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Spring 2012 Tech Salary Survey Results

April 26th, 2012

For those in IT, now is the time to ask for a raise. That is, unless you just received one. According to a report from the Dice Tech Salary Survey, those in the technology profession have seen the largest increase in their pay in 2012 since 2008. For many, that’s good news because it means that the economy is growing – and paychecks are reflecting the increased demand in this industry.

Average Wage Increased

According to the survey, after two years in which wages in the IT field seemed to stagnate, there’s been a nice two percent increase for professionals, on average, in 2011. The average salary for an IT professional in the United States in 2010 was $79,384. This year, average rates are now up to $81,327.

Bonuses Are Paying Out

Many individuals in this industry are given bonuses for a job well done. That proved to be the case in 2012 as well. The average size of IT bonuses grew by a whopping eight percent. On average, individuals received as much as $8,769. The survey notes that the number of people getting bonuses also increased. Check out these numbers:

  • In 2009, the number of IT professionals receiving a bonus was 24 percent.
  • In 2010, that number was 29 percent.
  • In 2011, the number grew to 32 percent.

Where were you most likely to see a bonus if you worked in this field? Those in the telecom, hardware, banking, utilities and software industries were most likely to see a boost to their paycheck as a result of a bonus.

It’s Not Just in Silicon Valley Either

Though Silicon Valley is still the highest paid market for well-trained professionals in IT, it’s not the only place seeing these improvements. There are wage increases and higher bonuses being paid out to more people across the country. This includes areas like Austin, Washington DC, Seattle and Dallas. That means the entire industry is growing.

What It All Means

Why are wages going up and more individuals receiving larger bonuses? There are numerous reasons this is happening and it is all good news for those in this industry.

  • In many areas, economic conditions are improving and that’s driving more employers back to growing their businesses.
  • In some areas, however, it is the sheer lack of growth that is pushing the IT world. Instead of hiring numerous people to do a job, many employers are looking for IT solutions to cut into the cost of hiring more. That’s making IT pros in demand.
  • Employers are more willing than ever to hold onto good talent. They know it is hard to find qualified professionals, and they are willing to spend the money to keep them.

For those IT professionals looking for wage increases, use these numbers as a tool to help show just how in demand your services are. With higher bonuses, employees can now start thinking about asking the boss for bigger paychecks.

The Effect of Rise in Oil & Gas Prices on the Tech Industry

April 18th, 2012

Rising oil and gas prices have an effect on everyone. The same is true about the IT industry. While it may not immediately seem like there is a relationship here, the fact is that the soaring prices have a real impact on the way this industry operates. Individuals looking to enter the IT field may see an impact on the available jobs. Those working within it will also see an increase in costs. For the tech industry, the impact of rising oil and gas prices has an interesting impact.

The Cost of Operation

Within the tech industry, the cost of operation will rise as the cost of gas and oil go up. While it may not have as much of an effect as it does on the trucking industry or the food service industry, it still makes an impact. The transportation of goods will become more expensive. The cost of oil and gas prices also plays a role in the secondary fields. When the cost of transporting products increases or the cost of operating machinery increases, the costs go up across the board. This is not the only impact.

Economic Concerns Continue

It is important to note that the job market in the tech industry may continue to struggle if the economy does not improve. Rising oil and gas prices have a significant impact on whether or not the economy improves. As prices increase, the pace of economic recovering will slow. Tech jobs may not be as widely available if this continues, as it will keep businesses from hiring or investing. The impact on the IT industry will match that of other industries, especially in areas of technological development, which is seen as less of a requirement and more of a luxury.

Jobs and Industry Demand

As the cost of gas and oil increase, businesses will look for more effective and cost saving ways to operate. For many companies, one way of doing this is to incorporate better technology into their business. Updating software and implementing programs that will increase productivity and decrease profit loss will be in demand. For those businesses that are trimming back the costs associated with operation, the tech industry is likely to be the go-to location for help.

In industries where there is a potential for lower operating costs if IT solutions are put into place, jobs will be more readily available. Businesses that can meet those needs better will continue to see demand rise.

Overall, there is an impact on the tech industry as the price of gas and oil continue to increase business costs. For many industries, including the IT industry, the effect is ultimately determined by the length of these increases. The longer prices continue to increase, the more significant the impact on the industry will be.

eLearning – The Future of Skilled Labor Training?

April 13th, 2012

Having a properly trained staff with the right safety and compliance training is exceptionally important in today’s skilled labor training industry. Yet, having a successful training program is time and budget demanding. eLearning may be a method that will help employers reduce the cost and time spent on training, but still offer training in general.

How It Works

Online training, also known as elearning, is an opportunity for companies to achieve their training goals by offering the entire workforce the best quality training in a versatile, consistent manner. In order for any program to be successful, though, the right program must be selected with a careful level of attention paid to the individual company’s needs.

In the adult industrial worker arena, the best online training program must meet specific standards to be effective. Prior to investing in these programs, businesses should focus on choosing a program to meet specific requirements and make sure that employees are on-board.

  • The program should have clear learning objectives and the employees should understand what is expected of them. A clear link between the learning and the work the employee does within the business should happen.
  • The content of the training program should be focused on stated learning objectives. Most are set up in a lesson or course setup to make it easy to move from one topic to the next.
  • Be sure the content meets the needs of the student involved. This includes being at a reading comprehension level that is acceptable to the worker.
  • There should be some type of interaction between the learning program and the student. It should not be a simple document to read, but rather should incorporate animations, video segments or other interaction.

For many businesses, the use of elearning makes sense. It is an ideal way to reduce expenses and to make safety-learning for skilled workers easier to obtain. Instead of trying to arrange a time and place, and bring a group of workers to that place, these courses are flexible enough to happen when and as needed, at a self-paced speed. This ensures the student/worker is able to achieve the learning goals in a way that is beneficial to his or her learning needs.

The Way of the Future?

eLearning may be the way of the future when it comes to safety training in today’s society. Skilled workers need ongoing training, in safety as well as other areas. It makes sense to choose a program that is easy to put in place and offers very specific options. With courses designed for specific industrial or other skilled worker applications, it is easy to see the true value of investing in these programs. It may be one of the best options for individuals on the job who require ongoing, updated training.

Increasing Productivity on the Manufacturing Floor

April 8th, 2012

The United States of America is a land that was built on the ingenuity of its citizens. It became a world leader because of its leadership in the world of manufacturing. Recent decades have seen a significant drop in manufacturing in this country. But the recent economic downturn has reminded us of how critical manufacturing has been in to our past economy and how crucial it is to our future.

There has been a renewed focus on manufacturing in the U. S. in the past five years. The primary focus, however, is shifting to how to marry technology with manufacturing so that companies are able to operate at maximum productivity while remaining profitable.

Manufacturing has been hit hard over the years. It’s not simply the recent recession that has made it difficult. Long before the recession was a blip on the radar, manufacturing businesses and the jobs they provided were involved in a mass exodus from the U.S. It was a combination of increased regulation, skyrocketing taxes, difficulty receiving financing, and the high cost of skilled labor that drove away businesses. They sought locations and companies with fewer regulations and significantly lower wages that were willing to offer tax breaks to attract the manufacturing businesses.

However, gas prices and a greater need for jobs at home (creating more favorable regulatory and tax situations) are making manufacturing enterprises more favorable on our shores once again. The problem of doing more with less still remains though. That’s why manufacturing businesses are turning to technology to increase productivity on the floor without piling on a mountain of labor costs to add to the bill.

The Challenges

It also doesn’t hurt that the government is beginning to realize how important manufacturing is to the past, present, and future of our country. The Council on Competitiveness has created a report entitled “Make: An American Manufacturing Movement.” The report includes a few key and vital challenges for government in order to assist in that effort.

1)   Make the U.S. an attractive safe harbor for manufacturing businesses by enacting fiscal reforms, changing penalizing tax laws, and adjusting regulations in a way designed to attract new business and increased hiring.

2)   Reduce the trade deficit so that other countries find the U.S. to be an attractive trading partner.

3)   Educate the youth of America to step up and take their roles as innovators, skilled laborers, and researchers.

4)   Provide manufacturing businesses with incentives to develop new technologies and solve current production problems.

The government has its work cut out for it, but the potential rewards for this country and future generations are immeasurable. The challenge has been levied and it’s a tall order. However, U.S. history is filled with challenges such as this and brilliant manufacturing visionaries have risen to the challenge and exceeded expectations. All that remains is to discover who will be the next visionary to change the face of manufacturing once again.