The Tech Pay Cut
Ben Worthen writes on WSJ.com that IT staff are seeing a downturn in salary for the first time since the dotcom crash. His comments are based on a survey carried out by Information Week on 10,000 IT professionals.
Ben reflects on whether this is an indicator of the diminishing role technologists have in how users lever IT for business advantage, or simply poor benchmarking as a result of the HR function’s generally poor grip on IT roles.
I believe both to be true. I work closely with the IT recruitment industry and am seeing a trend away from pure play technologists towards more rounded hybrid business technologists with a broader portfolio of skills and knowledge that embrace business.
These guys are much sought after and buyers are still prepared to pay top dollar for say a socially skilled solution architect with strong knowledge of retail. They represent the tip of the value ladder in respect of IT roles. Those technologist that choose to ignore the impact globalisation is having on the IT landscape will continue to see their pay cheques erode.
The issue of role categorisation is not one that the HR function has created. It is an industry wide problem. My project manager is your team leader? My system administrator is your operator? There are no universal standards for role definitions. HR functions however should be putting pressure on the IT industry to get its act together on this front.
I am supporting the UK government and major employers in this respect in an advisory capacity, and there is much work to be done. Until we have global agreement on role definitions then such salary surveys have to be treated with some caution.