Home Enterprise Staff Women in IT more educated, but paid less than men: US study

Women in IT more educated, but paid less than men: US study

Women working in IT in the US are, on average, more likely to have a college degree than their male counterparts, but earn 6% less than men in the industry, according to a new study.

The study by Texas-based Spiceworks, a professional network for IT, reveals that 82% of female IT professionals in the US have a college degree (associate’s degree or higher) compared to 69%of males – but median salary data among those working full-time suggests women in IT earn 6% less per year than their male peers.

But, while the gender pay gap in IT is much lower than the US average, according to data on full-time workers from the US Census bureau, women earn 20% less than men across all industries in the United States.

And when it comes to coworker relationships, Spiceworks says the results of its survey show that women in IT feel as though they have better work relationships than men.

In fact, 51% of female IT professionals in the US believe they have strong co-worker relationships compared to 42% of male IT professionals.

But, despite having fairly good relationships with their co-workers, only 14% of IT professionals believe their end users are tech savvy.

According to Spiceworks, however, although they often feel underpaid and stressed, the findings indicate the vast majority of all IT professionals in the US are happy with their jobs, maintain strong working relationships, and plan to continue pursuing a career in IT.

“Although the gender pay gap may be smaller in IT than in other industries, it still exists and needs to be addressed,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks.

“In the era of technology dependence and heightened security breaches, prioritising all tech talent, regardless of gender, is more important than ever. But in order to attract and retain top tech workers, employers must compensate IT professionals based on their skillsets and experience without bias.”

According to Spiceworks, the survey shows that IT salaries in the US market vary greatly based on title and experience, with a majority of IT professionals working full time making less than US$75,000 per year.

In fact, 17% make less than $35,000, 34% make between $35,000 and $49,999, 34% make between $50,000 and $74,999, and 10% make between $75,000 and $99,999.

And only 3% make more than US$100,000.

But, according to the survey, 41% of IT professionals believe they’re not paid fairly.

Spiceworks says that, when examining the data by titles, the results show full-time IT managers have a median annual salary of US$65,000, while network/system administrators have a median salary of US$54,000 and help desk technicians have a median salary of US$40,000.

The survey also shows that network/system administrators in the US  make 35% more per year than help-desk technicians, but they have a median of 10 years of experience, while help desk technicians have a median of four years of experience, and IT managers typically have at least 15 years of experience.

On education, the survey shows that 30% of IT professionals in the US do not have a college degree while 27% have an associate’s degree, 38% have a bachelor’s degree, and 4% have a master’s degree.

And Spiceworks says the data suggests IT professionals in the US with a college degree only earn 4% more per year than IT professionals without one.

The top college majors among IT professionals with a degree include computer and information sciences (71%), business (11%), liberal arts (5%) and engineering (4%).

To access the Spiceworks survey click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).