Job Trends in US

What is going on in IT job market?

In the January 1, 2007 issue of Computerworld, an article by Jennifer McAdams states that hiring executives are seeking people with the strongest combination of technical and business skills. The top five skills identified by Ms. McAdams include: 1.) Programming/application development, 2.) Project management, 3.) IT/business analysis, 4.) Security, and 5.) Help desk/technical support. Ms. Adams suggested that an important key to landing an IT job is to get a degree from a well-known school.

According to the American Electronics Association, the IT industry added 140,000 jobs between January 2006 and June 2006, the strongest since 2001. An even stronger IT job market has been predicted for 2007. The primary reason identified for this projected hiring growth is to accommodate business growth expected by Chief Information Officers.

In addition to the number of jobs indicated above, the U.S. IT work force is facing a shortage in the number of qualified people with the appropriate technology skills. The reason for the shortage is the avoidance of IT jobs and education by many students in the aftermath of the dot-com bust in early 2000s.

Overall, a very bright near-term outlook for IT employments for the next few year. Outsourcing of IT work to places such as India has not seem to put a significant dent on the demand for IT workers in the U.S.

Salary of School Graduates

For Ph.D. graduates without much industry experience, it seems the highest salary goes to those majoring in Business or Economics. Their starting salary can be as high as $120K (or even more). Computer Science and EE new Ph.D. average about $70K. Certain areas (such as San Francisco) have higher salaries than the national average. Salaries of post-docs range from $20K to $50K, with Biology at the low end, and computer science or EE at the high-end.

For graduates with a master's degree, MBA's from top programs average over $100K. MBA's from less prestigious programs average around $60K. For Computer Science and EE, it's about $52K.

Salary of IT Professionals

Based on a survey conducted by Enterprise System in late 2006,

Job Title Average Salary plus Bonus
CIO $124K - $194K
Director of IS/MIS $113K
Application development manager $97K
Networking manager $83K
Internet manager/director $79K
Database administrator $79K
Network administrator $64K
System analyst $74K
Applications Programmer $64K

Since these are average numbers, they look somewhat lower than the compensation at companies that are doing well. Pacific region (from Washington state to California) has the highest numbers, followed by South Atlantic (Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida). New England region as a whole has the lowest average compensation numbers in 6 out of the 10 listed job titles.

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