Salaries Flat, but Mobile Jobs Grow

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — October 23, 2012

No matter which side of the aisle people sit, most still feel uneasy about the economy and job market. How are things faring when it comes to mobile job economics? The 2012 Mobile Enterprise Salary Survey was conducted mid-year, but reflects the general uncertainty of the climate right now.

The respondents from this year’s survey came from across verticals with the majority (70%) working in government, manufacturing, education, finance, healthcare, retail, hospitality and energy.

Annual revenues provided a good snapshot of the business world, with 37% of respondents representing the largest enterprises of $500 million or more; 22% were from companies of $100 million to $499 million and 41% work in “smaller” businesses of  $100 million or less.

Respondents clearly reflect the mix of the Mobile Enterprise audience and were nearly split, with 55% coming from IT and the rest from business functions. Across IT and business, 17% of respondents hold C-level titles and 50% are management, with the remainder being a mix of sales, operations/admin/finance, sales/marketing, engineering and analysis.

The majority (65%) make financial decisions related to mobile/wireless purchasing, and 25% actively administer, maintain and deploy networks, apps and devices.

Mobility Varies
The hours respondents are working remained steady from last year, but mobility at work is on the rise. There was a 40% drop from last year in people who reported that there was no remote component to their jobs. Forty-two percent now report working mobile at least 2 to 3 days per week and 5% spend their entire week mobile. The survey showed the C-Suite (both business and IT) being the most mobile of all respondents.

Did Anybody Get a Raise?
There was a slight, but noticeable change from the 2011 survey, when 54% said they had received a raise the prior year, compared to 65% of respondents in the 2012 survey.

More dramatic, however, the number of people in the 2011 survey who said that they received a pay cut the prior year dropped by 70% in the 2012 survey. This must mean that things are leveling off at least, and 61% of this year’s respondents said they did expect a raise this year.

Salaries Overall
If no news is good news, then the flat salaries are a positive sign, as things were fairly flat across the board.

The 2012 survey asked respondents to report their salaries for both 2010 and 2011 in order to have an accurate look at year over year. Overall for both years, nothing changed for the 8% making less than $55,000.

Other dollar brackets saw similar stays:

  • $55,000 to $99,000 – 38% in 2010, 37% in 2011
  • $100,000 to $159,999 – 36% in 2010, 37% in 2011
  • $160,000  to $199,999 – 8% in 2010, 7% in 2011
  • Over $200,000 – 10% in 2010, 11% in 2011
Breaking it down by title, the greatest area of change with C-Level (non-IT) functions is in the $160,000 to $199,999 range where 11% fell in 2010 and 0 in 2011. However, those making between $200,000 and $249,999 grew from 11% to 22%, which makes it easy to conclude upward movement at this income level.

Interestingly, the C-Level executives charged with IT (CIO, CTO etc.) make a bit less and a bit more than their business counterparts, as no one at this level from the business C-Suite reported making less than $75,000 or more than $300,000.

C-Level IT stats came in as follows:
  • $70,000 to $74,999 – 11% in 2010 and 0 in 2011
  • $75,000 to $99,999 – 11% in 2010 and  22% in 2011
  • $100 to $159,999  - 33% in 2010 and 2011
  • $160.000 to $229,999 – 33% in 2010 and 2011
  • Over $300,000 – 11% in 2010 and 2011
Things were more volatile, both positively and negatively, at the IT management level, where 5% reported unemployment versus none last year. These roles also saw a:
  • 13% drop in those making $55,000 to $99,999
  • 8% increase in those making $100,000 to $159,999
  • 50% drop in those making $160,000 to $199,999
  • But, a 62% increase in those making over $200,000
Non-IT management salaries are on par with those at the C-level and, again, higher than IT roles, with 4% reporting they made over $300,000 in both years.

That’s where the similarities end. There was a:
  • 12% drop in those making $55,000 to $99,999
  • 7% increase in those making $100,000 to $159,999
  • 70% increase in those making  $160,000 to $199,999
  • But, a 33% drop in those making over $200,000 (but less than $300,000)
The data provides little insight into change at this level as there was a 25% increase in both those reporting income under $50,000 and from $50,000 to $99,999. Yet, 20% said they made over $100,000 in 2010 and that number does not exist for 2011.

The increases in the lower brackets and decrease at the highest level, could mean upward movement, but the shift could also represent a decline  in business roles overall. It’s expected for this to play out the remainder of 2012 and beginning of 2013.

New Mobile Roles
Despite the apparent stagnant growth of compensation, recent jobs research found that the mobility sector may be a bright spot in the labor market. According to the study conducted by Antenna Software, the responses from HR managers at 600 enterprises surveyed for the project found that 74% of U.S. and U.K. businesses currently have mobile positions to fill, with almost 1 in 3 companies bringing on a "mobile strategist," indicating that, as businesses think through the secular impact of mobility, a growing number are assigning ownership for development and execution of business-wide mobile strategies to a specific individual.

The research also revealed that the demand for workers with mobile skill sets will accelerate in the next 12 months, with more than 50% of all companies surveyed recently creating mobile-specific roles.

In particular, 20% are planning to create 1-2 new mobile related roles in the next year, and roughly 5% planning to create as many as 5-10 new mobile roles in the same timeframe.

Hard to Find Workers?
Among those companies with mobile positions to fill, 25% have found it difficult to find the right workers, and of those companies, the vast majority (93%) has indicated it is not due to a lack of applicants, but rather the absence of someone with the right qualities for the job.

In fact, the volume of applicants was actually cited as the key reason that 40% of organizations have been easily filling new mobile roles. These findings point to the importance of clearly defining what skill sets and qualities are most crucial for these new roles as they are created.

Against a backdrop of growing demand for mobile talent is the emergence of a new mobile role – the mobile strategist. Nearly 30% of companies surveyed currently have a mobile strategist, chief mobile officer  or head of mobile that is devoted specifically to mobile strategy and execution across departments.

Continued Growth Predicted
The research shows that the mobile skill sets most in demand are those relating to mobile development and mobile management. More specifically, 20% of businesses are currently recruiting mobile app developers and mobile content creators, while 23% are looking to hire those with mobile device management (MDM) expertise. The uptick in mobile management skills is aligned with the ongoing BYOD trend.

Thomas Murphy, manager of enterprise services at TheLadders, correlates this with future job growth. “With the advances in mobile technology and the increased dependence on cloud computing, companies are embracing more flexible and remote working for their employees. In order to ensure that these arrangements still produce the same level of output, companies are investing in products that enable their employees to remain productive from all mobile devices. As such, more jobs are being created in the area of enterprise mobility, and we expect continual growth of this industry through 2013 and beyond.”


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