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Class of 2012 Seeks Higher Salaries

Students are seeking higher salaries for entry-level jobs--and are using social networks such as LinkedIn for job searches, according to a survey by Achievers, an employee rewards and recognition provider, and Experience, a career network.

About 8,000 students across the country were surveyed in order to uncover how to recruit, retain and inspire the incoming workforce.

"The Class of 2012 survey of our database of juniors and seniors revealed the changing fabric of what Millennials are seeking in an entry level position," said Jenny Floren, founder and CEO of Experience. "Since last year's survey, the two most notable trends are the increased amount of students searching jobs on professional networks like LinkedIn and the demand for a higher salary."

In addition:

  • 88 percent plan to apply directly to the company they wish to work for
  • 54 percent believe that career advancement opportunities are more important than salary when looking for work
  • 35 percent plan to utilize LinkedIn as their top social media platform to look for a job
  • 40 percent have an annual salary expectation of $50,000-$75,000 for their first job
  • 47percent plan to stay with their first employer from five to 10 years.

The Class of 2012 study was conducted in February 2012 through an online survey amongst a sample of 7,944 students across the United States. The sample included university students with the majority focus on those who would be graduating in the next one to two years. The source of the sample was drawn after targeting for graduation year from the Experience database of 5.2 million students at 3,800 universities.

Small Salary Increase for Faculty Members

The median salary of full-time faculty members in 2011-12 is 1.9 percent higher than it was a year ago, according to Inside Higher Ed, reporting on a study by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The median increase was greater at private institutions (2.3 percent) than at public institutions (1.1 percent).

In Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, professors earned an average of $103,536, associate professors $85,280, assistant professors $72,381, and instructors $54,237.

Engineering professors earned an average of $117,911, associate professors $89,754, assistant professors $76,938, and instructors $60,950. In engineering technologies and engineering related fields, professors earned $89,214, associate professors $73,507, assistant professors $62,922, and instructors $52,183.

Higher Salaries and Bonuses for US Tech Pros

Technology professionals enjoyed their largest annual salary growth since 2008, according to the 2012-2011 Salary Survey from Dice. After two straight years of wages remaining nearly flat, tech professionals on average garnered salary increases of more than 2 percent, boosting their average annual wage to $81,327 from $79,384 in 2010.

A more considerable jump was noted in both size of average bonuses, up 8 percent to $8,769, and the number of technology professionals receiving bonuses: 32 percent in 2011, compared with 29 percent in 2010, and 24 percent in 2009. The industries most likely to pay out bonuses: Telecom, Hardware, Banking, Utilities/Energy and Software.

“Finally! Compensation has mustered some momentum, as more and more top tech markets are notching increases in pay. Silicon Valley’s compensation moved first and wrote the playbook for highly qualified tech professionals to ask for more – whether that be in Seattle, Houston or Raleigh,” said Tom Silver, SVP, North America at Dice. “The increasing popularity of bonuses shows companies are rewarding their top performers. While everyone loves a bonus, anyone who has been through a cycle knows that bonuses both reward and punish. In fast-changing markets, it’s imperative for highly skilled tech professionals to capitalize on their career and compensation options.”

In Silicon Valley, annual tech salaries topped six figures for the first time since the survey began about a decade ago. The highest in the nation, Silicon Valley’s annual salary of $104,195, increased 5 percent year/year. In addition, bonuses are both fatter and more frequent in Silicon Valley – with 38 percent of tech professionals receiving bonuses at an average of $12,450.

While the Valley’s resurgence is well documented, other tech markets did exceptionally well too. In fact, 12 of the top 20 cities for tech jobs had above average wage growth. The largest: Austin, Texas with a 13 percent jump in pay to average $89,419. Portland, Oregon showed an annual wage increase of 12 percent to $82,055; Houston saw 7 percent growth ($89,307); and Washington DC experienced nearly 6 percent growth ($94,317).

Chicago and Seattle each garnered 5 percent increases in average tech salaries, Denver and Dallas/Ft. Worth managed 4 percent growth, while New York, Los Angeles, and Raleigh, North Carolina each increased 3 percent.

While salaries are on the rise among technology professionals, entry-level salaries continue to be pushed downward, according to the survey. The professionals who generally saw their wages increase were those with 11 or more years of experience in their field.

The skills that commanded six-figure salaries and had above average year/year growth are:

ABAP – Advanced Business Application Programming $109,157 (3%)
SOA -Service-Oriented Architecture $108,210 (6%)
ETL – Extract Transform and Load $106,521 (6%)
Weblogic $103,702 (5%)
JDBC-Java Database Connectivity $102,630 (5%)
UML-Unified Modeling Language $102,579 (6%)
JBoss $102,184 (5%)
WebSphere $100,348 (7%)

IT Workers To Get 2.8 Percent Average Pay Bump in 2012

IT workers hoping to improve their standard of living in 2012 will not likely find relief through annual salary raises.

The Computer Economics 2012 IT Salary Report finds that IT organizations are planning to hand out average raises of 2.8 percent this year. Even organizations at the 75th percentile are budgeting for only a 3 percent wage increase for employees. That lags well behind the 3.4 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period through November 2011.

On a positive note, most IT workers will get some measure of increase: even organizations at the 25th percentile are increasing salaries for existing employees by 1.8 percent, which is an improvement over the no-raise policy that prevailed last year in the bottom quartile. Still, typical raises planned for 2012 are somewhat compressed across all quartiles and show little variation by job function or level.

The findings are based on a fourth-quarter survey of more than 130 US-based IT organizations. Although there are modest improvements in the general employment picture, our research indicates hiring by IT organizations across all sectors will remain weak in 2012, especially among large organizations.

If the domestic economy continues to improve, there could be  some upward pressure on wages, however. IT organizations will need to take steps to retain key workers due to the rise in voluntary turnover rates. Voluntary turnover rate for IT organizations, after dropping to nearly 2 percent in 2010, is on track to return to normal levels in 2012. Turnover rose to 4 percent to 2011, and we anticipate it returning to the 5 percent level, which was typical during the period prior to the 2008 recession. As such, IT organizations will face demands for higher pay from some workers.

Higher Salaries Forecast for Some Technical Specialties

According to salary research from Robert Half, demand for positions such as mobile application developers, data warehouse analysts, and user experience (UX) designers is expected to grow in the coming year as companies look to invest in their information technology infrastructure and digital presence.

As companies strive to reach consumers on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, they will need applications developers who can develop for the small screen. Starting salaries for mobile applications developers are projected to increase 9.1 percent to a range of $85,000 to $122,500 in the coming year, according to Robert Half.

Maintaining data has become an increasingly complex task, which is why companies need data warehouse analysts who can collect, analyze, and mine stored data. Anticipated base compensation for these professionals is expected to climb 6.7 percent to between $88,000 and $119,000 in 2012.

For UX designers, the starting pay is expected to rise 6.2 percent to a range of $71,750 to $104,000. Data security analysts can expect base salaries to rise 6 percent to between $89,000 and $121,500, and base salaries for SEO/SEM specialists with three or more years of experience are projected to increase by 6 percent, to a range of $63,750 to $87,500.

Starting salaries for network engineers are expected to rise 5.8 percent to a range of $75,000 to $107,750, and Web developers should see a 5.4 percent increade in compensation, to between $61,250 and $99,250.

Survey: Certifications Can Earn You a Raise

Nearly three-quarters of the 700 network professionals surveyed by Network World and SolarWinds have certifications, and most said they led to promotions, new jobs, or pay raises. Some 40 percent said that certs increased their pay by more than 10 percent.

Half of respondents said that they pursued certifications to get a promotion or to be eligible for a new job, according to the Network World survey. Only 8 percent said that certifications were required by their job, and only 11 percent said that earning a certification led to a salary boost in the job they already had. More than one-quarter invested in a certification to learn the technology.

More than one-third of respondents indicated they had a security-related certificate, with the CompTIA Security+ named the most popular security certificate. Cisco-related certifications remain the most popular and valuable overall, with the challenging CCIE held by 44 percent of those making more than $110,000. Microsoft certs were held by 39 percent overall and the CompTIA Network+ by almost one-quarter. In addition, some 16 percent had additional networking certifications, from a wide variety of vendors such as HP, Brocade and Avaya.

Almost half (44 percent) of respondents had SysAdmin and/or virtualization certifications, with about one-third earning them on Microsoft server technologies and 20 percent having VMware-specific certs too. Among those making less than $110,000, the entry-level CompTIA A+ is by far the most popular. Among those making $110,000 or more, Microsoft and VMware are the top choices. Certs involving open source virtualization technologies, Citrix and Red Hat were the least popular of them all, a scant 2 percent.

Three-quarters of respondents were from the private sector. Their workplaces ranged from SMBs to global enterprises. Most IT professionals agreed that a good reason to get a certification is to prove a baseline of knowledge when the resume runs short.

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