Can't get no satisfaction

When it comes to what you value most, your current job just isn't up to snuff.

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One key finding of this year's survey was the disconnect between what network executives want in their job, and what they actually have.

In Network World's 2005 Salary Survey, 2,430 respondents named the job factors they considered most important to them and then rated their satisfication with each factor at their current job. The areas respondents ranked most important were not the ones with which they felt most satisfied. In fact, of all the most important factors, only one - job security - also earned good satisfaction marks, but not good enough. Job security is No. 1 in importance to respondents, yet lands at No. 5 on the satisfaction list. Other criteria considered highly important, including base salary and overall compensation, fall even further down the satisfaction list (13 and 15, respectively).

Al Antonelli, IT manager at SHI-APD Cryogenics, a manufacturing company in Allentown, Pa., has a theory about the overall dissatisfaction found in the survey.

Joel Hoffman

"Looking back over the last 10 years, it was a lot of fun to work in the industry, especially in the late '90s when everything was technology and the Nasdaq was popping," he says. "The IT department gained new importance within the organization and consequently so did the IT managers and leaders, who finally had a seat at the management table on equal footing with the controllers and CFOs. But with the dot-com bust and the economy, I think that's reverting now. I think the CFOs are asserting themselves, and that has a lot to do with it."

Others say the findings are due to the fact that networking is sometimes an invisible job. "There is an expectation in the business world that the network will be up and running all the time," says Joel Hofman, assistant vice president and senior network engineer at JRI America, the IT group of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, in New York. "And it's only when something breaks that the business remembers there's a network group supporting everything. So there's always this negative connotation floating around the network and I think that leads to a certain amount of dissatisfaction."

Your job criteria
What you want Importance rating*Satisfaction rating*
Job security15
Benefits package29
Overall compensation315
Base salary413
Challenge of work58
Leave (vacation, holidays, etc.)64
Professional development & training716
Access to new technologies810
Family friendliness92
Annual raises1018
Autonomy116
Recognition/appreciation of your work1211
Flexible work schedule131
Advancement potential1417
Proximity to home153
Performance incentives/bonuses1619
Industry177
Tuition reimbursement1814
Opportunity to telecommute1912
Stock options2020
*MEAN RANKS **NETWORK WORLD 2005 SALARY SURVEY; 2, 430 RESPONDENTS

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in