Hess Associates

End of 2014 IT Salary Information

In the first quarter of 2014, Dice (dice.com) released its annual IT salary survey(1).
Several points were of interest:
1. The average IT salaries in the US increased by ~ 3% over the previous year, from $85,619 to   $87,811.
2. 2/3 of people answering had a great deal of confidence in the job market and the possibility of finding a new, more remunerative, better position.
3. More people in the early stage of their career were more likely to receive a salary increase, whereas more experienced technical professionals with  were more likely to obtain a bonus instead.
4. Overall, the increase in salaries across the board over the last 10 years was ~ 30 %.
5. Silicon Valley continues to be the highest paid metropolitan area for technical talent, with an average annual salary and bonus of $108,603  and $12,458 respectively.
Compare this to New York City and Pittsburgh where the averages were $93,900 and $68,100 respectively.
6. Although we did not list salaries for the following, here are the most highly sought after skills(1):
Cloudera, Hadoop, Mongodb, Mapreduce, R, NOSQL, Hive, Cassandra, Pig, HBase, Azure, Openstack, Cloud, Amazon AWS.
7. We compared the salaries for 7 common IT and 5 healthcare IT (Data for healthcare IT only available on Dice) positions ranging from C level to web developer reported on Dice(1)1(US), Payscale(2) (Canadian), ITCareerfinder(3) (US), and ITWorldCanada(4)(Canadian) and found comparable results. Obviously this will vary from city to city and somewhat from country to country (look up individual results).



JOB  /  SOURCE 1 2 3 4
C Level IT Mgmt 133K 50-130 127 133-142
Data Architect 120K 71-120 103 100
Project Mgr 110K 66-106 99 109
MIS Mgr Dept. Head 102K 55-104 100 86
Web Developer Programmer 78K 40-76  81  68-70
 Business Analyst  90K  45-83  85  79
 EMR/EHR  80K  –  –  –
Epic/Cerner  89-92K  –  –  –
HL7/ Labview  97-100K  –  –  –

Paste the following into your browser:

(1) http://marketing.dice.com/pdf/Dice_TechSalarySurvey_2014.pdf

(2) http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Country=Canada/Salary

(3) http://www.itcareerfinder.com/brain-food/it-salaries.html

(4) http://www.itworldcanada.com/salarycalculator


The December 2013 Financial Post Magazine devoted ¾ of its publication to listing and describing the achievements of 2013’s 100 extremely impressive Canadian female executives in the Private, Public, and NFP Sectors in 013. Amongst their ranks were 46 CEOs/Presidents/Founders, 9 C level Sales and Marketing Executives, 7 General Management/C level Operations/Controllers, 12 eVPs/Sr. VPs, 16 Partners/Directors/Managers, 3 high level media women, 3 high ranking military women, and 1 government official – people such as Judy Goldring, eVP and COO, AGF Management Limited, Chair Governing Council, U Toronto, Jane Riddell, COO, Goodlife Fitness, Beth Horowitz, Corporate Director, HSBCBank Canada, Heather Reisman, Founder, Chair, and CEO, Indigo Books and Music, Inc., Nancy Venneman, President, Altitude Aerospace, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District, Leslee Thompson, CEO and President, Kingston General Hospital, Marilyn Dennis, Host, Marilyn Dennis Show, and so on.

Taking up where our July 2013 blog post left off, the Canadian Board Diversity Council found that women accounted for 15.6% of corporate board seats of FP 500 companies in 2013, up from 10.9% in 2001 – a very gradual and infinitesimally slow growth pace.

Similarly, the research firm Catalyst, found that women have head roles in a mere 5.5% of FP 500 corporations. It does seem however that boards are coming under greater scrutiny, partly from the OSC, and will have to address the paucity of female representation.

Interestingly Beth Horowitz (see above), suggests that companies will have to employ search/recruiting firms that look for the best talent, not just the best man – competency and experience, but also potential – a factor often overlooked re women. EOE, is often claimed, but until now, not necessarily observed. Judy Goldring suggested that a strong female networking and mentoring structure within an organization can be extremely effective, for example, the Women’s Alliance Network she founded at AGF.

Metadata Monsters

If a stranger came up to you and asked for your phone number, address, email address, birthday, credit card numbers, SINs, or SSNs, passwords, and similar information on all of your family and friends, you would be horrified, tempted to call the police, and would rush away as quickly as possible.

Yet, I repeat, yet, online, you are quite happy and most likely to provide that information willingly, in return, perhaps, for one chance in 10 million of winning a car,
a trip, a free movie, a free meal, a book, you get the idea.

At least the stranger showed you his face – online there are billions of faceless faces listening and watching and gathering data. Is not the unknown scary? What happened to the monster in the clothes cupboard or under the bed, that we all knew and feared as kids? Perhaps we were right. Prescient even.

Who are these monsters? Let’s see – Twitter, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, ISPs, telecoms, smartphones, PCs, tablets, banks, insurance companies, retailers, food stores, and more, all of which gather and store unimaginable amounts of personal data and associated other information (known as metadata). This data is salable, attractive, in great demand by the NSA, governments, hackers, big business, onliners, and others.

A report in the Washington Post on July 31, 2013 quoted Twitter as saying that “the US government continues to make the most requests for information about the social network’s subscribers”. Why not – it is not illegal. Also, disturbingly, Twitter was actually hacked in February 2013, with hackers gaining access to information on over 250,000 users (Toronto Star, Feb. 2, 2013). Twitter also mentioned at the time that other companies and organizations were similarly attacked, despite all well-intentioned assurances of security.

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner, published “A Primer on Metadata: Separating Fact from Fiction” (http://www. ipc.on.ca). She contends that hiding behind the innocent word ‘metadata’ is the way surveillance programs try to downplay the serious implications of the use of this data for digital profiling and invasion of privacy. Again, there are not really any legal restrictions on all of this – we humans created this magic so quickly that we can barely deal with the implications.

This has also led some to question as to who should govern internet privacy. Michael Geist, Toronto Star, July 27, 2013, has brought forward the worry that an internet which became the web which became a surveillance source, may not be safe in the hands of ICANN (an innocent body set up and governed by the US), and that in fact, countries may want to govern their own internet space. This would be a sad outcome indeed, isolationist, the beloved net no longer able to be called the amazing World Wide Web, taken over by greed and big government.

How to get around some of this? Pay cash, forget about telling everyone on Facebook what you had for dinner, who all your relatives are, what you look like, what your newborn baby looks like, and don’t lose your smartphone! Also, apparently there are so called safe search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Ixquick which promise that they do not collect data (Oskar Garcia, Toronto Star, July 27, 2013).

Some of this, not all, as you may not be able to get around having home and car insurance, paying taxes, buying a car, seeing a doctor, filling prescriptions, owning a phone. One news report showed a high security division of an unnamed country going back to good old Underwoods, Royals, and carbon paper.

And remember that the monster in the cupboard and under the bed is there, and wants your data, and wants to sell it to every other monster.

2013 Toronto HotDocs Expose of the Dangers of the Internet

Generally the birth of the internet is regarded as 1993, when Mosaic, the original web browser, was released. [Of course Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, is best known as the inventor of the world wide web, having made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989, and implementing the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet sometime around mid November 1989].

Since 1993 of course, Mosaic turned into Netscape, other general online search engines were born and devoured, and certainly in North America Google and to a lesser extent Bing (which has incorporated Yahoo) have come to predominate.

Along with this we have seen the dramatic rise of (and in some cases fall of ) a variety of social media sites, including MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and many more.

The HotDocs festival chose to showcase 3 spell-binding perilous internet scenarios –
(1) Downloaded: The rise and fall of the MP3 music peer-to-peer file-sharing site Napster, outlining how, in 1998, Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker (both 18 year old Americans) revolutionized the accessibility of “free” music worldwide, leading to panic amongst musicians and the music industry, creating a no-going-back expectation amongst music fans. Consequences for both Napster and its creators, and the music industry itself, were dire – by the time Napster was shuttered, other file sharing sites had sprung up, and the manner in which music was disseminated or paid for had changed forever. Additionally, the music industry also went after some of the actual users of the service.
Many of the employees of Napster moved to Apple and created iTunes.

(2) The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard, TPB AFK: the rise and fall of the movie
peer-to-peer file sharing site TPB (BitTorrent), again outlines how Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (young Swedes) affected Hollywood the way Napster affected the music industry. In this case, not only was the site under attack by Hollywood, but one of the creators is in jail in Sweden, one is facing ajail term and one is abroad and is being sought by authorities.
In the cases of both Napster and TPB, the creators made it very clear that they did not have the music or movies on their servers, but that they had merely written software allowing people to share with each other if they so chose.

While both of these scenarios lead to much reflection on copyright, copyright laws, and internet freedoms, the third documentary hits closer to home.
(3) Terms and Conditions May Apply: Here we saw how we are all held hostage
by the terms and conditions to which we must agree to use many sites. It was pointed out, and we know this, that almost no-one reads these terms and conditions but we merely (and trustingly) put the little check mark in the little box (of course if we don’t, we can’t gain access to the site). The documentary outlines how Google, Facebook, iTunes, and others, have steadily reduced the privacy protection they offer, to the point where pretty much all information gathered is aggregated into large databases, mined, sold for profit, and most likely could be used to infringe on individual freedoms. It was made clear that GPS equipped cell phones, ubiquitous cameras in big cities such as New York, shopping habits (imagine a scenario where your insurance company knows every ailment you may have based on what you picked up at the nearby pharmacy), the seeing computer eye of the CIA, or the NSA, or any agency in whatever country you live, the advent of Google Glass, all may be leading to the ‘Big Brother’ world, if we sit idly by checking “I agree”. Check out www.tacma.net for further details.

TPB AFK is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTOKXCEwo_8.
Downloaded is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTOKXCEwo_8
TACMA is in the process of being digitized and should be available soon at http://www.tacma.net.

2012 IT Salary Ranges

In late January, 2013, DICE released an inclusive survey of ~ 15,000 US Information Technology specialists.

They looked at salaries based on positions, metro areas, including bonuses, and data on Big Data, and included full time workers and consultants.

The take home messages for employers are:

– it is now a much tighter market as the unemployment rate amongst tech workers is only 3.8%.

– employers are having to pay to recruit or retain talent. The market is now much

more supply driven, as demand outstrips supply.

– to retain talent, companies are handing out bonuses, performance pay increases, or enticing new talent with significantly higher salaries.

– big data workers (professionals analyzing large data streams) can “write their own tickets”.

– demand for H-1B visas for technology workers is so high this year (2013) that visas may be awarded via a lottery

(Bloomberg 3/28/13 Jeanna Smialek).

Some very interesting facts jumped out of this data:

From 2005 to 2011, salaries rose an average of 2.5% per annum.
In 2012, they rose 5.3%. This translates into an increase in the salary of an experienced specialist from $67,800 to $85,619.from 2005 to 2012.
Consultants and contractors are now earning on average $104K and $62 per hour respectively.
Re bonuses –1/3 of tech workers received bonuses – ranging from approximately $7000 for business analysts to $18,000 for upper IT management.
Highest salaries (not surprisingly) reported were in Silicon Valley (6 figures), followed by DC area, San Diego,
Boston, Seattle, with Cleveland being the lowest. Matching this, by region, the Pacific region showed the highest, North Central US the least.

The highest paid tech workers now are those in Big Data (Hadoop, NoSQL, and Mongo DB) – all over $100K, whereas for those working with cloud and virtualization, just under $90,000, and with mobile, about $80,000.
7. Salaries rose according to the level of education and higher education.

Salaries for high tech workers in Canada can be compared by referring to


1 http://marketing.dice.com/pdf/Dice_TechSalarySurvey_2013.pdf

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