No April fooling, Computerworld’s 2016 IT Salary Survey of 3,300 IT workers touts an average compensation increase among participants of 3.9 percent this year. And if that doesn’t seem like a whole lot to you, consider that it is the highest year-over-year gain that Computerworld has seen in its annual survey since 2001.

Happy days aren’t here again for absolutely everyone, as 55 percent of the survey respondents said no when asked “Do you feel that your salary is keeping pace with business growth and demands?” That’s why I’d like to concentrate here on Computerworld’s list of the 10 hottest IT fields when it comes to salary, as that’s where the boosts are biggest.

Where the Bucks Are

Here are the top 10 along with their 2016 pay raise, as captured by the Computerworld survey. Note that the survey covers only the United States, but one would expect that, across the globe, one can view these fields as promising:

  1. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) – 5 percentIT-Networking-Salaries.jpg
  2. Cloud computing – 4.8 percent
  3. Security – 4.6 percent
  4. Web design/development – 4.6 percent
  5. Business intelligence/analytics – 4.2 percent
  6. Networking – 4.2 percent
  7. Application development – 4.0 percent
  8. Data center management – 3.9 percent
  9. General IT – 3.9 percent
  10. Help desk/IT support – 3.6 percent


A number of these career arenas are right in our wheelhouse here on the Cisco Learning Network: cloud computing, security, networking, data center management, and help desk/IT support to be sure.

Cloud, Security, Networking All Generating Salary Heat

The high rankings for cloud and security should come as no surprise to those of you in our community. You’ve been hearing about them continually in this blog. Obviously, the boom in companies moving their activities to cloud translates into greater need for folks with cloud experience. And, according a Computerworld wrap-up article this week about its survey, more than a quarter of IT managers polled indicate that security is their motivator for augmenting their staff this year.

As for the category of networking, the survey reveals an average annual salary of $62,000 for network administrators across the United States. At the top of the range, network architects pull down an average of $112,000.

And in what will bring a smile to some people reading this, the Computerworld article includes a comment from Blake Angove, director of technology services at Chicago-based staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network, affirming that individuals with Cisco CCIE “continue to command the highest salaries.”

Data center management is a top salary draw, according to CompTIA senior vice president of research and market intelligence Tim Herbert, because companies migrating to private clouds “need people who can manage the data centers that support those setups.” Likewise, the vendors selling cloud services need talent for managing their data centers too. In addition, new business models such as streaming services demand data center expertise.

Digital business transformation is making organizations more sophisticated in the systems and devices they manage! That’s why we see help desk and IT support cracking Computerworld’s top 10. All that complexity needs tech support.

If I’ve whet your appetite with this, check out the Computerworld article, which will then allow you to explore the 2016 IT Salary Survey itself in more detail. And embedded within the article, be sure to check out a nice five-minute video interview titled “IT Jobs 2016: Your Top 6 Questions Answered,” with IT recruitment firm TEKsystems’ recruiter Dan Scandalito. Scandalito takes a swipe at such questions as “What are the hottest skills right now?” or “How much money should I ask for?” or “What skills do I need to move into an IT leadership role?”

And, don’t forget to take your goals for getting ahead to some exploration of the possibilities inherent in training and certification.



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Gary Pfitzer is a content manager at Learning@Cisco, focused on bringing various aspects of today's IT journey to light through business papers, blogging, customer success stories, and other writing.