IS Staffing & Salary Data Show Positive Trends for 2005

November, 2004

Results from two of our annual studies indicate that large IS staffing cuts are slowing significantly, and IS salaries are showing positive growth after one of the most dismal periods in history. The combined affect of these two trends should help an industry beset with extremely low morale and a lowering recruitment rate. The results were compiled form our 2004/2005 Information Systems Spending & Technology Trends study, as well as our just completed 2005 IS Salaries Report.

Key Technology Disciplines Show Salary Gains
While many IS disciplines received only modest gains in terms of salary increases in 2005, there are a few disciplines that showed noticeable growth. Additionally, our 2005 data shows significantly fewer disciplines reporting declines or flat salaries than in 2003 or 2004. The disciplines that showed the strongest salary growth in 2005 include:

  • Security Technicians
  • IS Staff Specialists (finance, contracts, procurement, risk management, etc.)
  • Programmers (especially those with leading-edge technology experience)
  • System Administrators (especially those with senior, multiplatform experience)

Additionally, those individuals with certification programs in their respective disciplines are commanding the highest salaries. The average salary increase over 2004 in these disciplines ranged as high as 10% in the midwest, to approximately 6% in the south; with the other U.S. regions falling somewhere in the middle of the spread.

Although executive level technology professionals show some noticeable gains in our 2005 report, many Director to mid-level manager positions showed only slight increases over 2004. However, it should be noted that, overall, the compensation level for IS management personnel is still significantly higher than salaries in many other management fields; with director-level IS managers in large corporations receiving a median base salary of well over $100,000 in every region in the country.

IS Staffing On the Rebound As Well
Many technology professionals will also be pleased to hear that almost one-third of all organizations will increase their central IS staffs in 2005. Almost as important, less than one-fifth of all companies reported they will reduce their IS staffing levels in 2005. As Figure 1 indicates this is the first time since 2001, that staffing increases will have outpaced staffing reductions.

IS Staffing Comparison All Organizations

Composite of All Organizations









No change in IS staff






Decrease in IS staff






Increase in IS staff






The 2005 IS Salary Report, with 80 IS positions covering every U.S geographical region, will be available December 15th. The 2004/2005 Information System Spending & Technology Trends study is available right now. Check our website for the latest version of these publications.

November 2004