Certification Magazine's 2009 Salary Survey1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
In third place last year was information assurance — a specialization only introduced into the Salary Survey two years ago. The field remained strong in this year’s results, with 11.1 percent of its respondents reporting an annual salary between $120,000 to $129,999; 5.8 percent reporting $130,000 to $139,999; and almost 5 percent making between $150,000 and $159,999. As noted last year, this area keeps its strength due to the increasing pressures toward privacy compliance, secure systems and risk management.
Last year, database design and implementation rounded out the top five salaries by specialization with an average salary of $91,030. This year, the numbers skewed quite a bit lower for that specialization, with the most common salary being between $75,000 and $75,999.
That said, IT instruction continued the impressive strides it made last year, as did network management. Cooling off a bit, perhaps, was network devices; last year it averaged a salary of about $68,500, while this year we found most pros making between $50,000 to $54,999. And, while last year saw a difficult showing for Java development, the field this year demonstrated a likely rebound, with its strong response in the $100,000 range. On a similar note, the software programmer specialization made an impressive 9.1 percent showing in the $100,000 to $109,999 range — last year, this area saw an average salary of about $68,000. Application development and database administration also enjoyed nice results, with the majority of its respondents’ salaries in the low $100,000s.
Feeling the pinch this year, telecommunications integration had a most commonly cited salary range of $55,000 to $59,999, compared with almost $76,000 last year.
Singing the same tune as last year is the IT generalist specializing in small to medium networks, which reported a salary in line with last year’s average of $62,500.
As for lower-salary-tier IT specializations on the slump, Web development seemed to continue its downward trend from last year, with about 17 percent of its respondents indicating that they earn less than $20,000. Help desk support this year found its most common response at $35,000 to $39,999 (12.4 percent), with similar percentages of respondents hanging out in the ranges of $30,000 to $34,999 (9.7 percent) and $40,000 to $44,999 (11.1 percent). The average salary for help desk support last year totaled about $46,500.
With such a tumultuous economic year behind us, who knows what the long-term effects will do to IT salaries in the coming year — or if an economic rebound might accelerate the highest and lowest money-makers alike. Only time will tell what the fiscal fiascos of 2009 have truly done to salaries by specialization.
– Elizabeth Lisican
The Global Pro
If there’s one thing that the Certification Magazine Salary Survey always makes clear, it’s that our readership is an international bunch. The 2009 Salary Survey was no exception. We had responses from 167 countries around the globe.
As always, the majority of Salary Survey respondents were located outside the United States. While the U.S. made a strong showing, as it does each year, it dropped from having more than 39 percent of respondents last year to having about 27 percent of respondents this year. The drop speaks to the continual globalization of IT and may reflect the ongoing economic recession as well. Economic conditions have led many U.S. organizations to offshore their IT processes to focus on their core business.
Further reflecting this trend, the number of Salary Survey respondents located in India grew from 14.6 in 2008 to 16.7 in 2009 — the second highest showing in the survey. In another indicator that IT processes are shifting East, China pulled past the United Kingdom with the third most respondents this year — 4.2 percent. In the past decade, China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s leading exporter of devices such as mobile phones, laptop computers and digital cameras, so it makes sense that IT pros are a growing group there. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, moved down to fourth — with 4 percent of respondents hailing from there, down 0.8 percent from 2008. Canada saw a similar slip into fifth place, with 3.2 percent of respondents this year compared with 4 percent last year.
This year’s Salary Survey saw a large increase in respondents in Brazil, up from 1.8 percent last year to 2.7 percent this year. This reflects how growing market maturity and political stability have allowed Brazil to become an attractive destination for IT outsourcing in recent years.
Another large shift was seen in respondents located in Pakistan, moving from 0.8 percent in 2008 to 1.8 percent this year. For years, Pakistan’s neighbor to the west, India, has been a dominant market for IT, consistently second to the U.S. in the number of IT pros based there, according to our survey. As the focus of U.S. military conflict has shifted to this region, many see IT as the best hope for the future of Pakistan as an emerging market, which could explain growth in this space.
Last year’s Salary Survey had Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Denmark, the U.S. and the U.K. as its top performers in terms of salary — in that order. This year sees those same six countries performing strongly. More than 12 percent of respondents in Norway are making $110,000 to $119,999, and another 11 percent are making between $100,000 and $109,999.
Switzerland, meanwhile, also performed well, with the majority of Swiss respondents (13.5 percent) making between $100,000 and $109,999. Just over 11 percent of Swiss respondents make between $110,000 and $119,999, and the same amount are making between $120,000 and $129,999.
The majority of respondents in Denmark (18.9 percent) are making between $100,000 and $109,999. The second largest group (11.8 percent) make between $95,000 and $99,999.
The U.S. is a bit down the scale this year. Just over 10 percent of U.S. respondents reported making between $100,000 and $109,999. Another 6.5 percent of U.S. respondents make between $110,000 and $119,999.
Nine percent of respondents from Australia reported salaries of $100,000 to $109,999. Just over 8 percent reported making between $80,000 and $84,999.
The U.K. usually has a strong showing, but this year, the majority of U.K. respondents (8.6 percent) reported making between $50,000 and $54,999. Another 6.7 percent make between $60,000 and $64,999. Only 4.4 percent make between $100,000 and $109,999.
Last year’s Salary Survey had Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines and Pakistan as its lowest performers in terms of salary — in that order. These countries had similarly low numbers this year, with 82.6 percent of respondents in the Philippines, 76 percent of respondents in Pakistan, 74.8 percent of respondents in India, 73.5 percent of respondents in Sri Lanka and 70.6 percent of respondents in Vietnam earning less than $20,000 a year. One thing to note here: India continues to be a lower-level performer in terms of salary, as does neighboring Pakistan, despite IT growth in both countries.
In recent years, Bangladesh had moved up a bit from the bottom in terms of salary, yet this year’s Salary Survey sees 80.4 percent of respondents there making less than $20,000 a year. Meanwhile, Bulgaria, Jordan and Thailand — the lowest ranked performers in past surveys — are performing a bit better. Nearly 56 percent of respondents in Bulgaria, 62.1 percent of respondents in Jordan and 66.7 percent of respondents in Thailand reported making less than $20,000 a year in 2009.
– Daniel Margolis1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |