Salaries by Specialty In today's IT industry, all signs seem to point to specialization. That shouldn't come as a big surprise: As information technology evolves and grows
more complex, it becomes much more difficult for any one person to master all or even most of its many aspects. Thus, over time, IT has more or less organically partitioned itself into a variety of interconnected
niches. Many of the individuals who occupy job roles in these specialized disciplines are more important to their employers—and better compensated by them, too—than ever before.
It's against this backdrop that CertMag's Salary Survey
ranked salaries by specialization. Many of the top job roles from last year are back, but there have been a few significant changes. Most notably, information security, which placed fourth last year, vaulted to
the top of the heap. Its practitioners reported that they earn nearly $93,000 a year, compared to $78,910 the year before. That's a jump of nearly 15 percent in a single year. (Evidently, all the buzz around
security is much more than just hype.)
Professionals in the former number-one specialty—system design—shouldn't be too upset, though. While their occupation dropped to fifth on this
list, their average annual income grew by more than $2,000. Information storage has held fast in its spot in second place for two straight years, and has seen its salary average swell by almost $6,000. Likewise,
network design has stayed at third through both years, yet seen actual income increase by nearly $5,000. Project management, a rapidly rising area of IT, crept up only two spots on this ranking, but its earnings
power was boosted by almost $8,000.
As for where survey respondents are working, a few predictable IT-centric sectors were near the top. However, those polled were spread out fairly evenly in this regard,
providing a solid cross-section for the study: Only one industry—computer and network consulting—held more than 10 percent of those who participated. Finance, banking and accounting; education; and
government at the local, state and federal levels were among the top non-IT sectors in the survey. The relatively level distribution of these professionals across a broad spectrum of industries demonstrates how
organizations of all kinds rely heavily on IT. It also shows that when it comes to employment opportunities, IT pros have few limitations.
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