsibilities.

6. Job Security Rising

Respondents to the Salary Survey seem to feel more secure about their jobs than they did the past couple of years. More than one-third of staff reported feeling very secure in their positions, up from 30 percent in 2010; 45 percent of IT managers said they feel very secure in their current jobs, up from 41 percent two years ago.

7. Is the Grass Greener?

Of the staff actively looking for new employment, 67 percent are seeking better pay, and 54 percent are looking for more interesting work. Of the managers actively looking for a new job, three-fourths are looking for a better-paying position.

8. The Impact of Outsourcing

It seems as if outsourcing has been playing a significant role in the lives on of IT professionals, according to the survey. About 21 percent of staff and one-quarter of managers have had to be retrained for new jobs or received expanded responsibilities due to outsourcing.

9. IT Managers' Dour Outlook

A majority of the IT managers surveyed reported that the potential for salary advancement in IT is not as promising today as it was 5 years ago. Only 40 percent responded that the outlook for salary advancement is just a promising today.

10. Staying at One Place

The InformationWeek Salary Survey also found that IT [pros tend to be a loyal bunch. Around three-quarters of both staff and management said they have had only one or two jobs over the past ten years. Conversely, only 5 percent of staff and 3 percent of managers said they have had five or more jobs over that time period.

11. The Older the Better

The sweet spot for salary earnings appear to be between the ages of 36-55, according to the survey. Respondents in those age ranges reported receiving an annual salary base of at least $90,000, much higher than those under 35.

[For more charts on IT salary trends in the banking industry, download the complete 2012 InformationWeek report.]


Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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