Why Many Technologists Got a Raise This Year… and How You Can, Too

Some 60 percent of technologists received a raise in the past year, according to the Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report. That’s great news, especially given the economic anxieties felt by a broad cross-section of the workforce—but why did technologists receive raises?

As the report demonstrates, raises stemmed from a variety of causes. A hefty chunk (37 percent) was due to individual performance, while 29 percent was due to “standard” company increases. Another 15 percent of respondents managed to score a raise. Here’s the full chart:

One other thing to note: Some 21 percent managed to score higher pay by moving to another company (10 percent made a lateral move, while 11 percent leapt to a bigger job). During the summer, some 32 percent of technologists questioned as part of Dice’s ongoing Sentiment Survey said they were likely to change employers in the near future. Even a pandemic can’t slow down technologists’ interest in a better deal, especially if that involves higher pay.

If you want a fatter paycheck at your current company, you’ll need to demonstrate the added value that you’ve brought to the organization. Sit down and take an “outsider’s perspective,” evaluating your recent accomplishments with as impartial an eye as possible. What specific examples and data can you provide that show how you’ve saved the company money, boosted its profit line, or positioned it for future growth? 

Once you’ve identified those accomplishments, you’ll need to sit down with your boss for a discussion about them. Make sure to bring your evidence to the meeting (visualizations and data always helps). At these moments, there’s a lot of emphasis on tone—coming off as too aggressive or demanding might put your boss on the defensive and reduce your chances of actually getting what you want. Instead, focus on having a productive discussion, and be willing to listen as much as talk.

If you’re lucky, your boss will prove amenable to your request, and the company will have the budget to make that happen. They might ask you how much of a raise you want, so you should come to your meeting armed with market data—how does your compensation match up against other technologists with the same level of experience and skills? If your accomplishments are sizable, you might be able to get away with asking for far more than the “market rate”—but given the economic climate, and the current strain on many company budgets, you might have to settle with a bit less.

Also, keep in mind that many companies have a hard policy against giving raises outside the usual once-a-year review. If that’s the case, hold onto your evidence and argument until the appropriate time. A positive attitude and long-term outlook will likely get you what you want—but you might need to hold off a few months.