Competition for technical talent is on the rise and so are salaries.
Companies in hiring mode say there's a shortage of tech talent, and IT pros are upping their expectations for pay and benefits. Overall, the jobs outlook is positive for IT pros as the new year gets underway.
When asked about hiring plans for the next six months, 19% of CIOs said they plan to expand their teams in the first half of 2015, according to Robert Half Technology (RHT). That's a sizable gain compared to mid-2014, when 14% were planning to add more staff to their departments. (Another 68% of CIOs expect to hire only for open IT roles, 10% plan to put a hold on hiring, and 3% expect to reduce their IT staffing levels in the first six months of the new year.)
On the salary front, IT workers can expect bigger pay bumps than many other professionals are getting. Across all fields, U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8% in 2015, Robert Half predicts. The largest expected gains are in tech where the average starting salary for newly hired IT workers is forecast to climb 5.7%.
Within IT, certain titles will be getting the biggest salary hikes, according to the recruiting and staffing specialist's 2015 Salary Guide. At the top of the heap, based on percentage gains, are mobile application developers and big data engineers, who can expect a 10.2% and 9.3% increase in starting salaries, respectively, RHT reports. (Only base salaries are calculated; totals don't include bonuses, perks or other compensation elements.)
The 15 positions expected to see the largest salary gains, percentage-wise, between 2014 and 2015 are:
1. Mobile applications developer2014 salary range: $100,000-$144,0002015 salary range: $107,500-$161,500Net: 10.2% increase
2. Big data engineer2014 salary range: $110,250-$152,7502015 salary range: $119,250-$168,250Net: 9.3% increase
3. Wireless network engineer2014 salary range: $91,500-$125,2502015 salary range: $99,000-$137,500Net: 9.1% increase
4. Business intelligence analyst2014 salary range: $101,250-$142,2502015 salary range: $108,500-$153,000Net: 7.4% increase
5. Data security analyst2014 salary range: $100,500-$137,2502015 salary range: $106,250-$149,000Net: 7.4% increase
6. Data architect2014 salary range: $111,750-$153,7502015 salary range: $119,750-$164,750Net: 7.2% increase
7. Lead applications developer2014 salary range: $99,750-$137,7502015 salary range: $106,250-$148,250Net: 7.2% increase
8. Database developer2014 salary range: $92,000-$134,5002015 salary range: $98,000-$144,750Net: 7.2% increase
9. Software engineer2014 salary range: $89,750-$137,2502015 salary range: $96,000-$147,250Net: 7.2% increase
10. Chief security officer2014 salary range: $126,750-$189,7502015 salary range: $134,250-$204,750Net: 7.1% increase
11. Software developer2014 salary range: $80,250-$127,2502015 salary range: $85,500-$136,250Net: 6.9% increase
12. Senior web developer2014 salary range: $97,750-$135,2502015 salary range: $104,500-$144,250Net: 6.8% increase
13. Network security engineer2014 salary range: $99,750-$131,2502015 salary range: $105,000-$141,500Net: 6.7% increase
14. Data modeler2014 salary range: $97,250-$134,2502015 salary range: $101,750-$145,250Net: 6.7% increase
15. Information systems security manager2014 salary range: $115,250-$160,0002015 salary range: $122,250-$171,250Net: 6.6% increase