No Jitter Research: 2015 Career & Salary Survey for Enterprise Communications

  • From what tech skills you possess to how much you earn, we take a look at your career in enterprise communications.

  • In the second of a series of No Jitter research projects slated for this year, we wanted to find out more about who you, our fearless readers, are. Toward that end, this spring we conducted a survey aimed at finding out about your jobs and careers.

    In all, 617 IT professionals responded to our survey. For these slides, we culled and analyzed responses from participants identifying themselves as being most focused on communications in its various forms -- voice, video, messaging (with other options being network infrastructure, data center, network security, enterprise mobility, app development, and of course, the "other" catch-all). Responses from this group, we discovered, are fairly reflective of the overall base. Explore our findings now by clicking to Slide 3.

  • No Jitter readers are seasoned IT pros, with two-thirds of the 95 communications-specific respondents signaling they've been in the field for at least 16 years. And, they're loyal, with nearly three-quarters of our communications respondents working at the same company for six or more years. These tenure-related figures trend a little higher than they do for the overall survey base, 57% working in the same field for six or more years and 61% staying at the same company. On the downside, the survey signals some potential stagnation in IT in general and communications in particular, with 43% of respondents overall and 51% of communications specialists noting that they've been in the same position for more than six years.

  • If there's a surprise that "working with technology" tops a list of reasons survey respondents like their jobs, it's that the figure isn't higher. Technologists, after all, surely ought to like -- if not love -- working with technology. As noted above, 31% of communications respondents selected that option as the thing they most like about their jobs (just slightly higher than the 29% of respondents overall). Worth noting is that all respondents placed "opportunity for advancement" at the bottom of the their lists of what they like most about their jobs -- not surprising given the longevity within the same position noted in the previous slide. And, in terms of what folks like least about their jobs, "I'm underpaid" comes out on top for 25% of all respondents.

  • Those of you working in enterprise communications are "jack of all trades" types, with direct experience, training, and/or specialization in a wide variety of technologies. Telecom/communications naturally tops the list among the majority of communications respondents, at 82%, while 44% of all IT professionals have some knowledge in this area. Interestingly, given the prevalence of IP telephony and Web-based communications, not quite half of communications respondents have any direct experience, training, or specialization in IP networking. Then again, only slightly more than half (53%) of respondents overall claimed the same of IP networking. For them, data center management/networking and IT security also hit at about the 50% mark, as second and third behind IP networking. Among our communications respondents, video conferencing (54%) and audio/visual systems (50%) fill those second and third spots, following telecom/communications.

  • Some folks apparently don't like to share any salary data, as our overall response base dropped to 475 (from the initial 617) and for communications to 74 (from 95) for compensation-related questions. Nevertheless, what we learned in asking is that 20% of both groups earn less than $60,000 (base salary plus bonuses/incentive), with the majority -- 80% plus -- falling in the manager or staff ranks. Among communications respondents, slightly more than half (53%) earn between $60,000 and $100,000, while 45% of the overall base do so.

  • IT, as our survey shows, is not immune to the corporate salary squeeze, with roughly two-thirds of overall and communications-specific respondents either receiving annual raises commiserate with cost-of-living increases (3-5%) or not receiving any salary boost whatsoever (cost of living be damned) over the last five years. Only a small fraction of each group (11 and 12%) has received a "substantial" -- 6% or higher -- bump in salary related to performance or additional training and education in this same timeframe. A change in position or employer has netted 17% of all respondents a raise of 6% of higher in the last five years, while 16% of communications respondents say the same.

  • Our communications respondents are divided on whether or not their employers are committed to providing them with career advancement opportunities. While 39% said they felt strongly or very strongly that their employers did so, 27% fell at the other end of the spectrum. Survey results show a similar breakdown among all respondents.

  • Most of our respondents (82% of the communications base, and 75% of the overall base) said they feel formal training/certification is either important or very important for advancement and success in the field. So, if you're in IT and looking to advance your career, you might want to hit the books.

  • IT professionals, at large, are a well-educated group. Close to 60% of our communications respondents have at least a bachelor's degree, with slightly less than a quarter of those having more advanced degrees. These figures are slightly higher among the survey base at large, with 72% of all respondents having at least a bachelor's degree and 37% having advanced degrees.

From what tech skills you possess to how much you earn, we take a look at your career in enterprise communications.