Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day, and things are looking a little brighter for system admins than they were a year ago. Wage prospects for technical workers are up -- although only slightly.
"In our last index for the beginning of the year, we saw modest gains in the wage rates for technical employees across the board," says Joel Capperella, senior vice president of client solutions at Yoh. "Cautious optimism is the prevailing feeling, and that's not necessarily something that has changed in the last two or three quarters."
On the bright side, fewer IT pros appear to be taking lower-wage jobs out of desperation.
"We saw a wage capitulation last year where a lot of weary unemployed [technical workers] were taking opportunities at lower wages simply to get back into the workforce," Capperella says. "I think that has ebbed a little bit. Not dramatically, but there has definitely been positive improvement."
Yoh is seeing more opportunities for technical workers in the 28-35 age range to switch jobs and capitalize on their skill sets. (See also: Want a new IT job? Now's your chance) This same group of employees is also more open to the idea of seeking temporary work. In recent years, many entry- and mid-level technical workers have been to loath to leave an existing job for something potentially less secure.
"There's a little bit more willingness for that group to listen to a proposition to pick a 6- to 12-month project job at an organization that they respect in the hopes that it will help them build a new skill set, at a pretty good hourly rate, and gain permanent employment," Capparella says. "That wasn't true this time last year."