Computerworld's just released 28th Annual Salary Survey 2014 presents a not too rosy picture of salaries in the IT sector despite the sector's lead role as a profit engine.
IT salaries were so-so in 2014 with pay increases averaging just 2.1%, according to the survey of 3,673 IT workers. Bonuses rose by an average of only 0.7%, slightly lower than the 0.9% increase seen in 2013.
It firms, however, are giving pay increases to more IT workers. Some 60% of respondents reported a raise as against 8% that reported a pay cut. That's somewhat better than in 2013 when 57% reported raises and 9% reported pay cuts. It was well above 2012 when less than half reported a raise.
The percentage of respondents who feel secure in their jobs has risen with the improving economy. This inched up from 57% in 2012 to 59% in 2013 and 61% this year.
Employees are also more optimistic about IT as a career: Only 29% in 2012 said they saw that a career path in IT, and the potential for salary advancement, was as promising as it was five years before. That percentage improved to 38% in 2013 and to 42% this year.
For the third year running, application development was the most sought-after skill: 49% of all managers who expect to hire this year said they'd hire app people. Help desk and IT support skills ranked second, with 44% of managers expecting to fill jobs in those areas this year. That's up from 37% in 2013, the biggest year-on-year increase in the Computerworld survey.
Third place on the list of the most in-demand skills was a tie between business intelligence skills and database analysis and development expertise, with 29% of hiring managers saying they planned to increase staffing in those areas.
"All things data" are red hot, says David Foote, CEO at Foote Partners, an IT labor market analyst firm. Titles such as data administrator, database developer and database architect are grabbing recruiters' attention, especially for positions in larger companies.
Rounding out the top 10 in-demand skills among 2014 survey respondents were security, network administration, networking, cloud computing, Web design and development and data management.