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One-third of IT Pros Plan to Switch Jobs in 2018

One third (32%) of IT professionals in a new survey plan to find a new employer in 2018.

According to Spiceworks’ 2018 IT Career Outlook, 75% of those planning to switch jobs are seeking a better salary, 70% are looking to advance their skills and 39% want to work for a company that makes IT more of a priority.

In terms of the tech skills necessary to be successful next year, 81% of respondents said it’s critical to have cybersecurity expertise. At least 75% of IT professionals also said it’s critical to have expertise in networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user devices, and storage and backup.

However, when asked to rate their expertise in each area, only 19% of IT pros reported having advanced cybersecurity knowledge. When comparing generations, the results show 15% of millennials reported having advanced cybersecurity skills compared to 22% of Gen X and 26% of baby boomers.

The results also show that 7% of IT professionals plan to start working as a consultant, 5% plan to leave the IT industry altogether and 2% plan to retire in 2018. Additionally, 51% of respondents expect a raise from their current employer next year, while one-fifth (21%) also expect a promotion.

About a quarter (24%) of IT professionals aren’t expecting any career changes or a raise next year.

When examining the data by generation, the results show 36% of millennial IT professionals plan to search for or take a new job next year, compared to 32% of Gen X and 23% of baby boomers. In comparison to older generations, the survey shows that millennial IT professionals are more likely to leave their current employer to find a better salary, advance their skills, work for a more talented team and receive better employee perks. Conversely, Gen X IT professionals are more likely to seek a better work-life balance, while baby boomers are more likely to leave their employer due to burnout.

Interestingly, the survey shows 70% of IT professionals are satisfied with their current jobs, but 63% believe they’re underpaid. This rate is even higher among millennials. About 68% of millennial IT professionals feel underpaid, compared to 60% of Gen X and 61% of baby boomers.

Despite feeling underpaid, IT professionals have a positive outlook on the job market next year, leading many to search for new opportunities. In fact, 36% of IT professionals believe the IT job market will improve in 2018, while 51% believe it will stay the same and only 13% believe it will get worse.

In terms of how much IT professionals are paid, the results show millennials are paid a median income of $50,000 per year, while Gen X IT professionals are paid $65,000 and baby boomers are paid $70,000. However, millennial IT professionals have an average of seven years of experience compared to 17 years among Gen X and 25 years among baby boomers.

“Although the majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs, many also believe they should be making more money, and will take the initiative to find an employer who is willing to pay them what they’re worth in 2018,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Many IT professionals are also motivated to change jobs to advance their skills, particularly in cybersecurity. As data breaches and ransomware outbreaks continue to haunt businesses, IT professionals recognize there is high demand for skilled security professionals now, and in the years to come.”

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