Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides Show 3.8 Percent Average Starting Salary Increase In Professional Occupations
The just-released 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half show that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8 percent next year. The largest expected gains in salaries among all fields researched are in technology, with an anticipated 5.7 percent overall increase in the average starting salary for newly hired information technology (IT) workers. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5 percent, according to the research.
Following is an overview of findings from the 2015 Salary Guides:
Accounting and Finance
Average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the United States are forecast to rise 3.5 percent next year. Staff accountants, senior financial analysts and business systems analysts are in strong demand, and these professionals can expect to see higher than average salary increases. The regulatory environment is driving hiring for risk, compliance and internal audit professionals.
Overall, base compensation for IT professionals in the United States is expected to increase 5.7 percent in the coming year. Mobile, security and big data will be three drivers for technology hiring in 2015. Mobile applications developers can expect the highest salary increases among all technology roles.
Creative and Marketing
Professionals in creative fields in the United States can expect average starting salary gains of 3.5 percent in 2015. Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers and front-end web developers.
In the legal field, U.S. starting salaries are anticipated to rise 3.0 percent, on average, in the coming year. Law firms are seeking mid- and senior-level lawyers in high-growth practice areas, such as litigation, general business and commercial law, and intellectual property. Paralegals also are in high demand by companies and law firms, and those with specialized skill sets can expect higher starting compensation.
Administrative and Office Support
Overall starting salaries for administrative professionals in the United States are expected to rise 3.4 percent in 2015. Demand for skilled executive and administrative assistants remains strong. There continues to be a need for support staff in healthcare, human resources and customer service.
Security tops CIO worries; IT budgets, turnover on the rise
CIOs are spending more on IT, worrying most about security and privacy, and staying on the job a little longer, according to the latest data from the Society for Information Management (SIM).
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the SIM IT Trends Study, which surveyed 1,002 people (including 451 CIOs) from 717 organizations. Among surveyed companies, the average annual revenue is $5.6 billion and average annual IT budget is $288 million.
The trend for CIOs to focus more on the business and less on pure tech is evident in how their success is measured. According to respondents, the top 10 performance measures for CIOs, ranked from 1-10, are: the value of IT to the business; IT’s contribution to strategy; customer satisfaction; innovative new ideas; availability; projects delivered on time; IT cost controls; productivity improvement; business cost reduction controls; and revenue growth.
SIM also asked how CIOs spend their time, and their answers reinforce a business-focused agenda. According to the study, CIOs spend 41.5% of their time on business activities, including evangelizing IT, addressing the needs of IT and business customers, and managing change; 36.1% of their time on IT activities, including project management, resource allocation, IT governance, and technical research; 18.3% of their time on IT and business strategies; and 4.1% of their time on career activities, in particular managing personal networks.
Meanwhile, turnover is on the rise. The average IT employee turnover rate hit 9% in 2014 – a nine-year high. That’s up from 6.6% in 2013 and 5.2% in 2012. To combat employee turnover, leaders are investing more on training and education. The percentage of IT budget allocated to training and education was 5% in 2014, up from 4.7% in 2013 and a six-year low of 2.9% in 2012.
Ranked from 1-5, organizations’ five largest IT investments are: analytics and business intelligence; data center infrastructure; ERP; application software development; and cloud computing.
Janco Associates conduct a survey of IT Project Manager in large and mid-sized corporations. 178 Project Managers participated in the study. All of the managers had been operating in that role for over one year and several had been project managers for well over five years. They all had at least 5 project team members and the largest project had over 60 IT professionals on it.
The project managers were able to select multiple answers as well as write in their own challenge. Interestingly almost two thirds (63%) said they spent too much time doing things other than tasks associated with the success of the projects. They attributed that to administrative overhead and organizational bureaucracy.
The top 10 challenges they face are:
1. Bureaucracy - admin overhead - 63%
2. Over worked - 53%
3. Under staffed - 51%
4. Changes in specifications - 47%
5. Changes coming too fast - 42%
6. Scalability of applications - 41%
7. Deadlines not agreed on - 39%
8. Staff skills gaps - 34%
9. Technology out of date - 22%
10. Staff turnover - 10%
Worldwide IT Market Showing Tentative Signs of Improvement
According to the newly published International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book (Doc #250222), recent volatility will gradually give way to a more positive outlook for IT spending in the second half of 2014. With the U.S. and other mature economies mostly heading in the right direction and a significant commercial PC refresh cycle already underway, improvements in business confidence are set to drive a moderate infrastructure upgrade cycle over the next 12-18 months, while investments in software and services will continue to accelerate.
Worldwide IT spending is now forecast to increase by 4.5% in 2014 at constant currency, or 4.1% in U.S. dollars. A significant proportion of this growth is still being driven by smartphones – IT spending excluding mobile phones will increase by just 3.1% this year in constant currency (2.8% in U.S. dollars). Aside from smartphones, the strongest growth will come from software, including rapidly expanding markets such as data analytics, data management, and collaborative applications including enterprise social networks. The 3rd platform pillars of Big Data, Social, Mobile and Cloud will continue to drive virtually all of the growth in IT spending, while spending on 2nd platform technologies will remain effectively flat.
Meanwhile, although some emerging markets remain constrained by macroeconomic and geopolitical wild cards, there is now significant pent-up demand for IT investment that will drive stronger growth next year in markets including India, Brazil, and Russia. Pent-up demand has already driven a significant rebound in both consumer and enterprise IT spending in China this year, as confidence stabilizes. While mature economies are still driving the upside in 2014, emerging markets will once again dominate in 2015.
Cold Snap and Wild Cards Impacted IT Spending, But Underlying Demand is Strong
Some IT market segments performed weaker than expected in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), in line with the weather-related slowdown in U.S. output and the impact of wild card events including the conflict in Ukraine. In particular, an overdue enterprise infrastructure refresh cycle was disrupted by short-term declines in business confidence. However, strong underlying demand for this investment cycle will drive improvements in the server, storage, and network infrastructure markets in the coming months.
PC Refresh Stronger than Expected in Mature Economies, Tablet Shipments Weaker
The commercial PC refresh has proven stronger than originally forecast. As a result, IDC now forecasts PC spending will increase by 3.5% in 2014 (the fastest pace since the post-financial crisis rebound of 2010). Western Europe has also seen an improvement in PC shipments, although PC spending in Europe will still be down by 1% due to average price declines. The PC cycle has already driven a market upturn in Japan, where economic growth and upcoming tax increases drove a surge in capital spending in 2013 (PC spending in Japan increased by 6% last year, but will decline by -4.5% this year).
The U.S. tablet market is now forecast to increase by just 2% this year, but will rebound to 7% growth in 2015 as the PC cycle begins to wane. Worldwide tablet spending has slowed from 29% year-over-year growth last year to 8% in 2014, but will accelerate back to double-digit growth next year (10%). Penetration rates in emerging markets such as China will continue to increase, while some enterprise spending will shift back to tablets.
Pent-Up Demand and Mobile Driving Growth in China, With Other Emerging Markets to Follow
The economic slowdown in 2013 had a negative impact on IT spending in China, but this also created a significant swell of pent-up demand that is now driving improvements in technology investment. IT spending growth in China decelerated to 8% last year but is on course for 13% growth in constant currency in 2014.
Excluding mobile phones, IT spending in China will increase by 5% this year (up from growth of just 2%, excluding phones, in 2013). Server spending in China will increase by 7% (compared to 0% in 2013), storage spending by 8% (up from 1.5% in 2013), and software by 9% (up from 7% last year), but overall market growth is still weighed down by the declining PC market.
Other emerging markets are likely to improve over the next 12 months as business confidence stabilizes. IT spending in India will increase by 15% next year, up from 8% in 2014. In Brazil, the market will accelerate from 10% growth this year to 13% next year. In Russia, where the crisis in Ukraine has damaged business and investor confidence since the beginning of the year, the market is set to decline slightly in 2014 before rebounding to 7% growth in 2015.
Mature economies have remained more stable since last year, with market growth often outpacing expectations. The U.S. IT market will increase by 4% this year, and Western Europe will maintain a 2% growth rate overall. Total worldwide IT spending will reach almost $2.1 trillion in 2014. Including telecommunications services, the worldwide ICT market will increase by 4% to $3.7 trillion, with telecom services growth of 4% driven by mobile data services and increasing broadband penetration.
PC Rebound in Mature Regions Stabilizes Market, But Falls Short of Overall Growth in the Second Quarter of 2014
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 74.4 million units in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), a year-on-year decline of -1.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The results reflect the smallest decline in global PC shipments since the second quarter of 2012 when declining shipments of mini notebooks combined with a surge in tablet sales to disrupt the PC market.
Despite the end of Windows XP support in early April, it appears many Windows XP migrations continue to take place. Most major vendors saw solid growth, and early indications also point to desktop shipments being stronger than expected in some areas, signaling continued business buying. The consumer side also appears stronger than expected, with growing activity among the lower-priced models as well as Chromebooks.
On a geographic basis, Europe, the United States, and Canada showed the strongest growth, reflecting more stable conditions. Japan would have joined list but for the dramatic surge last quarter and new taxes that limited second quarter growth. In contrast, emerging regions continue to see declining PC volumes as weaker economies and political issues combine to depress growth.
United States – The U.S. market showed strong 6.9% year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2014. Continuing upgrades of Windows XP systems boosted shipments in commercial portables and desktops, helping the commercial segment. At the same time, retail acceptance of emerging product categories such as Chromebooks and ultraslims helped the consumer segment to stabilize. HP continued to hold the lead and gained 2% market share while four of the top 5 vendors experienced double-digit growth for the quarter. Lenovo and Toshiba took advantage of some consumer interest in Windows 8 and a push to build up their presence in large enterprises.
EMEA – The PC market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) posted positive results in the second quarter, with an ongoing push of shipments in the commercial space driving the growth. Renewals, fueled in part by the end of Windows XP support, weighed positively on the market. Demand in the consumer market also improved and shipment levels continued to stabilize, particularly in Western Europe, while emerging markets remained constrained due to weak demand and political instability.
Japan – Although the market saw a decline compared to the first quarter of 2014, when the end of support for Windows XP combined with an impending sales tax increase drove last-minute purchases, the second quarter still fared better than forecast, pushing growth just into positive territory.
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) – A faster than expected deployment of ELCOT deals in India and activity in the entry-level segment helped markets in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) squeeze ahead of forecasts. However, shipments were still down nearly double digits year-on-year, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of decline for the region.