Forget the BMW. You and your peers in the IT group won't be living the lifestyle of the rich and famous in 2014.
Well, at least you can admit that a 3 percent pay raise beats the proverbial kick in the teeth. In a research brief, Computer Economics says that its 2014 IT Salary Report shows that the typical IT worker will receive a pay raise in that 3 percent range.
The good news is that the modest raise figure does outpace the inflation rate of 1.8 percent, according to Computer Economics. The research firm also noted that the 3 percent raise comes about at a time when unemployment remains high. I guess that observation translates into the classic line, "Be glad you have a job."
No Beemer for IT this Christmas
The report was based on a survey of 140 IT organization and draws on some data from the US Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
I'm only the messenger. Don't come looking for me when you come out of your review a week before Christmas with no raise. Blame the guy at the next desk who got the 6 percent raise, his 3 percent plus yours.
Joking aside, it's been a tough six years for the IT profession. Like so many other fields, IT has been hit by layoffs, hiring freezes, and forced early retirements. Yet, corporate IT teams have had to do more with less at a time when the whole tech field has been turned upside down. Even the PC/networking revolution didn't impose the type of change that we have seen since 2007, and the 1980s had at least some degree of economic stability.
Consider that six years ago, the iPhone had just been introduced, but it was still a novelty rather than a corporate mainstay, and the iPad was three years away from the market. A few people were using what amounted to cloud services but the cloud hadn't yet caught the attention of the CEO and a thundering horde of marketing people.
IT was just coming off its third or fourth bout with outsourcing -- this one centered on saving money by off-shoring -- when the stuff really hit the fan in the form of the Mother of All Recessions in 2008. I'll guess that your region suffered the way mine did at the time -- New England -- with the number of layoffs among tech firms and other industries measured in the thousands per company.
As the economy stabilized a bit and recovery took a slow, almost tortuous route, over the past few years, barebones IT teams were asked to roll out mobile apps to support iPhones, Androids, iPads, and other wireless devices. While you were at it, why not put in a BYOD policy while fending off hackers from the former Soviet Bloc?
The cloud wasn't the next challenge, though. Virtualization and agile development had to come along first. Throw in the corporate initiative to get involved in social media, and only then could you deal with the double dose of the cloud and big data analytics. One promised the possibility of eliminating "internal IT resource demands" -- people -- while both opened the door for business units to run their own little IT operations with brilliant young college grads.
Every one of these developments called for new skills, new approaches, and long hours, all while keeping even 30-year-old systems purring along.
If management wonders why you don't jump for joy at a 3 percent raise, go easy on giving them the six-year history lesson. Sadly, they probably don't realize what life in IT has been like for a while. Also, look in the shadows and you will see that a new batch of those college grads are only six months away from joining the workforce.
Have you received word on what 2014 salaries look like for you and your team? Give us a hint in a comment.