Tech Job Watch Jun 22 2011

Technology Workers Happy to Quit

By joseph walker

Loyalty may not count for much in the IT world. A new survey finds that 70% of IT managers and executives would leave their job for a new company if offered a pay raise. Over half said they'd jump ship for a promotion or the promise of a future promotion.

While much of the employment market is still in the doldrums, IT hiring is a bright spot. Technologists have more opportunities to move on to higher-paying jobs than many other folks, said Rachel Russell, director of marketing of TEKsystems, the staffing company that helped conduct the survey.

"There's never been a more strategic time for an IT professional now," she said. "There's a disconnect between the value they think they're bringing to the table and how they're being compensated."

The survey was jointly conducted by TEKsystems and Inavero Institute, a research firm. Over 1,000 American and Canadian IT professionals were surveyed, with 55% of responses coming from companies with annual revenue over $1 billion.

Respondents were pessimistic about their upward mobility. Only 12% said their companies excelled at fostering opportunities for internal advancement. Perhaps not surprisingly, almost half said that the dearth of promotion opportunities was the worst part of their jobs.

The rapidly-evolving nature of technology and skills is a challenge for companies in developing career paths for their IT employees, said Russell. "The IT workforce changes in skill set composition every couple of years, so mapping out careers and skill competencies for each level is difficult," she said.

Only 2% of IT respondents said that their employer did a good job of training and developing their IT teams. Yet 36% of respondents said their companies had increased training budgets.

Technologists are inherently curious people who thrive on developing new skills and applying them to their work, Russell said. Many companies hold training sessions as a matter of course, without giving employees the chance to implement what they've learned.

"People love going into training and learning something new," she said. "It's disillusioning when they go back into their job and don't get to use it."

Write to Joseph Walker

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