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InfoWorld 2004 Salary Survey Results 320

Posted by michael
from the ka-ching dept.
tverbeek writes "InfoWorld has released the results of their Salary Survey for 2004 [pdf], and in the intro they declare that there's less bad news and more optimism, as IT budgets and salaries in particular are starting to creep back up. So now we get to witness the curious phenomenon of Lake Anti-Wobegone, as all the techies we hear from complain that their salaries are still below 'average'."
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InfoWorld 2004 Salary Survey Results

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  • Listing? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mz6 (741941) * on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:37AM (#9462266) Journal
    Is there a listing of the companies that they talked to? This way I can make my map of where to grab their job applications from.
    • Re:Listing? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SilentChris (452960)
      I can't get through to the page, but typically the reason why they *don't* list companies is because workers tend to fill out the survey themselves (and don't like to list their companies).

      Very rarely will an HR person come around and say "here's where our company stands when handing out salaries". The only time most do is when they've just been given a much larger payroll to work with and they have holes in key positions.

      I know when I fill out these surveys, I don't list my company. I'd rather the surv
  • Jobserve (Score:5, Informative)

    by mirko (198274) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:37AM (#9462272) Journal
    A good European observatory is Jobserve [jobserve.com] where I have been able to consider the falling then re-growing number of job offer during the last 3 years.
  • Cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:39AM (#9462288) Journal
    It's no surprise. When I was at college, it seemed half the people in my class wanted to get into IT just to earn lots of money. They saw how much a programmer could make. None of them had a love of the subject. They all became web monkeys.

    Then there were suddenly a lot of people with computer skills.

    Surprise surprise, the salaries went down. It's all about supply and demand.

    Meanwhile, those of us with a love of the subject have the actual deeper understanding of computers that allow us to command a decent salary.
    • More power to you. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MisanthropicProgram (763655) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:50AM (#9462399)
      I started out loving the IT field. Gradually, it was ripped out of me by the typical working conditions: rediculous deadlines, long hours, managers who didn't have a clue, being called in the middle of the night, etc ....
      It wasn't until the late 90's that I thought that I was being paid almost enough to deal with that horseshit. I know there's a few of you folks out there that thought we were overpaid. I guess that's where the system works. I felt I was underpaid - so I left. You feel you're being paid adaquately - so you stay. I honestly hope that enough people like me leave to give you guys a decent salary again. Because even if pay goes back up to the year 2000 level, I'm still not coming back.
      • by tha_mink (518151) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:57AM (#9462442)
        I started out loving the IT field. Gradually, it was ripped out of me by the typical working conditions: rediculous deadlines, long hours, managers who didn't have a clue, being called in the middle of the night, etc .... It wasn't until the late 90's that I thought that I was being paid almost enough to deal with that horseshit. I know there's a few of you folks out there that thought we were overpaid. I guess that's where the system works. I felt I was underpaid - so I left. You feel you're being paid adaquately - so you stay. I honestly hope that enough people like me leave to give you guys a decent salary again. Because even if pay goes back up to the year 2000 level, I'm still not coming back.

        I came into the field when I got tired of digging ditches and sweating my balls off for a living at $10/hr shortly after high school. Talk about being underpaid...I'll take rediculous deadlines and long (air conditioned) hours, and clueless managers in the IT field over the same conditions (sans air conditioning) working in a shitass labor job EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. Working conditions can be shitty in any field. I don't expect to make millions in the IT field but it's better that digging a fucking hole for shizel.
        • by Alan Hicks (660661) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:53AM (#9463003) Homepage
          I came into the field when I got tired of digging ditches and sweating my balls off for a living at $10/hr shortly after high school.

          Dead on! Myself, I'm a network engineer and a hog farmer. I can't testify first-hand to what conditions were like in the late 90s for programmers, because at that time I was cutting all the pine trees off our property for pulp wood (everyone around us was getting pine beetles, so I figured if I was gonna loose the trees I might as well make some money off it). I think I averaged about $8 an hour for my work, after you count expenses for my saw, my truck, my trailor, my tractor, etc.

          I'm also a born and raised hog farmer. Hearing some one bitch that he'll only make $35,000 this year as a programmer just strikes me as whining. What babies! If you want to talk about a market that's hit rock bottom, it's farming. These days, when I take a #1 hog to sale, I'm lucky to get $70 for it. It costs me just under $100 to raise one! This of course isn't sustainable. The few hogs I raise now are for personal consumption. The farrowing barn is empty.

          Sometimes I wonder just how big a whimp these people are. They bitch and moan about poor working conditions in a cubicle that is both air conditioned, and quiet, all while other people in the world are slaving in the hot Georgia sun all day, digging ditches, cutting trees, raising cattle, paving roads, roofing houses, etc. Give me a break.

          • by div_2n (525075) on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:06AM (#9463119)
            Alternatively, I could argue that I hate being inside all day and wish I could be out enjoying the sun or even working in it and not sitting here messing my back up for years to come, increasing my chances of hemmoroids, heart disease, eye problems, carpal tunnel, hypertension and all the other crap that comes along with sitting for hours at a time with internal pressure mounting, unhappy customers, bitching managers and such.

            Just because the environment is different doesn't mean it is better or worse. Remember, the grass is always greener.

            I remember a manager of mine once said, "While working at a big company that was building a new facility, we programmers looked out and saw a big ass crane and said to each other 'wow, how neat would it be to be out there operating that big toy' while the crane operators were saying 'wow, how nice would it be to sitting at one of those air conditioned desks all day.'"
            • by Alan Hicks (660661) on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:26AM (#9463311) Homepage
              Alternatively, I could argue that I hate being inside all day and wish I could be out enjoying the sun or even working in it and not sitting here messing my back up for years to come [etc]

              While I agree with you on your carpal tunnel, heart desease, and eye problems, how exactly does sitting in a chair all day hurt your back more than doing physical labor 7 days a week?

              As some one who's done both and still does, I can honestly say that white collar work is not nearly as demanding as blue collar once you weigh in the pros and cons of both. Honestly, when was the last time you heard of anyone ever dying on the job while coding from the working conditions? When was the last time you or a co-worker was hospitalized from an injury suffered on the job?

              Point is, every job has its ups and downs; you have to find one thatyou personally enjoy. But white collar jobs tend to have more ups and fewer downs than blue collar. You'll have a damn hard time convincing me otherwise.

            • The creators of Office Space called, they want their ending back.

          • by Chibi (232518) on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:26AM (#9463312) Journal
            Sometimes I wonder just how big a whimp these people are. They bitch and moan about poor working conditions in a cubicle that is both air conditioned, and quiet, all while other people in the world are slaving in the hot Georgia sun all day, digging ditches, cutting trees, raising cattle, paving roads, roofing houses, etc. Give me a break.


            It's all relative. My dad owns several small retail stores, and he wants me to help out more, since some day, he'll leave them to me. I have a full-time, fairly demanding job in IT (which is why I post on ./). Working at my dad's stores, I can appreciate my cushy IT job more.

            The problem arises when you compare our positions to the positions of others. Let's take the boss for example. I've been on plenty of projects with ridiculous deadlines. I've literally worked 15-hour days and weekends in order for a project to hit a deadline. In hindsight, I'm not really sure why. But the biggest insult is when the boss leaves the office and says with a smile on his face, "don't work too hard!"

            On another project (at a different company), we had a client that basically lied to us on when they needed an application finished by. We were already looking at a doomed project, and it got worse when suddenly we had 2 fewer months to finish it. Leave it to the almighty sales guy to start trying to blame the developers on this one. He even went so far as to try to volunteer people's personal time for the project, while he went on ski trips.

            Those are the times I feel I'm being underpaid. :) So, there are definitely people who work harder than us IT folks, but there are also people who are in cushier positions than us. I think I saw someone post this on Slashdot a couple of years ago: "At the very best, your job will suck sometimes."

          • by killmenow (184444) on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:54AM (#9463589)
            Okay, I'll add my two cents on this...

            First, I make decent money. This I am not bitching about. I just did a check on the "How rich am I?" calculator (don't have the link handy) and according to its data, I make way more money than most people in the world. I realize how fortunate I am to have as much as I do.

            Second, people are people and inherently valuable. They deserve to be treated as such. Is it worth it to be paid well if it drives you into an early grave? Perhaps it's better to work two less stressful jobs than one highly stressful job where you are expected to work 80+ hours per week. But isn't this all up to the individual to decide? We should all live our lives how we each personally see fit. I hear tell of a job in Alaska fishing for crabs or some such that pays over $200,000/yr but has one of the highest death rates of any job there is. On each trip out (supposedly) at least one member of the crew dies. You're on a boat for six months in the worst hell-on-earth conditions there are. But then you get a six month vacation and make a crapload of money. Anybody who wants that job can take it. I'll sit on my ass and develop thrombosis, thank you very much.

            Third, about the plight of farmers: WAAA!!! Poor freaking farmers! I'm so sick of hearing about the poow widdle fawma. Fuck 'em. And before you get up in arms, my grandfather was a farmer all his life until he died in his late eighties two years ago. And guess what: he did well at it. All his freaking life. Do you want to know why? Because HE WAS GOOD AT IT. He knew how to raise hogs or steer or chickens or corn or tobacco or whatever and make money at it. He knew how to cover his ASS in case there might be A DROUGHT or FLOOD one year.

            Why is it every time there's a freaking flood or drought there's a freaking lobbyist in Congress getting a bill passed to BAIL OUT THE POOR WIDDLE FARMERS??? Why? I know why. Because Agribusiness is big freaking business with a powerful political arm. So the poor little farmer isn't necessary any more. Big commercial farming is running the show. There are too many family farmers in America. WE overproduce food anyway. Those farmers should take a hint from people like you and learn a new freaking skill.

            Next time there's an IT crisis ("Oh, no! We've outsourced all our IT infrastructure to China & India now we have a million IT workers out of work!") let's see how many freaking bills make it through Congress to bail us out. ZERO.

            I'm fine with making whatever my wages will get me in a competitive market. I'm sick of farmers bitching about the horrible financial situation they're in when there are more subsidies for farming than you can pack in an eighteen-wheeler.

            Fourth, some people like slaving in the hot sun digging ditches or roofing houses. I know two people personally who basically said, "Fuck this" and quit their IT jobs and do something different. One paints houses for a living now. Less wages but he's freaking WAY happier. The other does his own deck/patio/landscaping business. Again, he makes less wages, works harder physically, but LOVES his work. And he gets to go home and be with his family when he wants regardless of anybody's arbitrary deadlines. So saying we're bitching when other people have it worse because of what job they do is subjective. People tend to work at the job they like or can put up with because it pays well enough. Period. I get sick of this comparison because so many manual laborers in my family wouldn't take my job even for the money I make because they HATE computers and technology in general, they are OUTDOOR types, and prefer the feeling they get after a day of hard physical labor over the feeling they get after staring at a 17" monitor for 12 hours. I'd hate to have their jobs because I hate the outdoors. It's too freaking hot, too muggy, and full of WAY too many insects. But the fact is, they deserve better than they get and I probably do too.

            Which lead me to this: if
        • I came into the field when I got tired of digging ditches and sweating my balls off for a living at $10/hr shortly after high school.

          I know plenty of people who sweat their balls off pouring concrete or laying pipe, but they got into a union and make more than I do as a salaried computer engineer. Sometimes MUCH more than I do. just cuz you don't know how to look for the right job doesn't mean that all labor jobs are for shit. There's plenty of money to be made. If you don't like computers, or lik
    • Re:Cry me a river (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AviLazar (741826)
      Thats why Comp Sci departments have some of the highest attrition rates (and low entry rates). People generally take 1 semester of C and then regret it. If someone can actually stick through a Comp Sci program, with all the coding (not be bored AND understand it), then they deserve to get the job and make the appropriate salary.
      For everything (even health care) there are good times and bad times. We just happen to be in a bad time. i.e. Health care will see the bad times when population rates drop (ei
      • by scrod98 (609124) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:14AM (#9462613)
        True story:

        Actually saw two girls change their major from Computer Science after the first test in calculus. They switched to a major that had no math: Drama.

        I'll bet mom and dad were proud.

        • After years of stubborness i changed my major from comp sci to communications. I fought tooth and nail but finally had to just get out of college and start making money. I have loved computers since the first time I laid my hands on an Apple IIe when I was in first grade. I had no problem with the coding aspect (got A's and B's) but I'll be damned, I could not pass West Chester University's math department (they are and have been on probation for well over a decade for failing too many students, just an F
        • True story:
          Actually saw two girls change their major from Computer Science after the first test in calculus. They switched to a major that had no math: Drama.

          Hell, that was me in college, except I stuck it out with CS until I wound up on Academic Probation. I switched to History, got my degree, and now I'm working in IT. :)
          -sam

        • by stinkyfingers (588428) on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:04AM (#9463103)
          There were two Computer Science girls that graduated when I did.

          Didn't know them, but I think I spotted at least one of them in a movie storming Gondor.
    • Re:Cry me a river (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Timesprout (579035) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:13AM (#9462598)
      While I agree with the Pragmatic Programmers and believe you should care about your craft I think you are simplifying things somewhat here.

      Taking a job because you think you can make a living from it is not a bad thing. Millions of people earn a living doing things they dont particularly care for, that a large part of the reason its called work and not playtime or doing what I enjoy time. If you dont like it you can change career. Development is a job, not a divine calling.

      There were suddenly lots of people with computer skills available because the technology sector took a major dive, not because Jonny and Mary took Comp Sci 101. Obviously then it becomes an employers market and they are going to pay the minimum possible so lower salaries. Outsourcing also help drive salaries down by allowing empoyers to offer take it or leave it terms. Gotta expect that in a free market given the preceding conditions.

      I know several guys who make good money and dont give a crap about coding, they just happen to be quite talented and adopt a professional attitude. I find dealing with them quite easy because they tend to focus on getting the job done properly rather than arguing over ultimately irrelevant minutae as many, shall I say some more 'loving' developers do. Its more about ability than love.
    • The problem I've had is that I have a solid resume, a lot of skill, and a passion for the field. However, as I received my degree in May of 2003, I don't have more than 5 years of work experience, so I get lumped into the crowd of incompetents who have 2-5 years of experience from the last 90's.

      Any rehiring will be of people with 10+ years of paid experience (that's apparently the difference) and of people who more or less invented the technologies required for the job (5+ years C# or 10+ years Java, fo
  • by HungWeiLo (250320) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:39AM (#9462290)
    A 3.4MB PDF file? On Slashdot? Do you not like them or something?
    • by krails (7812) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:25AM (#9462726) Homepage
      Seriously... especially when we have an HTML version of the survey HERE [infoworld.com]. =)

      Kevin Railsback
      IT Manager
      InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.
      • Even though the HTML version is coming through so damned slow, you've got to give the guy who's responsible for the smoking crater that used to be a web server props for posting the alternate link.
      • by danharan (714822) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:38AM (#9462874) Journal
        Funny you should mention the HTML version. That guy Steve Fox you apparently work for had this to say in the first paragraph of the article:

        I feel confident in predicting that our seventh annual compensation survey will be the most widely read, frequently downloaded, and broadly circulated article we'll publish all year. There's no voodoo involved in making such a prediction; according to our Web stats, the survey is the overwhelming traffic winner, year after year. After all, how much money you and your peers make -- and by extension, what you can hope to make in the future -- is a subject that never fails to fascinate.
        Since you're on /., did you explain to him what 43k of html *100k readers does to your servers? Or that 3.4M*100k is more than you can shake a stick at? Can we safely assume he's a PHB, and didn't quite understand or care? I mean... the guy _knew_ there would be hordes of visitors- maybe he tuned out after that?
    • Are these the three shotgun dudes [komar.org] guarding your house three days/week?!? ;-)
  • Dilbert (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:39AM (#9462292)
    Somewhat relevant is today's dilbert [dilbert.com]
    • Wow, that strip is a mirror of my workplace!

      Profits are up, but you're still going to get JACK for all your effort!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:39AM (#9462294)
    Back in my day, we didn't get raises. We got dirt. And we liked it. Dirt allowed us to build dirt houses, dirt garages, and make dirt pies. We could even get the horses to run on dirt. The damn hard thing was getting those gosh derned horseless carriages to run on dirt. They aaaalways gave us problems.

    So you young ones should be glad you get money. Cause you never know when they'll pay in dirt again!
  • by Ignignot (782335) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:40AM (#9462299) Journal
    all the techies we hear from complain that their salaries are still below 'average'. First off, who is going to complain because they are making too much? Sometimes the minority is much more vocal than the majority *cough* christian fundamentalists *cough*. It is human nature to complain.
    • No one is happy with their salary, or you shouldn't be. You should always be working harder to make more money. The RIAA is proof of this, they aren't happy with their millions, they want more. What is your point?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sometimes the minority is much more vocal than the majority *cough* christian fundamentalists *cough*.

      Can I play too?

      *cough* NYT *cough*
      *cough* WaPo *cough*
      *cough* LAT *cough*
      *cough* Ted Kennedy *cough*
      *cough* Nancy Pelosi *cough*
      *cough* environmentalist nutcases *cough*
      *cough* Palestinians *cough*
      *cough* abu ghraid rabble rousers *cough*
      *cough* democrats, liberals *cough*
      *cough* slashdot reactionary CBBTRTFA (Can't Be Bothered To...) idiots *cough*

      This is fun, I could do this all day!

      (Score:-5, Conser
  • Page 9 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mz6 (741941) * on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:41AM (#9462317) Journal
    Ok.. I am not sure what to think by the graphs, but is it a good thing or bad thing that the majority of the IT Budget pie, as asked to managers, is "I don't know"? On a lighter note, it did drop 3% points from 03 to 04.
    • I think "I don't know" would probably be management's answer to about 80% of questions. Long-winded bullshit would be the answer to the other 20%.
  • by dogas (312359) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:42AM (#9462324) Homepage
    ..because it looks too much like the scale that salary.com uses.

    Right now, I'm a "software engineer III" according to my company and salary.com. But according to salary.com, I'm making $20k less than the median salary. My company's solution? Change their scale. Now there's like 8 levels and it doesn't match up at all. Maybe they're hoping that the mass exodus will stop?
  • Google Cache (Score:4, Informative)

    by me98411 (754004) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:43AM (#9462331) Homepage
    Link to Google cache [64.233.167.104] of the Salary Survey file.
  • Where is this lake mentioned in the article ? A Google search reveals nothing.
  • Salaries (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Paulrothrock (685079) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:46AM (#9462359) Homepage Journal
    Since it's a 3.4MB PDF that I'll never get to read, maybe someone could answer a question for me:
    Is the increase in the average salary for an IT worker, or the average IT worker's salary? In other words, does this count the ones who are unemployed or doing burger duty at Mickie Dees? It's great that salaries are going up, but is employment?
    • Re:Salaries (Score:3, Insightful)

      If you're unemployed or a burger flipper, you're no longer an IT worker. I'm not a "Student Crew Member" at the moment just because I used to do that but now I'm in a different job. Once your job in that field goes away and you change to something else you can't claim it as your job description.
    • One of the other replies to this comment doesn't fully appreciate what you are saying, I think.

      I have a friend that got a huge raise last year. His team was also shrunk form 5 people to 1 person. His salary jump was less than the total cost of the other 4 people, but quite significant for him.

      So the question is, is the increase in the average attributed to all the layoffs, where all the worst, lower paid, positions cut? This would raise the average salary, while reducing the total salaries paid out by
  • by rnicey (315158) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:47AM (#9462367) Homepage
    Well if they all claim that they're below average we know it's not true.

    In this ever shrinking world people and skills are more a tradable commodity than ever before. How hard you work no longer has much to do with it, how much you can produce is. Hardly a newsflash, been going that way forever. But some still think they _should_ be making more money.
  • Straight from Google's cache [google.com]
  • by FerretFrottage (714136) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:50AM (#9462396)
    How come we never see salary surveys of salary surveyors? Do they not want us to know how little or how much they make? Maybe they are making 6+ figures and just don't want us to know about it so they have they don't have any competition.

    Anyway...no big surprise that IT related salaries slide a bunch the past few years. Supply and demand. There are a bunch of IT workers looking for jobs and it has been a "buyers" market, not like in the late 90's.

    What I wonder is how do salary trends here [US] compare to those jobs that have been outsourced? Did the outsourcees salary increase/decrease/stay flat? Just wondering if there is any connection between the two.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:54AM (#9462427)
    tax free, last I heard. And they'll add the label "Contractor" or "Consultant" for free.

  • Companies? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NeoFunk (654048) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:56AM (#9462441) Homepage
    This survey really means nothing to me unless I can at least see a list of the companies that they surveyed. Pay is different in different areas of the country, and for good reason.

    Anecdotally, the results look quite high to me. Maybe they surveyed companies where the cost of living is really high (silicon valley, etc.) I'm from the midwest, so I don't really expect to see numbers like this around here, and I don't.
    • I wonder what the mix of perm employees to contractors was? Contractors get more $$ but no bennies or bonuses so that skews the results. BTW, did you get you $7K bonus last year the survey says the "average" IT worker got?
  • by Bravo_Two_Zero (516479) on Friday June 18, 2004 @09:59AM (#9462466)
    I was only out of work for 8 weeks, but that was enough for me. I ain't complainin' about my salary any more. No, really. I haven't yet. I've complained about other salaries being too low and some being too high. But mine's just right!

    Now, I will complain about a lack of focus, nonexistent project management, unreasonable expectations and unclear goals. Heck, I'll complain about that all day long.
  • I'm not Looking (Score:2, Interesting)

    Yeah, 3.4 MB and it was only 75% downloaded after 15 minutes? Anyway, I don't want to Know! I'm happy where I work, and I'm ignorantly satisfied with my salary. Last year I spent 12 months working at a crap software company. They had a market niche and the competition wasn't enough to make them get off their asses and write good software. Instead they had been stove-piping and patching together various client-database applications for 10 or 15 years. When I left for another company, everyone kept aski
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:16AM (#9462624) Homepage
    ...at least for me. I managed to get over a 20% increase in January through a salary adjustment. How? I worked my ass off. Smartly.

    I did the normal IT stuff, but I also introduced new (free) tech, held training classes for staff, and generally took honest interest in my job (something I don't always see in the 19-year old wire contractors we sometimes hire).

    This January I basically presented myself as a needed member of the team, explained my salary adjustment request (using an Infoworld-like survey) and got my boss to back it up to management (not hard, because we treat each other well). There's methods to increase your chances of getting a good pay raise.
    • Wow, good thing you got all of that "work" stuff done so you can hang around /. all day again.
    • by gosand (234100) on Friday June 18, 2004 @02:25PM (#9465287)
      This January I basically presented myself as a needed member of the team, explained my salary adjustment request (using an Infoworld-like survey) and got my boss to back it up to management (not hard, because we treat each other well). There's methods to increase your chances of getting a good pay raise.


      Congrats on your 20% increase. I worked my ass off this year too, and received an annual review of "exceeds expectations". You know what my raise was? The same as everyone else's: 0%. Even the fuckstick who takes 2 hour lunches, disappears for hours at a time during the day, and doesn't get his shit done at all, let alone on time. I am not sure if we are making the same amount, but we are at the same grade level.


      This is for a very large company, where the CEO made $9 mil in salary ALONE last year, and whose total compensation was over $50 mil. Every salaried employee in the company gets no raise this year, and we don't have a bonus program. And we were told that we were "lucky to have jobs" and that "there are no other jobs out there". I have already started looking, and really hope that the market opens up a little so I can get the F out of here. While those things are technically true, it is not how you keep your employees happy. I don't need to hear that when the CEO almost made more in millions than I made in thousands. And since the company policy is that they cannot give any recommendations if used as a reference (they can only verify that I was employed here) then you can be sure that I am going to lay it on the line when I leave, and they aren't going to get one second more than 2 weeks notice. (if that) For some reason, the bad economy can be used as an excuse by employers to fuck the employees.

  • by TrentL (761772) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:19AM (#9462651) Homepage
    If he was, he'd know that it's completely possible for most people at Lake Wobegone to be above (or below) average.

    Consider an exam taken by 4 people. 3 people score a 10. 1 person scores a 2. That makes an average of 8 (10 + 10 + 10 + 2 = 32. 32/4 = 8). Most of the people scored above average.

    This is why Mean and Median are useful concepts.
  • Ugh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FortKnox (169099) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:35AM (#9462851) Homepage Journal
    People complain because the averages are scewed. The cost of living on the west coast vs the midwest. There are 100X more IT people on the west coast, where the cost is MUCH higher. If I'm close to the average (living in the midwest), I know I'm making a good deal of money for my area.

    Those graphs should include cost of living and a calculator for getting "your area's" average salary.
  • So you mean that $11,700 I'm making a year as a graduate assistant isn't good pay?
  • by bhmit1 (2270) on Friday June 18, 2004 @10:54AM (#9463015) Homepage
    From everything I've been seeing lately, work is increasing, but much more for the independent contractors than for the large companies. With everyone trying to save a buck, these people are likely on the leading edge of any up-tick. After a co-worker was laid off and spent too long looking for another job, he went independent and is booked solid for the next several months, and makes his salary after just over half a year of projects. Granted, you can't be the typical office leach in this position, and you spend a lot longer doing your taxes.
  • by Baldrson (78598) on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:02AM (#9463085) Homepage Journal
    So now we get to witness the curious phenomenon of Lake Anti-Wobegone, as all the techies we hear from complain that their salaries are still below 'average'."

    You misspelled 'living wage'.

    • The phrase "living wage" is just a new way for people to place the blame on the employer when they could instead decide to do something else for more money. It is much easier to complain about wages than to do something creative in response.
      • "living wage" is just a new way for people to place the blame on the employer

        Not even the commies "place blame on the employer".

        They place it on the system.

        when they could instead decide to do something else for more money

        That's pretty facile of you.

  • by TheSync (5291)
    My wife is hiring for a low-level Python programming position. She can't seem to find anyone who knows Python who is willing to work for under $100K.

    Just a data point...given the rise of Zope solutions for mid-level web content management, I think this is a growth industry.
  • by fizbin (2046) <martin&snowplow,org> on Friday June 18, 2004 @11:09AM (#9463136) Homepage

    I wonder how people are saying that this survey shows wages for IT workers increasing. It doesn't - in fact, it shows exactly the opposite.

    I can see how you might believe this if you read only this paragraph:

    The downward slide of salaries reported in
    InfoWorld Compensation Surveys in mid-2002 and mid-2003 ended in this year's survey. The average salary reported this year was $83,651, down an insignificant 0.8 percent from the $84,312 reported in mid-2003 and down 4.3 percent from $87,385 in mid-2002.

    But go ahead and read the next two paragraphs:

    Interestingly, the survey also uncovered a growing gap between upper management and those on the lower rungs of IT. Senior IT managers' wages reported this year averaged $117,185, up more than 6 percent from $110,458 reported in last year's survey.

    By contrast, middle management wages dropped to $80,467 in this year's poll, down more than 4 percent from $84,075 reported last year. IT staff received an average salary of $66,547, a 7 percent decline from $71,493 in the same period last year.

    So the message is this: if you're not upper management - that is, if you're not part of the system that sets the salaries - the people who are part of upper management will continue to screw you. It's not going to get better on its own.

    The salary of middle management and IT staff went down. It's just that the salaries of upper management went up by enough to raise the average.

    • Where I said:
      It's just that the salaries of upper management went up by enough to raise the average.
      I obviously meant:
      It's just that the salaries of upper management went up by enough to prevent the average from changing by a significant amount.
    • Let me spin that data the way I see it:

      A lot of people can program. Even more can type IP addresses into a menu.

      Only a rare few of them have the human skills to effectively communicate and lead.

      And even fewer have a business mindset. For example, a lot of lame IT staff like to talk about management who "will continue to screw you".

      Those who can lead and handle the business environment will be paid more.
  • Maybe, just maybe, we've reached the end to downsizing.

    Well, good for you. It's a little late, of course, but I suppose if management could have, they would have sold the fucking paint off the walls too.

    About half of us have moved on, not only from "IT" but also from corporate "culture" altogether.

    It no longer matters how much a salary is when management can gladly fire people with a few minutes notice for no reason.
    Now, if employees could stop making house payments with a few minutes notice for no re
  • A survey that doesn't consider the cost of living for each particular location, is irrelevant to all of them. For example, Joe A in Silicon Valley might be thinking "Gee, that's kinda low... It costs me X just on house payments alone", while Joe B out in OshKosh Wisconsin might say "Wow, I only make $20k/year -- I'm under-paid!!!" yet for him, the same X for housing might be 1/4 what it is for Joe A.

    I live in Winnipeg, for example, and the cost of living here is one of the lowest in Canada. My family in
  • Every ex-IT worker or anyone that's every been fired simply has to read this web site. It changed my life. http://www.spiritone.com/~andersen/employmt.html
  • Albert Einstein said in 1954 (near the end of his life): "If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances."
  • Cost of Living....

    San Jose Residence - Makes $40,000/yr... 1 Bedroom apartment + utitlities costs 15,600/yr so around 39% of your yearly pre-tax salary is spent on a place to live...God help you if you have car payments, pay taxes, feel like eating something other than ramen....

    Pittsburgh Residence - Makes $40,000/yr...Owns a 4 bedroom house that costs 15,600/yr....

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