How Computerworld's 2017 IT Salary Survey was conducted

A look at the methodology used to collect data for Computerworld's 31st annual IT Salary Survey.

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Computerworld's 31st annual IT Salary Survey was administered via the internet. Both Computerworld digital magazine subscribers and visitors to were included in the survey.

Starting on Aug. 24, 2016, 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 and appeared on the web and on social media sites.

Computerworld digital magazine subscribers employed in IT job functions were sent an email message inviting them to participate in the survey. Participants could either click on the address to gain access to the questionnaire or enter the address using a web browser. A survey could not be submitted more than once for each respondent.

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 closed Nov. 19, 2016. A total of 3,281 individuals responded to the survey. Of those respondents, 2,782 were employed full time 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 1.9 percentage points.


Eighty-six percent of the respondents are men, 85% are employed full time, and 46% reported a bachelor's degree as their highest level of education. Respondents have an average of 20 years in IT, and their average age is 48. Fifty-eight percent indicated that they had some level of IT certification.

Eighty-five percent of our respondents reported that they held the same job title as the previous year. Forty-five percent indicated that they were in management, and 55% said they held technical staff positions.

The organizations the respondents work for employ an average total of 7,744 employees each and have an average of 692 IT staffers each. The average 2016 revenue of respondents' employers was $2.8 billion. Some 47% of the respondents work for private companies, while 22% work for public companies, 12% work in government, 10% at nonprofits and 8% in education.

The best-represented industry in the sample was IT services, with 11% of the respondents saying they worked in that field. Some 26% of the respondents reported living in the North Central region of the U.S., 19% said they live in the Southeast, and 18% reported living in the Northeast, making those geographic areas the best represented.

Editorial project manager Mari Keefe oversees the survey and data analysis for Computerworld's annual IT Salary Survey and other editorial research projects.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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