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2011 IT salary and careers survey guide

See how IT salaries stack up by title and vertical industry, as well as what your peers expect to make in 2011, in this guide to's CIO Salary and Careers Survey.

The economy is inching slowly out of the Great Recession, with the IT industry -- in terms of IT budgets and IT salaries -- showing signs of an uphill climb of its own.

More on past IT salary survey results

IT salary survey: Half of IT executives expect pay increases in 2010

IT salary survey: More pessimism than optimism in IT outlook for 2010

Tactical decisions outweighed IT strategic planning for CIOs in 2009

Overall, the 920 IT professionals who responded to the most recent annual CIO Salary and Careers Survey expect a salary increase in 2011. And when IT salaries in 2010 are compared to those in 2009, there have been some significant bumps, depending on the position respondents hold and which vertical industry they call home.

As the IT industry moves into 2011, the mood of most of the IT professionals we surveyed is not pessimistic. Broken out, 72% of senior IT executives, 65% of midlevel IT directors and 61% of IT managers rate the mood at their organizations as neutral or optimistic.

All the news from our survey was not positive, however: Only 31% of senior IT executives said their firms are actively hiring. Respondents to this year's survey also made about an average $10,000 less than did the 952 IT professionals who responded to our salary survey taken at the tail end of 2009.

In the following roundup of the results of this year's CIO Salary and Careers Survey, find out how your salary stacks up against that of others in your position; how IT salaries vary by industry; and the size of the raises that senior and midlevel IT executives, IT managers, and IT staff members expect in 2011.

Salary survey: More money, but opportunities for growth a challenge

According to's IT salary survey, 2010 was a better year than 2009 for IT professionals. Compensation and job satisfaction were up, as IT budgets were buoyed by the recovering economy. This year promises to be even better, but factors other than salary -- such as technology trends and the role of the CIO -- could have bigger effects on IT careers in the coming years.

CIO survey: IT salaries in 2010 and how they vary by industry

Last year, when IT budgets dipped, it paid to be a CIO in financial services. The average salary for CIOs and other senior IT executives in the financial services industry rose 15.2% in 2010 to $152,437. That percentage change dwarfed the average 1.7% increase in pay, and outpaced the average $148,380 earned by the same group of IT leaders across all industries in 2010.

IT salary survey reveals mixed levels of satisfaction

At first glance, the most notable fact about our 2010 IT salary survey -- the November CIO Salary and Careers Survey -- is the somewhat narrow gap between the average pay of senior executives and that of midlevel managers and even IT staff. As in, there isn't much of one.

Cloud, virtualization pull more managers into strategic IT planning

As leading technologies creep into their shops, more than half of senior IT executives and their staff had to devote more time to strategic IT planning in 2010 compared with the previous year, according to the CIO Salary and Careers Survey.

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