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IT (And Other) Salaries On The Rise In The U.S. 780

Posted by timothy
from the drop-hints-to-boss-man dept.
pertinax18 writes "CNN Money is reporting that salaries for most college grads are on the rise once again. Especially interesting to collegiate (and other) /. readers may be the 4.1% increase in pay for CS grads, and 10.7% increases in pay for others in the field. From the article: 'If those numbers sound enticing, it's probably because computer science graduates are long overdue for a pay increase. "They haven't seen an increase since 2001 and this is the first year, in all four reports, that they showed an increase," Koncz says.' Are things finally starting to look up for us?"
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IT (And Other) Salaries On The Rise In The U.S.

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  • Bush's Fault (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ari_j (90255) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:01PM (#10320597)
    Why is it Bush's fault when salaries go down, but a magical coincidence when they go up?
    • Re:Bush's Fault (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Forge (2456)
      It's the fault of the guy with the hose when your house gets wet. When he runs out of water and your house dries out again is that his fault too?
      • Re:Bush's Fault (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ari_j (90255)
        Are you claiming that the Bush administration deliberately and intentionally "hosed down" the economy starting in the year before Bush took office?
        • Re:Bush's Fault (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nahdude812 (88157)
          "Intentionally" implies insight into administration motivation which no one here on Slashdot is likely to possess.

          But even if the guy with the hose wasn't intending to water your front door, doesn't mean he didn't do it.

          I think the point is, it's possible for Bush to have squashed jobs, then later through inaction on his part, jobs come back. Some will say it's brilliant strategy by Bush to do nothing, others will say it's sheer laziness by Bush. In the end, it doesn't really matter, if being an inactiv
    • Re:Bush's Fault (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:16PM (#10320838) Journal
      After 3+ years of downturn (e.g. wasn't there an article detailing the net-loss of 400,000 IT jobs in North American just a few days ago here on slashdot?) it will take more than a one-time modest increase to give the Bush administration credit.

      If things do turn around over several successful quarters, you can ask this question again and expect a fair answer.

      Given the relatively bleak outlook on the economy right now, I don't think that this is likely. Typically there is a modest boost in economic output during an election year due to American optimism, but even THAT effect is heavily muted this year.
      • Re:Bush's Fault (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TrentL (761772) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:29PM (#10321022) Homepage
        First, I don't actually hold Bush responsible for the economy. BUT, if Bush is going to claim that $500 billion deficits are a neccesary evil for fighting an economic slow down, I'm going to demand results. This economy is NOT worth what we've paid for it in long-term debt. More competent politicians (such as Robert Rubin) could have gotten much more "bang for the buck" with the money Bush has squandered.
    • by paranode (671698) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:19PM (#10320886)
      He eats babies, simple as that.
    • by FlimFlamboyant (804293) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:46PM (#10321228) Homepage
      Presidents don't create or destroy jobs. They don't raise or lower wages. At best, what they can do is create circumstances that make it possible or impossible for CORPORATIONS to do these things.

      You know what caused the tech market crash? Clinton? Bush? No... YOU did! By "you" I mean every American who pissed their savings away by investing WAY too much money in an empire that (at the time) had almost nothing to offer in terms of REAL product. As a result of all the venture capital flying around, too many .coms were created, hiring way too many people for jobs that the market simply wasn't prepared to sustain for the long term.

      The result? Exactly what SHOULD happen. Companies collapse, people lose their jobs (unfortunately), and the economy (not the president), along with the basic rules of supply and demand, slowly corrects our mistakes.
      • by leadsling (734216) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:20PM (#10321683) Journal
        HOLD ON THERE! Don't let something like economics get in the way of someone's pet theories. Next thing you know, you'll be wanting journalists to have proof for their stories before they're published! (couldn't resist ;>)
      • by MacDork (560499) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @09:44PM (#10325410) Journal
        First of all, DJIA != Economy.

        But since someone brought it up... I remember Greenspan playing a key role in helping that bubble burst. You know, Mr. Irrational Exuberance himself. The guy raising interest rates with the stated purpose of 'slowing down the overheating economy.'

        He also stood by and watched Clinton sign away [ratical.org] depression era laws in 1999 that had been on the books for decades. Yeah, that's him on the far left. These laws separated banks, securities firms, and insurance companies for a reason. Imagine a bank invested in the stock market. Not only is this a risky investment for a bank holding *YOUR* money, but suppose it provides a conflict of interest. The bank is also dispensing investment advice. Banks might mislead investors in order to bail themselves out of a bad investment, no? Well guess what happens next... [riskglossary.com]

        • In 2002, Accounting firm Arthur Andersen was convicted of a single charge stemming from its lackluster auditing of Enron. That action forced Andersen, one of the largest and most respected auditors in the world, to go out of business.
        • There was plenty of blame to go around. Corporate executives had cooked books while lining their pockets. Analysts at investment banks had recommended stocks they knew were dogs in a quid pro quo that ensured banking business from those same firms.

        Which brings us back around to the real reason for our failing economy. Gross mismanagement of tax laws, [pbs.org] banking regulations, and the federal budget by congress and the president. And not just this congress and not just this president. You don't get a 7.4 Trillion dollar national debt overnight. That, friend, you cannot blame on me or the terrorists.

    • And Vice Versa (Score:4, Insightful)

      by weston (16146) <westonsd@@@canncentral...org> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:16PM (#10321630) Homepage
      Why is it Bush's fault when salaries go down, but a magical coincidence when they go up?

      For the same reason that when nice things happen, the Bush campaign proclaims that their plans are working, but when bad things happen, it's because we're just in tough times.

      Yes, people who don't like Bush see more reasons to dislike Bush in the information they encounter. But this isn't unique to his critics, nor make him a particularly uniquely beleagured president.

    • Re:Bush's Fault (Score:5, Informative)

      by Odin's Raven (145278) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:35PM (#10321864)
      Why is it Bush's fault when salaries go down, but a magical coincidence when they go up?

      As people are fond of saying: "You must be new here..." (Not just to /., but to the planet Earth. ;-)

      It's for the same reason that leaders (in the U.S.A., and in other countries, and even the PHB down the hall from your cube) will claim credit for economic upturns during their reign, while claiming that any and all economic downturns were caused by:

      • magical coincidence
      • market forces (see "magical coincidence")
      • consumer uncertainty (see "magical coincidence")
      • the failed policies of a predecessor from an opposing political party
      • evil pixies (see both "magical coincidence" and "opposing party")
      • terrorists (see "opposing party")

      Leaders in power like to claim credit for good things, and avoid responsibility for bad things. Opponents of leaders in power like to assign blame for bad things, and claim responsibility for good things (or at least deny that the leader may have had a role in the good things).

      Welcome to the world of carbon-based Terran life forms. For further study, may I recommend reading a long-running classic field study [unitedmedia.com] of this planet's society, conducted by the noted sociologist, Scott Adams. While the studies focus primarily on interactions within hierarchical corporate institutions, you may find them illustrative as you attempt to understand the political systems you encounter on your survey of our planet.

      Live long and prosper, or whatever the appropriate greeting is on your homeworld.

  • What a Crock (Score:5, Informative)

    by HackHackBoom (198866) * on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:01PM (#10320598) Journal
    Show me places in the industry or people who have received raises. Not to sound bitter, but I know not a single person in my circle of friends and business associates who've said they're getting raises.

    It's more about cuts and firings lately :(
    • by finkployd (12902) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:52PM (#10321297) Homepage
      Academia. Everyone I know has been getting regular raises based on merit.

      And everyone said I was nuts to go working for a university with mainframes during the dot com boom, who is employed now, beyotch? :)

      Finkployd
    • Re:What a Crock (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheFlyingGoat (161967)
      I received a significant raise a few months back. Significant is almost 10% of my salary. I got a 20% increase last year. My company has only cut a few people, and those cuts were based on performance, not budget. I do programming and tech support, in case you're wondering.

      The other IT workers here have gotten good raises as well. Two friends that program for the local phone company have gotten decent raises. One friend that assembles computers at a local store got a 50 cent / hour raise (he's part t
    • Re:What a Crock (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geoffspear (692508) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:12PM (#10321579) Homepage
      You don't need to give anyone a raise to have a higher average salary. You just lay off all of the lower-paid employees, replacing them with contracted offshore labor, and let your higher-paid managers keep their jobs.

      It's just like lowering the unemployment rate by waiting for people to give up looking for jobs instead of actually creating new jobs. Lying with statistics is fun!

    • Re:What a Crock (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LaCosaNostradamus (630659) <LaCosaNostradamusNO@SPAMmail.com> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @05:45PM (#10323476) Journal
      Bitter? You should be. Let me show you bitterness.

      I was employed in a bank's IT department. I got a 3.7% raise in May 2004 after I received my yearly eval. This came out to about $1040/yr gross.

      Less than 2 months later, I got outsourced to some scumbag "IT Services" company as the motherfuckers had all been planning since Dec 2003. As a result, I lost a health-insurance stipend ($1120/yr). Furthermore, we lost the company vehicle and reverted to our own vehicles; my car costs me 30.5c/mi to run (I keep detailed records), but the mileage we're paid to cover all car costs is 22.0c/mi ... a net loss of about $40/mo or $480/yr.

      So, gee, I got a 3.7% "rise", and 2 months later they contrived to have my income "fall" $1600/yr ... about 5.5%. Net loss: you figure it out.

      I've been saving money like a fanatic, knowing this day must come. And it's still getting worse. I've at least $5000 loaned out to 3 friends for necessary payments (auto repair; mortgage and rent; electric bills; etc.) ... and they're still in deep economic shit since there are NO FUCKING JOBS other than $8-$10/hr shitwork.

      I don't buy anything anymore. I'm never buying anything again. Capitalist America hung me out to dry and they'll never see me cooperate again. I live for the day when the Capitalists go out for long walks off their short window ledges when their nigger investments go south from the lack of credited consumers. The entire economy has been transformed into strip malls, junk bonds and websites. People have been transformed into appallingly credited hyperconsumers who are incapable of saving and meeting all future obligations. A grown person cannot expect to spend money like a 14-yr-old girl for decades and expect any good to come from it. Your houses are worth at most 60% of what you foolishly call a "going market rate", and I'm going to have my blackest laugh at you when you shed big tears over how much your property taxes are costing you when you still can't find work.

      Fuck you, America! You can't eat money, and paper also makes for poor radioactivity shielding too. Die the nasty death that every Empire must encounter.
      • Re:What a Crock (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dread_ed (260158)
        My condolences on your net 2% loss in income over the last year. I am sure all of the chronically unemployed people will morn your loss. Oh, and those with permanent disabilities will surely bemoan the vicissitudes of modern corporate employment with you, of this I am sure. Plus those overseas outsorced employees who do the work of a $50,000/yr American for a little less than than the cost of you shoe budget and live in sod huts will contrive to share your pain as well.

        If you couldn't see through your s
  • Oh great... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:02PM (#10320600)
    Now President Bush is submitting stories to Slashdot!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:02PM (#10320602)
    Im went to ITT school for HTML intraweb programming and Im stil only get 5.45 per hour?!?
  • one omission (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rritterson (588983) * on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:02PM (#10320607)
    The numbers look great on a cursory glance, but they are missing one thing important: They don't list what percentage of graduates were able to find a job within x months of graduation.

    So sure, maybe the ones that were hired are making more, but if they are only hiring a small percentage of grads, you'd expect them to make more, wouldn't you? (As they would be more qualified than the average grad)
    • Re:one omission (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ari_j (90255) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:04PM (#10320635)
      Don't forget about inflation. Even if you find a job that pays 4.1% more than it would have a year go, you're still taking a hit if inflation is over 4.1%.
    • Re:one omission (Score:5, Informative)

      by Randolpho (628485) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:11PM (#10320761) Homepage Journal
      w3rd.

      Average salaries may be on the increase, but total jobs in the IT field are not. It's getting *more* difficult to find a job; the glut of IT folks out there (and it *is* a glut) means employers can sit on their haunches while waiting for that "perfect candidate" who has exactly 3 years as an Oracle DBA and 5+ years experience with ADO.NET. (Yes, I've seen job offers exactly like that -- has ADO.NET even been *around* for 5 years?).

      There are *ZERO* entry level jobs on the market at the moment. So the rest of us who just got out of college, even if we racked up experience with internships or other on-the-side jobs, are screwed unless we can lie convincingly in our interviews. If we can even *get* an interview, that is.
      • Re:one omission (Score:3, Interesting)

        by danheskett (178529)
        Yes, I've seen job offers exactly like that -- has ADO.NET even been *around* for 5 years?).
        I dont know for 5 years, but I know i was hacking around on samples and messing it up wit ADO+ and ASP+ samples back in early 2000.

        I feel bad for all my friends who went to college for 4/5 years when we graduated from high-school. I went to work straightaway after college, and went to a 4-yr college full-time in a 2-year program full-time. I got my Associates degree as they were starting their second semester o
    • by finkployd (12902) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:48PM (#10321240) Homepage
      So sure, maybe the ones that were hired are making more, but if they are only hiring a small percentage of grads, you'd expect them to make more, wouldn't you? (As they would be more qualified than the average grad)

      We in the economics field refer to it as "supply and demand" and boy does it work.

      There is a finite number of IT jobs available, and a plethora (a word I learned from The Three Amigos) of unemployed "C++ in 21 days" and "1337 HTML Hax0rs". The tragedy is not that every code monkey who went into CS because they heard you can get rich quick that way is not going to get a six figure job anymore. The tragedy is that they used to and still, for some reason, expect that.

      NOTE: this isn't meant to disparage everyone currently unemployed in the IT industry, times have been tough even for qualified people. But you are not going to convince me that times are bad because literally everyone who wants an IT job can't get one. Not everyone who wants to be a nuclear physicist can get a job doing that either.

      Finkployd
      • Re:one omission (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xenocide2 (231786)
        There is a finite number of IT jobs available

        I'm afraid I must take issue with your very first assumption. The mere availablity of so much related IT talent is what made Silicon Valley a hotbed. Essentially, my counter-argument goes like this: With the number of skilled workers growing while the job numbers remain in check, now is the time to start your own company and give these people a job.

        Makes sense to be a contrarian. If more people than just me believe in that, then job growth is partially depende
        • Re:one omission (Score:3, Interesting)

          by finkployd (12902)
          That's a very good point as well. An often overlooked option (or one that immediately written off as unrealistic) is to start your own business. If you have usefull skills that you believe to be in demand, become an independent contractor. Or get some like minded people together and start a business. Even though we are no longer in the heyday of the dot com craze, it can still be done. Just don't expect to pull together enough capital to buy everyone $1000 chairs :)

          Finkployd
  • Are they really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nos. (179609) <andrew@th[ ]rrs.ca ['eke' in gap]> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:02PM (#10320612) Homepage
    I wonder if this isn't a side effect of a lot of the outsourcing to India that's happening. If a lot of the lower paid jobs (tech support and the like) are outsourced, what's left behind are the higher paying jobs which results in a higer average.
  • by smaksly (751439)
    Relax.

    IT is still alive and will continue to be a career with prospects in the USA.

    Not everything can/should be outsourced.

  • Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by apoplectic (711437) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:03PM (#10320622)
    Given the title "IT (And Other) Salaries On The Rise In The U.S." but knowing the content to be talking about rising initial pay for grads entering the market...is there necessarily a direct correlation between the two?

    I mean, it certainly seems reasonable to assume that the two are related...but...?
  • A Year ago... (Score:5, Informative)

    by JaffaKREE (766802) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:04PM (#10320629)
    A year ago, getting an IT job was hard as hell. Countless resumes, postings and searchings EVENTUALLY netted me a DBA position.

    In the last few months, I've started getting emails randomly from recruiters who've seen my resumes posted. I haven't been looking, haven't updated it. One of the opportunities struck me, so I took it. No problems. I've been offered more jobs in the past month - without looking for anything - than I could even get close to a year ago.

  • by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:04PM (#10320633) Journal

    What does salary increase mean?

  • Where's my job then? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lovedumplingx (245300) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:04PM (#10320644)
    Salaries may be on the rise...but it doesn't do the new grad any good if he/she can't find a job.

    I know of one person who moved from Texas (where he lived and graduated) to DC just because the odds were better that he'd get a job. Didn't work.
  • CS != IT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:04PM (#10320645) Homepage Journal
    While there is certainly crossover, your typical IT employee is/was not a CS major. CS is programming and software engineering, IT is servers and networks, and yes, occasionally writing some code. Programmers' salaries rising doesn't mean shit to most of us IT employees.
    • Re:CS != IT (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ari_j (90255)
      CS is a branch of IT. So one segment of the IT job market is covered here. I agree that the title is misleading, but this is Slashdot, where there are more fact-checkers than any other site by the same name. Or maybe it's tied.
  • Theory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by webword (82711) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:05PM (#10320655) Homepage
    Low wage jobs have been outsourced from the U.S. therefore the remaining jobs in U.S. drive higher mean wages, even for college graduates.
    • With the result of fewer people actually working. If they'd factor in all the people now earning $0 or minimum wage with their CS degree, it would make more sense.

      Yep, theory makes sense and fits the facts.
  • by Triumph The Insult C (586706) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:05PM (#10320656) Homepage Journal
    that 4.1% increase comes out to about 23 rupees
  • by crowdozer (663344) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:05PM (#10320661)
    I wonder how much of this is due to outsourcing. Get rid of a bunch of the lower-than-average wages from the equation and you will get a perceived increase in average, which could then be misconstrued as a good thing. For example... 30K 40K 50K 60K = average of 45K Now outsource the jobs of the 30K and 40K guys so they go work at McDs and you have... 50K 60K = average of 55K Oooh were all making 10K more. WRONG.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:06PM (#10320684) Homepage Journal
    Meanwhile, computer science graduates make $49,036 a year, a gain of 4.1 percent.

    Got to be an average- I've got my Bachelor's of Software Engineering, and I'm only making $42,000/year after 10 years of experience.
    • by Violet Null (452694) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:12PM (#10320786)
      Depends on where you work. In central Florida, $50,000 / yr is a pretty good salary. In San Francisco, $50,000 / yr is less than the janitor gets paid.

      National averages are pretty useless.
    • Where are you living? If you're not in a city, you're probably still above the average when you factor in cost of living. Quick Googling for a salary comparison [homefair.com], $100k in my home town of Centreville, Va is equal to $150k in San Diego, Ca. Oddly enough, DC (which is essentially where I work) has a comparison of $100k to $83k in SD. Huh.

      --trb
    • by ReverendHoss (677044) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:25PM (#10320963)
      Agreed, averages may be useful to spot trends, but never compare your actual salary to them.

      Programmers in NYC get 80K per year just so they can keep up with the increased housing, cost of living, etc. Programmers in the Midwest get 35K. Same quality of life, just different numbers. Take a look at these numbers [bls.gov] to make a comparison by region.

      Comes from employers/tax returns (I believe), so will probably be more accurate than surveys which have voluntary participation.
    • by rk (6314) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:29PM (#10321016) Journal

      In related news: A statistician from the local college drowned today in a lake with an average depth of 7 inches.


    • The people making $130,000 per year in Silicon Valley make those making $42,000 per year feel really bad - at least until you look at the cost of housing in Silicon Valley.

      A good number of years ago, when I made $35,000 per year, I did some cost-of-living calculations to live an equivalent lifestyle around the nation. In some places, I would have needed to make $90,000 just to break even.

      steve
  • SHHHHHHHHHH (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashdot_punk (813387) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:07PM (#10320691)
    Stop pimping IT. We need perception to be BAD... so students stop taking IT majors.

    That's what will increase our salaries and our demand.
  • College (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TPoise (799382) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:09PM (#10320725) Homepage
    Many CS majors have it all wrong. College isn't about wasting 4-6 years studying, it's about doing something PRODUCTIVE during that time (co-op, internships, start your own business, develop a new 3-d game engine). Something to show that I have talent. Unfortunately darwinism is taking place and only the strongest are surviving right now. The weak are all complaining that it's Bush's fault that they have no experience and aren't willing to relocate to take on an entry-level job.

    Only the strongest will survive.
    • Re:College (Score:3, Insightful)

      What about the ones with 10-12 years of experience that were laid off for 2+ years and still have to relocate to take on an entry level job? Sometimes the strongest get hit at random too.
    • Re:College (Score:4, Insightful)

      by velo_mike (666386) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @04:25PM (#10322426)
      Many CS majors have it all wrong. College isn't about wasting 4-6 years studying, it's about doing something PRODUCTIVE during that time (co-op, internships, start your own business, develop a new 3-d game engine).

      I wish I had mod points for this one.

      Unfortunately, college has been dumbed down to where high school used to be. We're now faced with streams of college graduates who spent their time either sleeping or partying wondering why, oh why don't I have a job.

  • No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:11PM (#10320765)
    Are things finally starting to look up for us?"

    Is it a good thing we got a 4% raise on the job we got laid off from?

    Oh, and 4% PER YEAR, EVERY YEAR,would just about keep up with inflation. Then, maybe management would notice the 15% annual increase in housing costs...

  • Perhaps, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Teclis (772299) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:13PM (#10320794) Homepage
    If IT Jobs are really earning more money than there must be a few things going on. Firstly, The industry may be seeing increased profits, Secondly, There may be increased demand for IT Professionals. Thirdly, There may be a decreased supply of IT Professionals.

    The salary paid to those working is not just something that is nice to have high. It is calculated from the state of the system. If the pay is bad then do something about it. Sometimes the only thing you can do is find a different job as there are too many workers in the industry.

    Also, the industry can regulate this more if IT people want more money. Take the Medical Profession for example. They place a limit on the number of accepted students every year. If CS education did this as well, then the decreased supply (I don't think the demand is going anywhere) will force employers to pay the workers more money. On the reverse side, not as many people would have jobs. This is almost like the question on Socialism vs. Capitalism. If you want everyone to be working and be marginally content, then don't expect alot of money. Judging from this article, that is not what people want but infact the Capitalistic prespective in that they want more money.

  • by twiggy (104320) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:18PM (#10320861) Homepage
    Sorry, but this is not as good a bit of news as it looks...

    Unemployment in the IT sector is up (due to both outsourcing AND the struggling economy), so who cares if the people with jobs are getting a bit more money?

    Furthermore, this article is talking specifically about fresh out of college newhires - something the person who posted this seems to avoid clarifying altogether.

    Guess what? They're getting these jobs and their first increase since 2001 (CS graduates) because the older folks who were making $60k and are now unemployed are gone - a net savings of $11k.

    Bottom line: It's still brutally difficult to find a decent computer science / IT job right now, and the people in them aren't getting huge raises. It's also important to note that there's complaints heard 'round the country from IT and CS folks about the fact that they're working ridiculous numbers of hours.

    The insane high salaries of the tech boom, however unjustified they seemed at the time, were actually justifiable because these fresh out of college kids were often dumping 60-80 hours per week into their job. (Note that I agree that the rest of the spending during the tech boom, however, was just as stupid as everyone says it was).
    • Unemployment in the IT sector is up

      When those who claim to be unemployed are asked "Are you actively looking for a job?" by anyone other than their unemployment assistant, the numbers who answer "no" are fairly high, those people are skewing the official tallies of the unemployed.

      steve
    • by enjo13 (444114) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:28PM (#10321009) Homepage
      Unemployment in the IT sector is up (due to both outsourcing AND the struggling economy), so who cares if the people with jobs are getting a bit more money?

      Speaking as someone with a job in IT.. I do.

      Thanks.
  • by Darlok (131116) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:21PM (#10320919)
    As a partner in a small tech consulting business, I can state without reservation, "New CS Graduates don't have a clue what they're worth." The survey is almost certainly taken from a handful of large, national employers with fixed entry-level employement packages.

    The truth is that most CS graduates go into smaller businesses. And when they walk in my front door, they have no clue what they should be making. I've had B-students who held a student job doing data entry for their University walk in the door and tell me they're "willing" to work for $75,000 a year, to be a code monkey after graduation. I've also had graduate students with quite a bit of experience walk in and tell me they're expecting $36-40k.

    Depending on how many /. articles they read over the last 5 years, you either end up with new grads with no experience, who think they're the second coming, or experienced folks who had a bad co-op or were laid off rapidly from their first job, who walk in demoralized, and are willing to work for peanuts.

    As far as I'm concerned, the question of "What's a Degree Worth" is bunk. 90% of a new grad's worth has little to do with their academic program, and everything to do with their attitude, their experiences, and their fitness for the job. There's MIT grads that I wouldn't hire if they were the last non-Indian programmers on the planet.

    A degree is worth nothing. The grad's attiude and ability to produce is what sets their salary. Lacking that, they're either unemployed 6 months later, or getting bonuses and raises because the company wants to encourage loyalty and keep them around for a long time. The diploma on your wall has very little to do with that.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:15PM (#10321617) Homepage
      getting bonuses and raises because the company wants to encourage loyalty and keep them around for a long time.

      where the hell do you work??? What you speak of flies in the face of what corperate policy is.

      Do more and bust your arse = very little thanks and only more work with a "sorry no money available for raises" while we hear about the CTO getting a 1.2M bonus.

      I would kill to work for a company that encourages hard work and rewards for a job well done.
  • by prgrmr (568806) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:48PM (#10321246) Journal
    From TFA:

    Psychology majors enjoyed a 2 percent increase with entry-level salaries averaging $28,230.

    Is this some strange useage of the word "enjoyed" with which I was not previously familiar?
  • One Two Punch (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @02:50PM (#10321264) Homepage Journal

    OK, so maybe my tinfoil hat is wrapped on a little bit too tightly...

    But isn't it strange to put this story side by side with CNET's interview of Professor James Foley's warning about too few people going into computer science related studies. [com.com]

    Of course, the professor has a vested interest in increasing the number of CS students and also in getting more research funding for CS projects - which is to be expected given where his bread is buttered.

    He does make good points about the long term consequences of turning out fewer CS grads per capita than other countries, and about how younger researchers deserve a chance to do independent research without laboring as indentured post-docs under the wing of less creative mentors.

    But trying to encourage more students to go into CS and IT right now is not necessarily as good a plan as trying to improve the education level of future CS students that are only 0-10 years old right now.

  • by mabu (178417) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:07PM (#10321512)
    1. Eliminate four positions, increase one person's salary by 20% Give them four times more work. Solicit young college grads instead of older people who don't know they're getting shafted.

    2. Send out a press release showing the economy is doing great because salaries are going up.

    3. Profit

  • H-1b/L-1 effects (Score:4, Informative)

    by randall_burns (108052) <randall_burns AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:25PM (#10321740)
    It should be noted that the H-1b quota was reduced in fall of 2003(back to 65,000/year). Now last year congress expanded the L-1 program--but there were clauses in that expansion that made it difficult for companies to take advantage of that program until after the election. L-1 employees need to work for a company for something like a year before the company and use them for work in the US. So this effect-to the extent it is real(i.e. it may just be movement of jobs into high priced areas), may well be temporary.
  • 4.1% (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrscorpio (265337) <twoheadedboy@ston e p o ol.com> on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @03:37PM (#10321878)
    Sure seems like what has traditionally been called a "cost of living" raise. 10.7% in other industries, on the other hand, sounds pretty good. But 4.1 is by no means anything to jump up and down about.
  • by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @04:09PM (#10322232) Homepage
    What difference does the salaries make if you CAN'T EVEN GET A JOB?!?

    Knowing you would've made more money if you could even get hired doesn't put food on the table.

    And of course salaries can go up if there are less people to employ. A given amount of money divided less ways is more per person.

    But it doesn't matter how big the pieces of the pie are if you aren't even allowed at the table.
  • by ploppy (468469) on Wednesday September 22, 2004 @04:32PM (#10322525)
    While it's nice to know IT salaries are increasing in the US, it's definately not happening in the UK or Europe.

    I'm currently looking for a IT job and the salaries are the same or lower than I was paid in 2001. At my last job I didn't get a pay increase during the three years I was there, and I don't know anyone who has received a pay rise.

    People have commented the rise is only because all the low paid jobs have been outsourced from the US. In the UK/Europe every IT job has gone - experienced/mid-level/junior the lot. In fact the majority of jobs in the UK are listed as entry level jobs because they're paying peanuts (the same amount of money I was getting in 1997).

    The UK and Europe has lost out particularly badly because we're playing 'piggy in the middle'. The high-skill jobs are in the states, the low-paid jobs are in India/China and the UK/Europe gets nothing. The UK doesn't invest enough to get the high-skill jobs and is too expensive for the low pay stuff.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?

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