Report: IT workers seeing fatter paychecks, fewer bonuses

If you're an IT professional, there's a pretty good chance you're getting fewer bonuses than you used to during the dot-com boom. Instead, that cash is showing up in your compensation package, and it's based on the specific IT skills you bring to the table.

According to a report released by Foote Partners, 51% of the 54,000 IT pros surveyed in the U.S. and Canada are seeing larger paychecks instead of sometimes unpredictable chunks of bonus change thrown their way throughout the year.

Perhaps more significantly, companies are doing a better job of compensating their IT pros based on their specific certified and noncertified IT-related skills, according to the report.

What that means is, a system admin with a Unix or Linux specialization who works on critical customer-facing systems will see more money than an MVS administators with the same system admin title, says David Foote, CEO and chief research officer at Foote Partners. "The beauty of this approach is its flexibility and ease in getting a workers total compensation to true market value, and also recognizing his or her special qualities. That's a big plus when you need to get the right people in place on critical projects," Foote explains.

The approach also boosts moral and retention, he adds.

Foote Partners, based in New Canaan, Conn., also has released its Hot Technical Skills and Certification Pay Index, containing pay rates for 242 IT skills, which is available here.

If you missed it, you also should check out InfoWorld's own 2006 Compensation Survey.

So what do you think? If you're an IT pro: Would you rather see a fatter paycheck each week, or do you find yourself more motivated by the prospect of potentially more money with bonuses? And IT managers: Which approach do you think works best to get the most out of your teams?