IT Professionals Remain Confident their Careers are Safe, Base Pay Most Important, Finds InformationWeek’s U.S. IT Salary Report

InformationWeek, a trusted source for comprehensive and authentic coverage of technology and its impact on businesses, today unveiled the InformationWeek 2024 U.S. IT Salary Report: A Look Back at 2023 – Profits, Layoffs, and the Continued Rise of AI. The past year was full of economic contradictions. While companies saw record profits, IT professionals saw massive and sustained layoffs, yet survey respondents remain confident that their careers are safe.

Last year, work-life balance and base pay topped the list of what matters most to respondents; however, this year, base pay is most important, and work-life balance has slipped to 13th place. Median salaries increased by $5,000 to $145,000 (3.6%), and 78% of respondents reported an increase in pay.

IT pros are satisfied with their total compensation with 56% saying they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied.” Just about the same percentage (59%) report they are satisfied with their overall job, including pay and benefits. Both figures are slightly down from last year, when 61% said they were satisfied with their compensation, and 62% said they were satisfied with all aspects of their jobs.

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“It’s an interesting mix of responses, when compared to recent years”

Fifty-eight percent of IT professionals say they are unlikely to seek employment in the next year, but for those who might look for a new job (64%), the driving force behind their job search would be higher pay. Despite being satisfied with their jobs, more than half of respondents rated their stress as a six or higher on a ten-point scale. Feeling overworked has the most negative impact on mental health, cited by 42%; insufficient pay/compensation was cited by 35%.

While a gender pay gap persists, progress is being made. Men report higher salaries, but the gap between women and men is a difference of $5,000. (This is a marked difference from two years ago, when respondents reported a gap of $23,000.) Both women’s annual salaries and men’s annual salaries have increased.

Other key takeaways from the 2024 InformationWeek IT Salary Report:

  • When it comes to critical business or technical skills such as AI, a new answer option of “training/managing staff” is the No. 1 answer, followed closely by aligning business and technical goals. Technical skills were lower in the rankings, with “managing network and systems infrastructure” only rated as No. 7. AI/machine learning skills were way down at No. 19.
  • However, AI/machine learning skills have jumped to the No. 1 place for skills that would benefit respondents’ individual or salary advancement. Respondents considered it to be more beneficial to advancement than leadership skills or cybersecurity skills. Additionally, 24% said they have added personnel in IT due to AI, and 24% said they have added new dedicated positions/personnel related to AI.

“It’s an interesting mix of responses, when compared to recent years,” said InformationWeek editor-in-chief Sara Peters. “IT professionals still seem quite satisfied with their careers today, but there are hints that the satisfaction could slip. Our survey results indicate that respondents right now find an IT career to be more exciting, but a little less comfortable.”

InformationWeek surveyed 500 information technology professionals employed full-time in the U.S. with questions related to salaries, benefits, and other career issues. Ninety-three percent are steadily employed full-time at an organization, and 7% report they are either full-time contract workers or consultants. Most of the respondents work in management roles. Just under half (46%) are from enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, more than one-quarter (27%) are from mid-size companies, and 25% are from small companies with 100 employees or fewer. Respondents come from more than 33 industries, including consulting, financial services, banking, manufacturing, healthcare, IT services, education, and government.

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