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IT workers feeling the pinch
Source: Computerworld

Private-sector IT salaries are an imperfect measure for what’s going on with federal tech employees, but the trends affecting both types of workers are often the same. In case you need third-party confirmation, Computerworld’s 2011 salary survey reports what you probably already know: IT workers are feeling overworked and understaffed in these times of layoffs and pay freezes.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said they have felt increasing pressure to boost productivity, take on new tasks or both. More than half reported being significantly affected by budget cuts and heavier workloads.

At least there was some improvement on the pay side: Total average compensation across all industries, which includes salaries and bonuses, was up 1.4 percent compared to only 0.1 percent the year before.

The survey results also include average total compensation for government workers holding a variety of job titles, and it’s far from bad news. For example, the average total compensation for help desk/tech support specialists in government is $75,245, and it’s $68,850 for a government network administrator, placing them among the top earners compared to their private-sector peers.

The IPv6 brain drain
Source: Network World

Agencies looking for help in meeting deadlines to upgrade to the new IPv6 standard will face stiff competition for that talent. As tech industry players of all stripes ramp up production of IPv6 products and services, demand for employees with relevant skills is high, reports Carolyn Duffy Marsan in Network World.

Companies in nontech industries are also driving up demand as they realize they need to deploy IPv6 on their public-facing websites in the next few months or risk making those sites unavailable to new Internet users and devices that ship with IPv6 addresses.

Marsan spoke with several organizations that are getting calls from headhunters, such as the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Laboratory. The dozen undergraduates who work at the university’s IPv6 testing lab were getting job offers months in advance of graduation, a lab official said.

Marsan said a search of turned up nearly 1,500 job postings that specified IPv6 skills. And a training firm said demand for its IPv6 classes has doubled from last year.

Under a timetable spelled out by Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, agencies must upgrade their public-facing websites and services to support IPv6 by Sept. 30, 2012. They must upgrade internal client applications by September 2014.

Beyond ping pong tables

In the competitive IT job market, employers often pull out all the stops to make their organizations stand out from the crowd. But Alice Hill, managing director of, writes that they are overlooking a valuable and inexpensive benefit: telecommuting.

“Less than 1 percent, or 500, of the total jobs posted on Dice mention telecommuting as an option. Yet, more than one-third of technology professionals said they'd cut their salary by up to 10 percent in exchange for telecommuting full-time. What's remarkable is that even after two years of flattish compensation, technology professionals are willing to sacrifice $7,800 on average to work from home.

“Telecommuting is not a fad based on rising gasoline prices. We asked this same question nearly three years ago and got nearly identical results. Telecommuting is a viable option companies can offer to retain and recruit top talent, while saving compensation costs. Maybe if we called it cloud commuting, CIOs would buy-in.”

With gas prices soaring, would you accept slightly less pay to telecommute full-time?
No way; same work = same pay   36%
Yes, I’d cut my salary by 10% or less   35%
I would take any job, I’m unemployed   20%
I already telecommute   9%

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