IT Career JumpStart

Apr 27 2012   5:17PM GMT

Interesting signs of possible IT improvement? Maybe…

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

A recent training and certification vendor survey from Global Knowledge (with Website TechRepublic) and a Gartner survey on IT spending both dispense some rays of welcome sunshine on an otherwise cloudy economic landcape for the industry. I’m talking about these items:

Taken together, we can construe these surveys to represent good news for IT workers, both at home and abroad. Please read on for some highlights … and for my speculations as to why you can read these reports in somewhat less rosy terms if you like!

2012 IT Skills and Salary

High points from the survey include a jump of 17 percent in job satisfaction among survey participants, up from 43 percent in 2011 and 40 percent in 2010. Interestingly, the survey also showed that those who trained in 2010 made 8.6 percent more in 2011 than those who did not, where over half (65 percent) of respondents also reported earning some kind of certification in the past 5 years. And half of all managers reported that “their staff was more effective or significantly more effective on the job after receiving a certification” up from 35 percent in 2011.

Pay news is trending up but with some interesting wrinkles. 63 percent of survey respondents report receiving a raise in 2011, but the probablility of getting a raise decreases with salary, so that lower-paid professionals were less likely to get a bump in their paychecks than higher-paid ones, with a $60,000 salary marking the line between those two pay categories. I read this as less than great news, though not exactly bad, because it indicates that roughly 2 out of 5 IT workers got no raises in 2011, and because of the income distributions also reported, most of them probably didn’t make that much to begin with!

IT Spending Around The World

The headline from this Gartner story that caught my eye was “Emerging markets will generate $1.22 Trillion in IT spending in 2012…” This includes emerging economies in Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe, leaving out Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The so-called BRIMC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, and China) will represent half of that outlay, with the rest ranging from a high of $496 billion in emerging Asia/Pacific countries, to a low of $158 billion in Eastern and Central Europe (a much smaller, less populous geographical region, to be sure).

However rosy this kind of spending outlook might be, Gartner also leavened these enormous numbers with some cautionary prose: “IT spending caution will be a constant in 2012, suggesting IT sales will be more challening than in 2012” said Luis Anavitarte, Research VP and head of emerging markets at Gartner. But IT budget increases are expected in this sector of the world economy, whereas IT spending in the developed world is likely to remain flat.

Before hungry IT job-seekers start making plans to relocate, ponder the relative standards of living between the developed and developing world, and the much lower salaries common in these relatively booming sectors. If entry-level folks in the USA are not getting raises as much or as often as their more highly-paid colleagues, at least their base pay is significantly higher, even than it would be in the BRIMC countries.

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