Memo to Tech Professionals: In 2017, Ask For a Raise

Don’t be afraid; 2017 will be a seller’s year for engineers and other technology workers, advises career analytics firm Paysa

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A to do list for 2017 includes "ask for salary rise"
Photo: iStockphoto

At least one-third of tech workers are significantly underpaid. That’s the conclusion of a study by Paysa, a startup that markets tools designed to help software engineers and other technology professionals analyze and compare salaries and benefits. Paysa looked at 5 million resumes of technology professionals and concluded that nearly 2 million of them are currently underpaid by 10 percent or more. For an average software engineer making $112,000, the company indicated, that translates into $11,200 a year of missing income.

It’s probably a good time to ask for a raise, the study results suggest, because 2017 is looking like it will be a seller’s year for software engineers (Paysa’s original niche) and other technology professionals. “In 2017, the shift in power from the employer to the employee will accelerate, tipping the scales in favor of the employee, at least in the technology sector,” Paysa CEO Chris Bolte said in a press release.

The organization suggests that engineering managers might have reason to be worried that their tech workers might up and leave. More than 78 percent of technology and engineering workers the firm studied, Paysa concluded, “have a compelling reason to move to a new company and job within the next six months.” Those compelling reasons? Being underpaid relative to the market, having missed a promotion window, working at a company that is in a relative decline, or having been at the present company for the past two years. (I’d argue that the last factor is a bit of a stretch; there’s a lot of mobility in tech for sure, but is two years at one company really a sign that the bell is tolling for you?)

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Special Report: Top Tech 2021

After months of blood, toil, tears, and sweat, we can all expect a much better year

1 min read
Photo-illustration: Edmon de Haro

Last January in this space we wrote that “technology doesn't really have bad years." But 2020 was like no other year in recent memory: Just about everything suffered, including technology. One shining exception was biotech, with the remarkably rapid development of vaccines capable of stemming the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's roundup of anticipated tech advances includes an examination of the challenges in manufacturing these vaccines. And it describes how certain technologies used widely during the pandemic will likely have far-reaching effects on society, even after the threat subsides. You'll also find accounts of technical developments unrelated to the pandemic that the editors of IEEE Spectrum expect to generate news this year.

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