Hourly earnings for highly skilled information-technology professionals have climbed significantly in the past year, according to the Yoh Index of Technology Wages, which provides talent and outsourcing services to corporate clients in the United States. IT compensation rose by 4.62 percent year-over-year from the first quarter of 2005 to the first quarter of 2006, making it one of the hottest industries in terms of increases in income.
While the rate of growth is startlingly substantial, strong wages for qualified IT pros isn’t all that surprising because of their relative scarcity, said Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing for Yoh. “I’m happy to see it,” he said of the increases. “I’m a little surprised that wages continue to be as strong as they have been for as long as they have been.”
The three highest-impact job titles in Yoh’s index are enterprise resource planning (ERP) functional consultants (who earn an average of $81.58 per hour), hardware engineers ($69.01 per hour) and project managers ($61.46 per hour). ERP functional consultants rake in the most, largely because they work with a new and valuable technology with which many companies still need a great deal of guidance. “How can a company best take the investment they’ve made in an ERP technology and leverage it over time and, more so, get value out of that investment?” Lanzalotto said. “If you just buy fundamental back-office stuff and don’t plug in the other things, you’re going to lose a lot of that value.”
Lanzalotto predicted that increases in hourly wages would be sustained, but warned that IT professionals might become victims of their own success if they go up too high too fast. “I believe that we’ll see continued growth,” he explained. “I would be comfortable estimating that it would be 2 to 3 percent year-over-year growth. If it were anything above that, it would be very interesting to see how the marketplace reacts. Like anything else, as prices start to get higher, customers start to look for alternatives.”
For more information, see http://www.yoh.com.