Spiceworks, the professional network for IT, today announced the results of a new survey exploring the IT job outlook for 2018, including IT professionals’ satisfaction levels at work, their career plans for next year, and the skills they believe are necessary to succeed. The 2018 IT Career Outlook found that 32 percent of IT professionals plan to search for or take an IT job with a new employer in the next 12 months. Among IT professionals planning to switch jobs, 75 percent are seeking a better salary, 70 percent are looking to advance their skills, and 39 percent want to work for a company that makes IT more of a priority.
In addition to the nearly one-third of IT professionals who plan to find a new employer in 2018, the results show 7 percent of IT professionals plan to start working as a consultant, 5 percent plan to leave the IT industry altogether, and 2 percent plan to retire in 2018. Additionally, 51 percent of IT professionals expect a raise from their current employer next year while 21 percent also expect a promotion. Twenty-four percent of IT professionals aren’t expecting any career changes or a raise next year.
IT career moves: Millennial IT professionals more likely to seek a new employer in 2018
When examining the data by generation, the results show 36 percent of millennial IT professionals plan to search for or take a new job next year compared to 32 percent of Gen X and 23 percent of baby boomers. In comparison to older generations, the survey shows millennial IT professionals are more likely to leave their current employer to find a better salary, advance their skills, work for a more talented team, and receive better employee perks. Conversely, Gen X IT professionals are more likely to seek a better work-life balance while baby boomers are more likely to leave their employer due to burnout.
IT professionals report high job satisfaction, despite feeling underpaid
In general, the survey shows 70 percent of IT professionals are satisfied with their current jobs, but 63 percent believe they’re underpaid. This rate is even higher among millennials. Sixty-eight percent of millennial IT professionals feel underpaid, compared to 60 percent of Gen X and 61 percent of baby boomers.
In terms of how much IT professionals are paid, the results show millennials are paid a median income of $50,000 per year, while Gen X IT professionals are paid $65,000 and baby boomers are paid $70,000. However, millennial IT professionals have an average of 7 years of experience compared to 17 years among Gen X and 25 years among baby boomers.
Despite feeling underpaid, IT professionals have a positive outlook on the job market next year, leading many to search for new opportunities. In fact, 36 percent of IT professionals believe the IT job market will improve in 2018, while 51 percent believe it will stay the same and only 13 percent believe it will get worse.
Critical IT skills: Less than one in five IT professionals are advanced in cybersecurity
In terms of the tech skills necessary to be successful next year, 81 percent of IT professionals said it’s critical to have cybersecurity expertise. At least 75 percent of IT professionals also said it’s critical to have expertise in networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user devices, and storage and backup.
However, when asked to rate their expertise in each area, only 19 percent of IT pros reported having advanced cybersecurity knowledge. When comparing generations, the results show 15 percent of millennials reported having advanced cybersecurity skills compared to 22 percent of Gen X and 26 percent of baby boomers.
Among other critical IT skills, 41 percent of IT professionals believe they have advanced networking skills, 50 percent said they have advanced knowledge of infrastructure hardware, and 79 percent said they’re advanced in supporting and troubleshooting end user devices, such as laptops, desktops, and tablets.
“Although the majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs, many also believe they should be making more money, and will take the initiative to find an employer who is willing to pay them what they’re worth in 2018,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Many IT professionals are also motivated to change jobs to advance their skills, particularly in cybersecurity. As data breaches and ransomware outbreaks continue to haunt businesses, IT professionals recognize there is high demand for skilled security professionals now, and in the years to come.”