You can find a roadmap to building a Best Place to Work in IT by digging through a new report of the same name from Computerworld. It details many of the tactics companies are using to attract and retain employees. Much if it may be familiar to you if your company listens to your ideas, will train you, lets you work on pet projects, puts on events and offers free food.
BY MELODY MAXTED
Dice.com released its annual Tech Salary Survey on January 22nd. Highlighted among the report were two enlightening, if slightly contradictory, findings. The more positive of these two was a 2% increase in technology salaries in the United States over the course of the last 12 months. Dice’s findings also indicate, however, that technology professionals are growing dissatisfied with the compensation their employers are providing. Let me say that again: Salaries are up, but satisfaction with those same increased salaries is slipping.
There have been a few initiatives launched in central Iowa in recent weeks that call attention to the demand for Information Technology professionals (and other STEM-related professions). One involves a partnership between DMACC and several central Iowa companies; another is the creation of new STEM-related degrees and a building to house related-programs at Drake; and the Technology Association of Iowa is partnering with its members to create an apprenticeship program.
Iowa college students who are interested in pursuing a career in technology can get a look at their potential employer when they sign up for Experience Iowa Technology. It’s a three-year-old program sponsored by the Technology Association of Iowa that our President, Craig Jackman, helps organize.
Here are a couple of graphs we created to compare the hot IT skills and jobs of today versus yesterday (within the last four years). Dice.com released its “Fastest Growing Tech Skills” list which shows the ten most popular skills found in the job board’s postings. Puppet is the number one skill. Most of the jobs referencing that skill are in San Francisco (at the time this post was written, there wee two jobs advertised in the Des Moines-area that call for Puppet experience). As you can see in the graph, Cloud is the only skill listed in the current top 10 that was also in 2011’s most wanted.
One of the best things about being nominated for a Prometheus Award is the opportunity to make a video about your company. That’s what the Technology Association of Iowa ask you to do if you’re a nominee, and they don’t give any guidelines other than don’t go any longer than 30 seconds.
We viewed that as a suggestion. Then we unleashed our acting talent, which you can judge in the video above.
It was fun to put this together and it was great to be included the Prometheus Awards again this year. We’ve been to several and this year’s gathering might be the biggest and best yet. Congrats to TAI and all the winners.
Des Moines was recently named America’s Wealthiest City by the Today Show. We put that to the test in the chart below. When you take the average tech salary in Iowa–$71K–and enter that into a cost of living calculator (at Money.CNN.com), here’s the comparable salary–“how far it will go”–in the top 10 cities on the 2014 Dice.com salary survey.
In early November, I found myself leading a busload of college students on a technology tour of central Iowa. It was part of Experience Iowa Technology, a program created by the Technology Association of Iowa that targets college students studying computer science and MIS-related curriculum.
The tour was a great success. 60 students from Iowa colleges and universities had a chance to peer inside Des Moines’ technology and start up community. It began with a visit to Start-up City on Thursday night for a Tech Brew and Pitch and Grow. On Friday, they toured several central Iowa employers to learn about the IT within each company and meet the people and leaders who drive it. The experience ended with an evening event at Exile Brewing Company.
The mood of the market has lightened since the dark days of 2009. In December of that year, our survey of central Iowa IT professionals showed nearly two-thirds of the market felt their job security was threatened by the existing economic climate. In our most recent survey, 60 percent say the economy is no threat to their job and the majority give a thumbs up to the local IT job market.