From the employer side, the extremely competitive market for technical talent has presented a plethora of new challenges. Highly skilled professionals are choosing jobs based on more than just numbers. Now that nearly every company needs tech talent, work environments are highly scrutinized by prospective employees. In Silicon Valley, the Mecca of the American technology scene, companies are finding increasingly creative ways to acquire and retain their talent. Signing bonuses, generous paid vacations, and lavish employee benefits are setting the bar very high in this booming market.
Besides the tangible perks offered to them, many individuals want to feel like their work is making a difference in the world. Companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook are branching out into various experimental fields in an arms race for radical innovation. By giving your employees a deeper sense of accomplishment, you are giving them a reason to continue working for you.
Once you have hired your talent, it is also important to mind the shift in power structure that has occurred in the industry. Nobody, especially a highly coveted candidate, wants to feel unimportant in their workplace. Many talented individuals actually prefer to work in smaller companies to avoid feeling like a small fish in a large pond. The larger-than-life CEO persona who is inaccessible to his subordinates is a thing of the past. Now, employees at large corporations expect more hands-on leadership and an open environment between themselves and their superiors.
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The average salary for technology professionals across the United States was $89,540 in 2014, a two percent increase from the previous year. Tech paychecks have been seeing a gradual increase each year as a result of the growing amount of technology implemented into our economy. More than half of the people in the industry reported wage increases usually due to merit, company-wide increases, or switching employers. This is a testament to the competitive nature of the technical talent market, where companies must give candidates incentive to stay with them. Technical recruiters saw a 19% average salary increase in 2014, which demonstrates how many candidates are actively seeking and finding better opportunities.
This slight jump in average salary was met with a decrease in satisfaction, with 52% of technical professionals reporting that they feel like they should be making more money. The demand for talent is increasing dramatically, and highly skilled individuals are becoming harder to find. This gap has given tech candidates the upper hand in the hiring process and companies are willing to write higher paychecks to secure the talent they need. An astounding 67% of tech professionals claim that they are sure they can find a more lucrative position than the one they are currently in.
Silicon Valley has the highest pay averages for the technology market, followed by Seattle, Washington D.C., Boston, and Sacramento. The West coast has seen more dramatic wage increases, but reports also show that people are less willing to relocate for jobs due to the high demand for technical talent across the board. Employees report being incentivized with raises, more interesting assignments, schedule flexibility, and title promotions by their employers.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) was the highest-grossing tech skill in 2014, followed closely by Cassandra, MapReduce, Cloudera, and HBase. IT management on the upper level (CEO, CIO, VP, and CTO) is the highest paid position in the industry, but Systems Architects, Data Architects, and Project Managers all pull in over 100k on average. Aerospace and defense, finance, professional services, utilities, and computer software are the top 5 industries where technology professionals earn the highest salaries.
The technology job market is extremely favorable to candidates right now. Companies are looking for ways to secure talent and sweeten up the deal for qualified individuals. Having the upper hand in the hiring process allows qualified candidates to choose the job and paycheck that are ideal for them, and it is important to know your worth when you are seeking new opportunities.
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