Tech salaries defy slump

An international survey reports that having tech skills pays off, with pay rises continuing despite the decline in departmental budgets

Despite the current economic downturn and widespread job cuts, IT is still a great sector in which to be employed, with salaries above those of most non-technically oriented professions.

The latest figures from Meta Group's 2003 IT Staffing and Compensation Guide, which polled companies in 14 industries across 40 countries, show salaries in IT have continued to rise over the past year, against a backdrop of declining overall departmental budgets.

Rises average out at about 5 percent year-on-year, with an 8 to 10 percent increase for people will the more in-demand skills - figures backed up by's annual Skills Survey, carried out across the UK, France and Germany in February and March this year.

Maria Schafer, programme director at Meta Group, said in a statement: "What is most interesting is the fact that, despite [IT budgets continuing to decline slightly or remain flat], we expect IT compensation to actually rise, in some cases at the expense of non-IT employees."

Indeed, across the sample, 75 percent of respondents to the Meta study pay IT employees more than non-technical staff, up from 67 percent a year ago. The historic high was a figure of 80 percent, achieved during the boom year of 2000.

And despite figures that show the increased importance of training and general career development in keeping staff -- this year's survey highlighted a still strong demand for more in-house training -- Meta found the top method of retention is hard cash, often in the form of a bonus. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that their companies still offer IT staff an annual year-end bonus.

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