How happy are tech pros about their careers?
According to new data from Spiceworks, some 70 percent of tech pros are feeling pretty satisfied with their jobs—but 63 percent of them think they’re underpaid. “When looking at the data by generation, it’s evident that millennial IT pros, who are more likely to work in entry-level roles, are more dissatisfied with their compensation than Gen X and baby boomers,” the company wrote in a research note accompanying the data, “which echoes millennial salary complaints from similar studies that aren’t limited to just IT professionals.”
(Spiceworks conducted its survey, which included 2,163 respondents from North America and Europe, in November 2017. It defines ‘Millennials’ as born between 1981 and 1997, ‘Generation X’ as born between 1965 and 1980, and Baby Boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964.)
Millennials are making 30 percent less than their Generation X colleagues, according to the survey data. They’re also making 40 percent less than Baby Boomers, many of whom have reached the earnings peak of their careers. There’s nothing surprising about those percentages: Millennials have been in the workforce for fewer years, and thus haven’t climbed the corporate ladder quite as high as their older peers.
As a group, Millennials face a number of challenges. A McKinsey study from earlier this year, for example, featured employers complaining about a lack of skilled applicants for entry-level job vacancies: “There were gaps in technical skills such as STEM subject degrees but also in soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and punctuality.” A similar study from PayScale found that recent graduates needed to improve their “soft skills,” not to mention their writing proficiency.
Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to count out Millennials, especially as they begin to ascend into management roles. “I think we’ve begun stereotyping the Millennial generation without having any real empirical research that tells us there’s something unique about this particular generation,” Danny Nelms, president of The Work Institute, told Dice earlier this year. “I think all young workers have had challenges related to soft skills. I don’t think Millennials are any different than any predecessor generation.”
Spiceworks found that Millennials are more inclined to jump to new jobs, with 36 percent planning to search out and/or accept a new position in 2018. That’s a bit ahead of Generation X’ers (at 32 percent) and quite a bit more than Baby Boomers (23 percent). What does that suggest? Millennials generally like their jobs, but they’re underpaid—and many are on the lookout for more lucrative opportunities.