Feeling conflicted? You’re not alone.
A survey of 10,700 IT professionals conducted by large outplacement agency Kelly Services found that IT workers are somewhat torn between loyalty and ambition when seeking job opportunities elsewhere, according to the 2012 Kelly Global Workforce Index.
Job-hunting IT professionals, like all job seekers, tend to seek out prospective employers who offer a positive corporate culture and a strong market presence. However, IT workers are also more likely to seek out companies that have a reputation for innovation. Basically, IT pros want to be where the excitement is.
That said, however, even as IT workers say they seek out innovative companies, economic stresses seem to be taking a toll on their motivations.
In 2010, for example, 44 percent of survey respondents said the one factor that makes them feel more committed or engaged with their job was “more interesting and challenging work.” That number dropped to 30 percent this year, while “higher salary and benefits” rose from 18 to 27 percent.
Still, IT employees are happier and more loyal than they were two years ago. According to new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers in the computer and electronics industries stay in their jobs an average of 7.7 years, up from 5.9 years in 2010 and more than the overall national median of 4.6 years.
And while the BLS figures point to greater longevity for workers in the computer and electronics industries, this may not go on for very much longer. According to the Kelly survey, more than six in 10 intend to look for a new job.
Sixty-five percent say they’ll job hunt within the next year, up from 60 percent in 2009. Those with the greatest attrition risks? Middle managers, or 68 percent, and Baby Boomers, 71 percent.
Roughly a third of IT survey respondents think that remaining with their existing employer is the key to their career growth and development. The majority, 55 percent, think it’s more important to change employers. Generation X IT workers, aged from about 30-47-years-old, and those in middle management are significantly more likely to think it’s important to change employers in order to develop their careers.