Dice, the career site for technology and engineering professionals, published their annual Tech Salary Survey in January. And as Chairman, President & CEO of Dice Holdings, Inc., Scot Melland observed, “The fact is you either pay to recruit or pay to retain and these days, at least for technology teams, companies are doing both.” The constant being pay.
According to the responses of 15,049 employed technology professionals between September 24 and November 16, 2012, tech professionals have garnered the biggest pay raise in a decade. The survey report is highly consumable and I recommend it to anyone involved with hiring or managing technology professionals.
The contents include:
- 10-year trend in tech salaries
- Salary by employment type
- Bonus trends
- Salary by metro and region
- Tech employee motivators
- Tech salary satisfaction
- Salary by industry
- Salary for high paying skills
- Average salary by experience and education level
The last section, average salary by experience level, is eye popping. Check it out.
First of all, we can tell by these salaries that STEM education pays off from a career opportunity perspective.
Second, we can tell by these salaries that the market perceives low supply.
Third, look at the high school graduates’ salary vs. vocational/tech school and some college salaries. What’s up with that?
Fourth, the year-over-year change in the salaries of military veterans vs. every other category is head snapping.
Let’s look at these observations. First, I think we can all agree that there’s no downside to focusing on STEM education. No downside for employers who perceive low supply and no downside for employees whose lifetime earnings are among the highest.
Second, supply vs. demand economic principles seem firmly in charge of these salary trends. We can debate whether or not there truly are skills shortages in the marketplace today. But it seems clear that the market believes there is a shortage and is paying accordingly.
Third, as we consider the counter-intuitive data showing high school graduates earning significantly more on average than votech grads and some college/associates’ degree holders, we might be seeing generational effects coming in to play. More recent high school graduates may have more current hardware and programming learning than those who attended the votech programs of the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. Certainly with the ability to connect to communities of interest via the social web, today’s high school students have a leg up on learning that their parents never had. Additionally, while employers aren’t spending the money they used to on internal training, technical training programs continue to be present.
Fourth, it appears that military veterans with current technology skills can enter the market at higher levels and command higher salaries. And I think we’d all agree that this is a very good thing.
This is a very useful snapshot of the salary landscape for a portion of our employees. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the same data for other functional skillset areas? Like marketing, finance, or even HR?