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2008 Salary Survey methodology

How we compiled Computerworld's annual survey of IT compensation, satisfaction and hiring trends

By Mari Keefe and Ellen Fanning
November 10, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Computerworld's 22nd Annual Salary Survey was administered via the Internet. Responses from both Computerworld print subscribers and visitors to Computerworld.com were included in the survey results.

Starting on May 20, 2008, the following methods were used to invite participants to the survey:

* An invitation was posted on the home page of Computerworld.com.

* Each visitor to Computerworld.com was presented with a pop-up box inviting participation in the survey (with a frequency cap of one per user). Visitors were given the option of bypassing the survey to get to their intended destinations.

* Links to the survey were included in various Computerworld e-mail newsletters.

Computerworld subscribers employed in IT job functions were sent an e-mail message from salarysurvey@computerworld.com inviting them to participate in the survey. For tracking purposes, each participant received a unique address to gain access to the questionnaire. Subscribers could either click on the address to gain access to the questionnaire or enter the address into a Web browser. A survey couldn't be submitted more than once from each unique address.

Cookies were used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups. In addition, any duplicate responses from a single e-mail address were removed.

An ad containing the survey link was included in issues of Computerworld.

The survey ended July 25, 2008. A total of 7,272 individuals responded. Of those respondents, 6,801 were employed full or part time and were eligible to complete the entire survey. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error for this sample size is +/- 1.2 percentage points. Compensation figures for 2007 were calculated based on the percentage change reported by the respondents.

Demographics

Eighty-four percent of our respondents were men, 93% were employed full time, and 46% said a bachelor's degree was their highest level of education. Respondents had an average of 16 years in IT, and their average age was 43. Forty-nine percent indicated that they had some level of computer certification.

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The organizations they work for employ an average of 9,717 total employees and an average of 1,098 IT staffers. The average 2008 revenue of their employers is $2.9 billion. Thirty-eight percent work for public companies, while 37% work for private companies, 10% work in government, 8% at nonprofits and 7% in education.

Eighty-three percent of our respondents reported that they held the same job last year. Forty-three percent indicated that they were in management, and 57% said they held staff or technical positions. The best-represented industry in the sample was IT services, with 16% of respondents saying they worked in that field. Nineteen percent reported living in the South Atlantic region of the country, and another 17% reported living in the North Central region, making those geographic areas the best represented. Three percent said they were employed as contractors or consultants.

Next: IT salaries take tiny leaps.

Read more about IT Careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.



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