Wednesday, December 9, 2009

IT Salary Guide: A Tool in Preparing for Your IT Career

If you’re getting close to graduating from a technology major or course of study, you’re probably already thinking about the job market and wondering what you may find. The 2010 IT Salary Guide was recently published by Datamation, and it gives a useful and fairly comprehensive look at salaries in the IT industry, including how salaries differ by geographic region, as well as the sectors of the IT industry that are experiencing the highest growth and demand.

Although the data presented in the 2010 IT Salary Guide is indicative of the recent overall economic slump, Datamation writer James Maguire wrote, “IT staffers, compared with the overall workforce, remain some of the highest paid professionals. A veteran IT pro who can change with the times—and versatility is more important than ever—can command a good salary even in rough times.”

Twelve IT job roles are assessed in the 2010 Salary Guide, including Developer/Programmer Analyst, Software Engineer, Systems Administrator, Network Engineer, Systems Security Administrator, and others. If any of these professions sound like the direction you want to take, I recommend spending some time analyzing the information presented in the guide. For example, with each professional role in the survey is listed the skills that lead to a pay increase in that role—including the amount of pay increase, by percent, for having each skill.

Many skills that lead to higher salaries are those that are acquired through on-the-job experience, such as Cisco network administration skills, Windows server skills, or database skills. Of course, getting that first job is an important step. Alternately, many of these same skills can also be acquired through certification training that includes realistic simulated labs, instructional videos, and quizzes on the material taught.

However you choose to acquire the skills and experience for your career, the 2010 IT Salary Guide will be a helpful tool for understanding the job market you’re about to enter and determining where you want to focus your time and attention in training for it.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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