Growth Slows, But IT Wages Still Rising

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Some good news for IT professionals, particularly where their wallets are concerned: Wages for technology workers in high-impact jobs have increased by 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2006 compared to the same period in the previous year, according to the most recent Yoh Index of Technology Wages. Although this isn’t quite as high as the 4.6 percent year-over-year growth registered in the previous quarter, it’s nevertheless a robust rise, and it certainly beats a decrease in pay.

“If you think about it, this is still pretty healthy growth,” said Jim Lanzalotto, Yoh’s vice president of strategy. “It’s not the ‘irrational exuberance’ that Alan Greenspan talked about. That’s important. Any time you have irrational growth, markets start to get off-kilter and then you can get into trouble. I think for the most part, what we’re doing here is building a period of sustained growth for technology wages, which is good for the market.”

What’s more, because of the observed patterns in pay fluctuation, the second quarter tends to be a more gradual period of growth. Technology wages might go up at higher rates next quarter, Lanzalotto said. “It has slowed down, but with the seasonal nature of this business, as the spring goes to summer, the market does tend to slow down a little bit,” he explained.

In the realm of high-impact job roles, the most well compensated is the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design engineers, which averages $89.16 per hour. “I believe we’re seeing growth there because of R&D cycles,” Lanzalotto said. “Those markets are very healthy right now. The market for devices and peripherals is continuing to grow. I think there’s a high demand for those products, and it’s just attracting great talent.”

However, among the most in-demand jobs are technical consultants and functional consultants in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) sector, he said. “The ERP space is just continuing to grow. We see, particularly around big vendors like SAP and Oracle, customers continue to leverage as much as they can out of that ERP software. Companies are looking for the best way to integrate that software into their business operations. What they need is for really smart people to come in, understand how that company operates and be able to apply the software into that company’s operations. Companies have always had financial operations, and they’ve always managed customer information. But now what they’re doing is asking, ‘How can we be smarter and more savvy with our customers? How can we mine better data? How can we better leverage CRM processes?’”

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