Main image of article Are Technologists Satisfied with Their Careers? It Depends...

Are technologists satisfied with their careers? According to the 2020 edition of the Dice Salary Report, the answer for many to that satisfaction question seems to be “yes”—with some important caveats. As you might expect, satisfaction hinges on factors such as compensation, and both managers and teams have substantial influence.   

First, the top line: Nearly half of respondents said they were satisfied (or very satisfied) with their current or most recent job, and around 49 percent were satisfied with their compensation. 

As you might expect, there is a strong link between satisfaction and compensation (as well as other factors). For example, a technologist satisfied with their current job had an average salary of $102,478, while the average salary of a dissatisfied technologist was $82,470—more than a $20,000 difference. (The Salary Report found that the “average” salary among technologists hit $94,000 in 2019, a 1.3 percent increase from the year before; but for individuals, that number can vary wildly depending on their location and skillset.)

Technologists are also generally content with their teams: more than 62 percent of respondents said that they’re either satisfied or very satisfied in that regard. Some 57 percent of respondents stated they’re either satisfied or very satisfied with their managers. 

Satisfaction and Burnout

Of those expressing dissatisfaction with their manager, 20 percent cited the need for more recognition, while 19 percent said knowing their opinion matters were factors that could contribute to greater happiness at work. This suggests that, while managers generally have the approval of their direct reports, the remaining 22 percent should adjust their management style (and communicate more) in order to retain their employees. (There’s also an echo of the Salary Report’s burnout findings: Although workload was a major factor in employees burning out, lack of recognition and friction with a boss were also sizable influences.)

Managers who don’t improve in the upcoming year put themselves at risk of losing team members. In fact, while only 27 percent of technologists who are satisfied with their manager plan to change employers in the upcoming year, 61 percent of those who are dissatisfied with their manager plan to jump to a new job.

In a market with low unemployment and a generally satisfied tech workforce, employers can’t afford this risk... and unhappy technologists may finally seize the opportunity to jump to something new. The technology industry’s notably low unemployment rate means that, for those with the right mix of experience and in-demand skills, the jobs are out there.