Where The Highest Paying IT Jobs Are In 2018

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These and many other fascinating findings are from the 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report. You can download the report here (PDF, 54 pp., opt-in). Global Knowledge has been providing this report for 11 years, and it’s turned into an invaluable resource for helping everyone from recent college graduates to experienced IT professionals in defining their career roadmap. Global Knowledge was founded in 1995 and trains on average more than 300,000 professionals in more than 100 countries every year.  Global Knowledge increased the scope of the study to include Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. 16,200 respondents worldwide completed the survey. Please see pages 52, 53 and 54 for more specifics on the methodology.

Key takeaways from the 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report include the following:

  • IT decision makers in the U.S. are the highest paid globally, averaging a $107,193 salary this year. Canadian IT leaders earn on average $78,788, 26% less than their U.S. counterparts. IT leaders in Latin America on average are the lowest paid, earning $37,974 on average. IT Staff in the U.S. is the highest paid globally as well, earning $77,873. The following graphic compares IT Leader, IT Staff, and total salaries by geographic region.

Source: 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

  • Regional variations in the cost of living explain the wide variation in salary levels globally, as a comparison of 13 regional IT decision-maker salaries indicates. With the average salary for an IT decision-maker in North America being $107,193 versus $15,203 in East Africa, cost of living, pre-existing infrastructure, and proximity to high growth markets all influence average salary levels by region. The study found that Oceania has the highest average salary for IT staff at $86,689 globally and attributes this to the region being a large outsourcing hub. The study defines Oceania as including Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The region has the highest combined average IT salary at $92,016, 8% higher than the North American average of $85,310.

Source: 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

  • The quickest way for U.S.-based IT professionals to gain a double-digit raise between 13% to 19% is to seek out a new employer. The study found that this career strategy works equally well for lateral career moves. The average IT professional in the Silicon Valley stays in a job 24 to 26 months, and at leading cloud-based enterprise software companies, the average tenure drops to 19 months. IT professionals who realize they are the CEOs of their careers and are opportunistic in seeking higher salaries and more senior positions is the new normal. Taking a CEO mindset to managing their careers, the best and highest earning IT professionals are continually increasing their value through certification and training, preparing for the next level in their professional growth. 40% of respondents received a raise for job performance. Taking on additional responsibilities in their existing companies gains on average 11% salary increases, providing the pay increase is negotiated and agreed on as part of the new role. It’s remarkable that 54% of IT decision-makers aren’t approving spending on training according to the study. Of the many IT professionals I know, a company’s commitment and investment in training and education are one of the factors they evaluate job offers on. Investing in certification and education pays dividends far into the future and is a major factor driving retention of valuable IT professionals. The graphic below shows an analysis of who received a raise and how much in 2017.

Source: 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

  • Security expertise is the most valuable IT skill today, paying an average global salary of $81,564. Security expertise is in high demand with 38% of IT decision makers globally say that finding qualified security talent is the most difficult position they are recruiting for today. The average salary for security experts is $34,571 in Latin America, soaring to $100,650 in North America. The average global salary for IT professionals with cloud expertise is $74,064, with the North America average salary being the highest for the region at $110,265. The following table provides insights into how salaries vary by the 11 functional IT areas and four geographic regions of the study.

Source: 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications are the highest paying in North America, earning an average salary of $113,261. Average global salaries are highest for certifications in the areas of business architecture (e.g., TOGAF), paying $87,863 on average globally. The world’s most lucrative certifications include the following: Governance (e.g., CGEIT, COBIT) paying $84,420; Amazon Web Services (AWS) paying $84,108; Knowledge Management (e.g., KCSP, KCSF) paying $82,823; and Security and Privacy (e.g., CISA, CEH, CISSP, CIPM) paying $82,652 on average globally.

Source: 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

  • IT professionals who are in revenue-generating roles with system integrators and Value-Added Resellers (VARs) have the highest average salary globally of $88,004. In North America, average salaries soar to $114,828 those working in system integrator and VAR businesses. Those IT professionals in the aerospace & defense (A&D) industry are averaging an annual salary of $86,646. A&D is the best-paying industry in both EMEA and Asia-Pacific as the table below shows. IT professionals in insurance, real estate, and the legal industry earn slightly less, averaging an annual salary of $84,108 globally. In the pharmaceutical, medical, and biotech industries, IT professionals are earning a global average salary of $80,566.

Source: 2018 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

Louis Columbus is an enterprise software strategist with expertise in analytics, cloud computing, CPQ, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), e-commerce and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

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