How to get a job in financial IT

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IT practitioners with the right mindset -- analytical and dogged -- will find themselves welcome in the resurgent financial services industry

It's been a rough few years for people seeking work in the financial services industry. Its growth-by-acquisition strategy over the last decade meant that companies needed fewer new workers, and its contribution to the economic meltdown of a few years ago soured it to a lot of potential employees.

And salaries haven't exactly skyrocketed either. Data from a recent survey by recruiting firm Mercer in conjunction with Gartner shows salaries for several IT positions in financial servicese are on par with -- but no higher than -- those positions for the IT profession as a whole (see table below for details).

Even so, signs indicate that the financial services labor market, including IT jobs, is heating up again. While salaries may be comparable, total compensation (including bonuses) was considerably higher than the national average for three of the four financial IT positions cited in Mercer's survey results. Additionally, Robert Half Technology ranks financial services among the top five fastest-growing industries in six of the nine U.S. regions it tracks.

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