Technology jobs are expected to see the largest salary gains among all job fields in the coming year, with IT salaries projected to rise an average of 4.5 percent, according to new research by Robert Half International.
The 2012 IT Salary Guide, which is based on a survey of 1,600 private sector CIOs, shows that U.S. starting salaries will increase an average of 3.4 percent next year, with tech salaries seeing the largest gains among all fields researched, including accounting and finance, marketing, legal, and administrative and office support.
The study found that companies are looking mostly for mid-level and senior technology professionals who have experience with new and evolving technologies like Windows 7, cloud computing and mobile application development. The jobs most in-demand by companies are: network administration (64 percent), database management (51 percent), desktop support (46 percent), Windows administration (42 percent), wireless network management (38 percent), Web development/website design (35 percent), telecommunications support (28 percent), virtualization (25 percent), business intelligence (22 percent) and ERP implementation (15 percent).
Those with in-demand IT skills also are seeing top-dollar when it comes to starting salaries, Robert Half found. For example, pay for network administrators will rise an average of 5.4 percent next year, with starting salaries ranging from $58,750 to $87,250. Pay for database managers will rise 4.3 percent in 2012, with salaries starting at $96,500, and top help desk support specialists will see an average 4.3 percent increase in pay, with salaries starting at $47,750, Robert Half found.
Still, CIOs noted challenges in finding these skilled IT professionals. For example, 65 percent of CIOs said finding the right IT skills is at least somewhat challenging, while just 25 percent said it was not challenging at all.
And unlike the federal government, which still battles with lengthier hiring times, private companies are getting IT professionals into jobs relatively quickly. For example, CIOs surveyed noted that it takes an average of five weeks to fill an open staff-level IT position, and an average of seven weeks to fill an open management-level IT position.
How do your skills and federal salary stack up against the private sector's projections for 2012, particularly as federal employees will not receive an across-the-board pay increase in 2012?