The Roundup: IT Salaries Feel Recession's Pinch

Feb 6, 2002

David Aponovich

IT Salaries Feel Recession's Pinch
A recent IT compensation survey by Brainbench, an online skills testing and training site, shows the negative effects the recession is having on pay and benefits among IT workers.

The survey includes responses from 6,000 U.S. IT professionals at all levels, out of 3 million registered Brainbench users. Among the findings:

  • 52% of respondents said they received salary increase of less than 3% in 2001. (In 2000, 62% got raises higher than 3%).
  • Respondents expect to make up lost ground in 2002, with salary increase expectations by the majority of respondents in the range of 3% to 8%.
  • Women appear to be closing the wage gap with males in many categories, especially in larger companies with sales in excess of $1 billion. The percentage of females earning more than $150,000 outpaced that of males by almost double in companies with sales of more than $1 billion.
  • Professional certifications proved to be bankable assets for IT professionals, with those holding certifications approximately 30% more likely to receive higher increases than those without certification.

CIOs' Prioritiies Focus on Short-Term Initiatives
In a survey on the top technology priorities for CIOs in 2002, Gartner Inc.'s Executive Programs said CIOs will focus on short-term infrastructure needs and upgrades (such as moving to Windows 2000) instead of longer-term initiatives. Says Marianne Broadbent, Gartner EXP group vice president: "Tighter cost control puts experimentation with new technologies on hold."

The top priorities cited by CIOs for 2002 fall into three areas related to internal infrastructure:

  • The first priority is to enhance security and content management tools, reflecting the need to protect data and manage access rights.
  • The second priority is to strengthen application infrastructure. That includes short-term and midterm internal components including middleware and Windows 2000. CRM and workflow will also contribute to application infrastructure investments.
  • The third priority is to develop network infrastructure and "e-enablement," including network management tools and internal and "interenterprise e-enabling technologies."

Although most companies will not dive into newer technologies, Gartner warns that neglecting them completely may leave businesses exposed. "When the next upturn arrives, businesses will not be well equipped to exploit new ideas and new business models if plans are not being laid and understanding developed now," says Andrew Rowsell-Jones, Gartner's research director. "Although money is tight, businesses that continue to experiment with new technologies, however judiciously, are more likely to gain advantage in a couple of years than those that neglected their future."

5 Tips for Successful E-Learning Initiatives
In a down economy, many companies are turning to e-learning initiatives to train workers via the Internet. To help businesses avoid failures, AED Inc., a professional services firm, is offering five tips to help make e-learning initiatives successful. They include:

  • 1. Determine the business problem you are trying to solve first, then select the technology that solves that problem
  • 2. Get your plan on paper at a high level; involve senior management from the start
  • 3. Include the IT department in your planning - their buy-in is key
  • 4. Start small - don't try to implement your entire program at once
  • 5. Find the right business partner to help you design a customized strategy and implementation plan for your initiative.

U.S. Internet Population Continues to Grow
Internet use in the United States is growing at a rate of 2 million new Internet users each month, according to a study by the U.S. Government.

The study, "A Nation Online: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet", published by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Economics and Statistics Administration, found that 143 million Americans (54 percent of the population) used the Internet in September 2001. That's a 26 percent increase over August 2000.

Dial-up access is still the norm for most Americans that access the Internet, with 80 percent of residential Internet using dial-up. But the survey found that from August 2000 to September 2001, residential use of broadband Internet access grew from 4 percent to 11 percent of all individuals.

The most popular use for the Internet is still e-mail, which is used by 45 percent of the overall population, up from 35 percent in 2000.

The study also offers evidence that use of the Internet and computers have spread from work to the home. Approximately 24 million of the 65 million employed adults who use a computer at their job also work on a computer at home. The presence in a household of someone who uses a computer at work makes it far more likely (by a margin of approximately 77 percent to 35 percent) that the household owns a computer or uses the Internet at home.

- Editor's note: This item by the staff of CyberAtlas, an site.


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