How our 2012 Salary Survey was conducted

The 26th annual Computerworld Salary Survey 2012 was administered via the Internet. Responses from both Computerworld print subscribers and visitors to were included in the survey results.

Starting on Oct. 5, 2011, the following methods were used to invite participants to take the survey:

Visitors to were presented with a pop-up box inviting them to participate in the survey (with a frequency cap of once 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 email newsletters.

Computerworld subscribers employed in IT job functions were sent an email message from 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, duplicate responses from the same email address were removed.

The survey ended Dec. 16, 2011. A total of 4,825 people responded to the survey. Of those respondents, 4,337 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 1.5 percentage points.


Eighty-four percent of the respondents were men, 89% were employed full time, and 46% said a bachelor's degree was their highest level of education. Respondents had an average of 10 years in IT, and their average age was 47.

Fifty-two percent indicated that they had some level of computer certification.

The organizations the respondents work for employ an average total of 9,485 people each and have an average of 992 IT staffers each. The average 2011 revenue of respondents' employers is $3 billion. Thirty-two percent of the respondents work for public companies, while 36% work for private companies, 12% work in government, 10% in education and 10% at nonprofits.

Eighty-four percent of our respondents reported that they held the same job the previous 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 15% of the respondents saying they worked in that field. Twenty percent reported living in the South Atlantic region of the country, and another 17% reported living in the Central region, making those geographic areas the best represented. Three percent said they were employed as contractors or consultants.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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