In late August and September, No Jitter Research conducted its third-annual career and salary survey of enterprise IT professionals in the No Jitter and Enterprise Connect communities. Our goal with this year's survey, as it was in years past, was to learn about the job responsibilities and salaries of those enterprise IT professionals involved in communications and collaboration. In addition, we hoped to unearth insight on factors driving career choices and trends within the enterprise. Click inside for our findings.
Your Job Responsibilities The 2017 No Jitter Career & Salary Survey, conducted throughout September, drew responses from 702 enterprise IT professionals across a range of disciplines, from application development to security. For purposes of this report, we narrowed the survey's scope to those respondents who indicated their primary job responsibilities relate specifically to communications and collaboration, as well as to enterprise mobility. These are the folks handling on-premises, cloud, or hybrid voice and video communications and messaging services, for the business and within the contact center. They may be guiding the integration of communications into business processes and workflows via the use of application programming interfaces (APIs), and ensuring that employees can stay connected with each other, customers, and partners while outside the office and when using mobile devices. In total, this group accounted for 191, or slightly more than a quarter, of all responses.
Your Areas of Expertise Understanding that current job responsibilities aren't necessarily reflective of an enterprise IT professional's full complement of skills, we asked respondents the question, "In which technology/technologies do you have direct experience, training, and/or specialization?" Among the IT professionals with communications-related primary job roles who responded to this question, nearly three-quarters (72%) named "telecom/communications" -- no surprise there. More surprising, however, is that 45% of those respondents with primary job responsibilities not directly involved in communications also said they have experience, training, or specialization in telecom/communications.
Among our communications-oriented respondents, IP networking and video conferencing round out the top three areas of expertise, as shown above. One-third of these respondents indicated they are knowledgeable in audio/visual systems and datacenter management/networking, while 28% have some experience in mobility and application development. One-quarter of respondents are versed in IT security.
The Skills You Value When asked to consider the importance of nine skills for career advancement, the bulk of respondents (76%) attached the most importance to the ability to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and urgent needs. Other skills at the top of the list, with a narrow margin among them, are the ability to work well with IT/communications colleagues (64%), customer service (64%), and knowledge of specific technologies (63%). More than half of respondents also identified the ability to work well with line-of-business managers and strategic planning as important to their career advancement, while less than half recognized the importance of working with developers, financial and budgeting skills, and finessing vendor relationships. The results are similar when looking at the importance of these nine job skills for respondents' current jobs.
What Technologies You Need to Know For a deeper look at what technologies come into play in the life of an enterprise IT professional, we asked respondents to tell us how important an understanding of 20 technologies was to have in performing their current jobs successfully. Based on technologies receiving the highest rating, IP networking tops the list of importance, with 78% of respondents saying this technology is important or very important, as you can see in above chart. UC, cloud communications, and network security are neck-to-neck for the second through fourth spots, with good ol' email, at No. 5 with 65%, still in the race.
Looking Ahead As businesses at large grapple with how to capitalize on the advantages brought by factors such as big data, digitization, and the ability to place sensors on just about anything, anywhere, we wanted to see how enterprise IT professionals felt about the importance of such trends to their jobs. The jury still seems to be out for artificial intelligence and machine learning, with less than half of respondents (42%) saying an understanding of these technologies are important for their career advancement. Other selections -- digital transformation, integration of communications in business applications, the Internet of Things, and speech interfaces and technologies are more important to respondents in terms of career advancement. For our communications-oriented respondents, understanding how to integrate communications into business applications and workflows is particularly relevant, with nearly 80% identifying this knowledge as important or very important.
Job Likes & Dislikes No definitive answers jumped out when we asked respondents what they most and least like about their current jobs. However, what we did see is that colleagues can definitely work for and against job happiness. "The people I work with" is a common factor across the top three likes (25%) and dislikes (16%). As for other factors, respondents seem to most like their jobs when they're dealing with interesting technology (32%) and have the chance to learn new things (18%). On the flip side, exposure to new technology factored as a dislike for only 7% of respondents, who as a whole gave more weight to inadequate staffing (20%) and lower-than-desired pay (18%) as reasons why they most disliked their jobs.
Career, Job Longevity As we've seen in survey results from previous years , those working in communications-related IT disciplines are seasoned professionals, with 57% having 16 or more years of experience. This percentage, however, is slightly lower than the 63% that came up when looking at IT job longevity for the overall survey base. Similarly, half of communications-oriented respondents have been with the same employer for more than six years, compared to the slightly higher 53% for the overall base.
Growing Your Career As much as communications-oriented respondents favor having opportunities to learn new things (see slide 7) and exhibit loyalty to their current employees (slide 8), they don't perceive their companies to be overly committed to helping them advance their careers. At the same time, approximately 13% more of our respondents consider their employer's commitment to career advancement as strong/very strong (39%) than as not strong/not very strong (26%).
Your Paycheck If you're an enterprise IT professional working with communications technologies, chances are you earn in the range of $60,000 to $149,999. In our survey, 62% of respondents indicated their salaries as such, as shown above.
We also found that more than half of respondents have either received at most a standard cost-of-living annual raise of between 3% and 5% (34% of respondents) or haven't gotten a salary bump at all in the last five years (21%). Meantime, just shy of 40% of respondents reported receiving a substantial salary increase -- 6% or higher -- within the last five years. They attribute these salary jumps to either performance or additional training and education (18%) or a change in position or employer (21%). A small fraction of respondents -- 4% -- said they saw their salaries decline within the last five years due to a change in position or employer.
A Look at Communications Respondents Slightly more than 60% of our communications-oriented respondents hail from companies that have more than 1,000 employees, spread across a wide range of industry sectors. They're a well-educated group, with close to two-thirds having earned a bachelor's or master's degree. The respondent pool is roughly half staff, half manager level or higher.
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A by-the-numbers look at your career in enterprise communications, from your tech skills to how much you earn and beyond