Salaries Up for IT Security Managers, Systems Analysts, Says Mondo

6/10/13Follow @jpruth

Anxious to put technology to work reaching audiences, marketers helped shoot adrenaline into IT workers’ salaries, according to a recent study.

Technology recruiting firm Mondo in New York last week released findings of a survey based on IT job placements the company made in 2012 and 2013.

Among the professionals surveyed, experienced IT security managers with more than 10 years in the field saw their average base compensation jump from $90,000 to $145,000. Meanwhile the average base pay for systems analysts rose from $65,000 to $83,000, the report said.

Michael Kirven, CEO of Mondo, says gains in the overall economy have been even more pronounced in the technology market. “That’s driving up salaries,” he says.

Mondo, which has offices in San Francisco, Boston, Denver, Chicago, and other cities, places technology and marketing professionals with other companies. The company, which spun off in April from Bluewolf, a business consulting firm in New York, based the report on more than 1,000 IT job placements it made over the past year.

Other technology jobs enjoying bumps in pay according the report include data analysts, up from $60,000 to $71,000. Chief information officers’ base salaries increased from $180,000 to $190,000. Developers who create on apps to work with the Android platform saw their base salaries from $120,000 to $130,000.

Kirven says the responsibilities of chief information officers increasingly converge with the duties of chief marketing officers at many companies. Traditional marketing efforts, he says, focused until about five years ago on print ads, radio, and television to get messages out. “None of that really required a sophisticated technology infrastructure,” he says.

These days chief marketing officers look to blogs, search engine optimization, and e-mail campaigns to connect with their audiences. For the first time, he says, marketing must coincide with technology—which requires support from chief information officers.

This demand, Kirven says, sometimes leads to the formation of teams within companies that combine technical talent with marketing professionals. Advertising firms, for example, might bring talent in-house to work on Web development, user experience, digital creative, and big data. “On the backend that data may come from 50 to 500 different databases,” he says. “You need a very skilled technical staff to analyze, integrate, and aggregate all of that data.”

Even rookies—with the right skills—in the technology job market may see fast salary growth, he says. “We see people come in with one year of experience with marketing technology that doesn’t have a large professional pool get 30 to 40 percent premiums over what they might have been worth a few years ago,” he says.

The same may hold true, Kirven says, for IT professionals with deep experience working with SAP, Oracle, and other legacy enterprise resource planning systems. “People have invested in some cases up $500 million into these architectures and they’re not about to abandon them any time soon,” he says.

Demand, Kirven says, seems to exceed the supply of technology professionals in the United States. He says this IT talent gap may continue to grow across country even as universities race to produce computer science talent to address the rising number of tech job openings. “Every year we are getting ourselves deeper and deeper in this hole,” he says. Kirven does not see that trend changing unless massive reforms are adopted on H-1B immigration laws or there is a large-scale economic downturn that trims down job vacancies.

Hiring levels in certain tech hubs continue to hold steady, he says, while other cities are blooming with new activity. San Francisco remains a highly competitive place for technology talent. “New York is second to that because there’s so much industry here and you’re always competing for resources against Wall Street,” Kirven says.

When it comes to hiring tech talent though, he says, the deep pockets of the financial sector must also contend with the little guys who are backed by funding. Kirven says nowadays venture-backed startup equity is flowing into such cities as Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, and Austin. “We’re seeing some of biggest [placement] activity in our Denver office,” he says.

Companies are relocating large data centers to cities such as Denver, Kirven says, because of the lower costs there combined with a higher quality of life. Venture capitalists are also looking to invest in cities where they can vie for resources, he says, away from the fierce competition in San Francisco and New York.

“If you look at the Boulder-Denver tech center, it didn’t exist seven years ago,” he says. “Now it’s a market unto itself and probably the fifth in the country when you look at venture-backed startup money.” As technology gets less expensive and easier to deploy in new markets, Kirven says, it also lowers the barrier to entry for startups to surface in other cities.

While all that adds up to skyrocketing salaries for many IT worker, some did not did not see big jumps, Kirven says. The compensation for people working with older programming languages such as Java rose, he says, but not as rapidly in the past. “Many companies are not building large custom Java applications the way they were ten years ago,” he says.

As new generations of IT staff looks to other programming languages, though, he believes tech pros already versed in Java will continue to see demand. “If you’re Goldman Sachs and you have a large Java application within your IT department, that’s not going away for 20 years” he says.

Looking to the future, Mondo expects salaries for HTML5 developers to rise in 2014 from $97,000 to $135,000 because of ongoing needs from marketing departments. “A lot of them are building their own internal staffs to deliver creative [content] to the market,” he says. Kirven also believes talent versed in user experience development will be aggressively sought after as well. “You can’t find enough people who do user experience,” he says.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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