Top tech salaries drop for first time since '85

Top tech salaries drop for first time since '85

Salary levels for the highest level of IT managers in the US and Canada have slipped for the first time since 1985, as they have been adversely affected by the recent economic downturn, according to a new study released Monday.

Chief information officer (CIO) salary levels at large corporations have declined 36 per cent during the past year, while CIO's at medium-sized companies have seen pay levels drop 31 per cent, according to a midyear 2001 study by management consulting firm Janco Associates. The study looked at IT manager compensation levels in the 75 US cities and 28 cities in Canada.

As the economy worsens, mid-sized organisations are hit harder and are cutting costs and staff faster, said M. Victor Janulaitis, chief executive officer of Janco Associates, in a statement. Many larger organisations have imposed hiring freezes as well as stretching out the time period between normal compensation increases, he said.

Reduced corporate earnings have driven the trend to lower total compensation, Janulaitis said. Decreased demand for IT professionals has occurred because of extensive head-count reductions to bolster earnings and avoid company closures, he said.

Janulaitis also noted that the energy crisis in California is having a severe impact on Silicon Valley as more companies are announcing closures, staff cuts and hiring freezes. This could play a future factor in IT manager salary levels, he said.

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