Government IT jobs trail in pay but lead in stability and training, study finds

Government IT jobs trail in pay but lead in stability and training, study finds

By Kevin McCaney

GCN Staff

NOV. 16'What do government information technology workers have that their private-sector counterparts do not?

It's not higher pay, although federal IT raises set for January will close the gap somewhat. But government workers do tend to have greater job stability and access to training, according to a recent national survey of technology workers.

The study by, a Minneapolis collaborative resource for more than 640,000 IT professionals, is based on a survey of 4,373 technology workers last month. In compiling the results, it divided private-sector employees into those working for either publicly held or privately held companies. In the public sector, it grouped together workers for local, state and federal governments, and nonprofit organizations.

But almost all of the 649 respondents in the government and nonprofit group appeared to be government workers'and the vast majority of them worked for the federal government, said Cynthia Morgan, vice president of content for, who supervised the survey. A lot of the respondents had .mil e-mail addresses, she said.

The survey found the average pay among respondents to be $54,604. Employees of privately held companies made the most, at an average of $58,049, followed by those working for publicly held companies at $57,434, and those in the public sector at $48,330. Private-sector employees, predictably, also led in categories such as bonuses and the extent of raises they expected, although the survey was taken before the Office of Personnel Management's announcement this month of 7 percent to 33 percent raises for some 33,000 federal IT workers, which will take effect in January.

Ninety-two percent of public-sector employees in the survey said they received employer-paid training, compared with 88 percent at publicly held companies and 83 percent at privately held companies. Respondents in the public sector also reported staying at their jobs longer, 5.73 years to 3.39 years at a public company and 2.8 years at a privately held company.

More results from the survey are available at


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