Can you expect a raise next year?
A new survey reveals that starting salaries for some occupations will get a boost in 2016. It also shows that one profession will rake in bigger bucks than the others - technology.
The executive recruiting firm Robert Half surveyed more than 750 occupations and prospects for raises in 2016.
"For 2016, we are seeing technology the 'clubhouse leader,' at 5.3 percent projected increases in compensation. We see big data engineers, data security analysts, mobile application developers and business system analysts being the 'clubhouse leaders,'" said Robert Half Senior Executive Vice-President Paul McDonald
McDonald said this is especially true when it comes to cyber security professionals. With the troubling rise in hacking, companies are more concerned than ever about data breaches and they are willing to pay more for expert protection. He calls the prospects for better pay among cyber security professionals a "very hot area."
"I would say, the emphasis on cyber security in protecting the data that companies have, that has actually been accumulating over the last number of years, is really becoming a critical skill set and critical focus for most boards of directors," McDonald said.
Finance and accounting professionals are in second place with expected average pay hikes of 4.7 percent next year.
"When you look at finance and accounting, we are seeing compliance directors and anything to do with the sector of compliance being very hot, and staff accounting. He said staff and senior accountants are showing great gains as well.
"If you are contemplating going to university, it is a great career, with great career prospects, not only in 2016, but also beyond," he said.
So does all of this interest and demand for tech experts mean they will be in the driver's seat in 2016 for pay raises, or even moving on elsewhere if they do not get what they want?
"The unemployment rate, broadly, is 5.3 percent. In these sectors in which we cover, we are seeing many of these positions, many of these sectors being at half of that number. Anywhere from 2 to 3, to 3-and-a-half percent of the unemployment figure that is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics," McDonald said.
He also said that "In response to that low unemployment in the hard to find skill sets, employers are looking at retention."
"They know that the demand for skilled talent is very high. They know that the replacement costs are very high, and in some instances to replace individuals, they are paying 10 to 20 percent increases over what the person was paid that left the position," McDonald said.
So the best retention strategy for employers, according to McDonald, is to invest in their current employees.
"Give them the raise. Give them training," he said. "Look at career-mapping strategies. Because it is easier to invest in your current employee, than it is to go out and replace them."