IT salaries: The numbers are up -- way up

By Mary Brandel, Computer World |  Career

Kozik attributes high retention rates to Tellabs' success in its market and the growth opportunities it affords.

"We have a lot of cool things going on," she says. "We're coming up to speed quickly in e-business, so we're using the latest technologies, and we just finished an upgrade to SAP 4.6, so there's an opportunity to stay ahead of the technology curve."

Tellabs also runs a program called Dreamquest, in which supervisors work with employees on career programs. "The whole focus is to say, 'Where do you want to go, and what are the competencies to get you there?' " Kozik says.

Analyzing job offers is only going to get more difficult, especially with the shakeout that occurred this year for dot-com firms, Franklin says. "They don't have the drawing power with stock options they used to have, but they can't offer bonuses based on earnings because they don't have earnings in their early plans," he says. New models will likely emerge among start-ups, such as offering options redeemable in stock if the company goes public, and if it doesn't, options for another company's tradable stock.

But one thing is certain: Salaries and bonuses will continue their healthy increases throughout this year and well into the next, as companies remain willing to pay top dollar for true talent.

"The right person for the job can be more effective than three unsuitable candidates," Joung says. "So even though salaries may be high, there is still a better return to pay one very productive individual than multiple poorly performing workers."

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