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IT salary survey says: ‘You’ve never had it so bad’

Dot-com crash a 'cake walk'

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Compared to the current job market, IT professionals should recall the collapse of the dot-com bubble with a fondness for the good ol' days.

That's according to the latest bi-annual IT salary survey from management consultant Janco Associates, which has painted a dreary picture for tech workers. The firm called current conditions "a perfect storm" of company closures, layoffs, cost cutting, outsourcing, and retirees returning to work. That massive surplus of IT talent is matched by what the firm reckons is the lowest hiring demand it has observed in the 15 plus years it's conducted the salary survey.

The study said that extensive layoffs, cost-cutting and hiring freezes have eliminated higher-priced positions, and in some cases lowered wages.

For "mid-size enterprises", the mean salary for all IT staff positions has dropped 0.75 per cent to $60,279 compared to a year ago. The mean salary across all mid-sized enterprise IT positions has dropped 2.91 per cent to $73,607.

For "large enterprises", IT staff position wages have dropped 0.89 per cent to $65,956. Mean salary across all IT positions have dropped 1.2 per cent to $81,128.

Many companies have also reduced benefits such as health care provided to IT professionals. While these benefits are still available, workers are now paying a greater portion of costs. For the second time in less than 10 years, retirements are being put off because of the downturn in the stock market.

Positions with high layoff and outsourcing potential for smaller companies include software engineer, network technician, network services admin, director of IT planning, manager of technical services, and disaster recovery admin. Positions that still have a high level of demand include database manager, internet systems manager, database specialist, and systems programmer.

"The job market for IT professionals is one of the worst that I have seen since the late 1970s. There is a surplus of IT talent and companies are in a cost-cutting mode," Janco Associates chief executive Victor Janulaitis said in a statement. "The dot-com bubble was a cake walk compared to this job market."

A summary of the survey is available here. The firm said its data is collected throughout the year from business throughout the US and Canada with more than 50,000 workers polled. ®

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