Salary Survey: Assessing IT workplace demographics

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This feature first appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Certification Magazine. Click here to get your own print or digital copy.

Chances are you're rolling with your IT homies through an evolving workplace.

What does the person across the table see when you walk into an employment interview with a prospective new boss? If the interview is for an IT job, then there are probably a couple of things that we can assume out of hand. For example, you’re probably male. And probably college educated. And generally in your 30s or 40s.

IT workplace demographics are changing, however, and the profile doesn’t fit as well as it used to. Not long ago, the number of male employees in most IT professions hovered at or above 90 percent. Among this year’s survey respondents, however, 15 percent are women. So while there are still plenty of men around, the dynamic is shifting, at least incrementally.

And while there’s been a fair amount of kerfuffle recently over whether sufficient numbers of young people are entering the IT workforce as older workers leave it behind, the overall face of IT does seem to be getting younger. The largest single group of Salary Survey respondents, 39.6 percent, are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Which is not to say that the young guns have completely taken over. About 28 percent of all respondents are between the ages of 35 and 33, with an additional 25 percent checking in between the ages 45 and 64.

One thing that hasn’t shifted very much is that IT workers rather overwhelmingly tend to be college educated. There’s some discussion later in this issue of whether college is as essential to IT job readiness as it once was, but a university degree is still a prominent line item on the resume of a huge majority of those who responded to our survey.

There are a considerable number of outliers, with a high school diploma (5 percent), technical training (5.5 percent), a two-year degree (5.6 percent), or professional degree (5.1 percent) accounting for the highest level of education attained by some. More than 78 percent of those surveyed, however, hold either a bachelor’s (45.6 percent), master’s (31.4 percent), or doctorate (1.1 percent).

There are other ways into IT — you can always hack it ‘til you make it, just like in the movies — but if you’re coming in through the front door, then most employers are probably going to want to see your college degree.

You should also expect to be working a bit more than the standard 40-hour work week. That’s the norm for about a third of respondents, but a little more than half of those surveyed work between 41 and 50 hours every week, while a notable 12 percent work more than 50 hours.

Finally, with our biggest survey to date, we reached the largest number of countries our surveys have been to — 104 — since reopening for business at the end of 2013. A little more than 50 percent of all respondents chimed in from the United States, but strong factions from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom also made their voices heard. We sincerely thank you all for participating, and hope to hear from you next year as well.

 TABLE TALK : Once upon a time long ago, a young IT professional earned his (or her) first certification. That’s how the story goes for some people, at any rate. How long ago did you get that first cert? And how long had you worked in IT at the time? See how your experience compares.

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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