Every year, Jacob Richman polls the subscribers of his Computer Jobs in Israel (CJI) mailing list about their salaries. The 2007 results were released on March 1st and can be seen in English and in Hebrew on the CJI salary survey archives site.
If you aren't familiar with him – Jacob Richman, arguably the pioneer of Israeli grassroots jobhunting aid and a personal inspiration, has been managing his free semimonthly CJI mailing list of job openings in the local hitech industry since June 1993 and the accompanying CJI website since April 1996. Countless people have found jobs in Israel because of the service he continues to provide to the Israeli jobseekers' community. If you are one of those hitech jobseekers, you should subscribe now if you haven't already.
In and of itself the results of this year's survey are interesting but much more so when compared with the preceding survey. The 2007 results were culled from 865 responses, making this the largest such survey that Jacob has done, with an increased response rate of 3% over the 2006 results. Although the salary information is the crux of the report, most of the 24 questions are used to establish who is the polled population so in reality the survey is actually a kind of over-the-shoulder look at careers in the Israeli hitech industry, telling what you can expect or hope for in terms of work conditions.
Before I get into some analysis, it's important to make a point about the legitimacy of doing so. As always, the style of the report is very hands-off – Jacob gives you the numbers for you to crunch and understand as you wish. This is a reasonable policy; with the number of responses per position on the order of tens, they're too few to be statistically significant. However, the breakdown of the population is very similar across the two years as you'll see, leading me to believe that for the most part the responders took both surveys. This lends more credence to most of the salary numbers because if they evolved, it's more likely due to a change in the market e.g. the responders got raises, as opposed to a different group of people responding from a part of the country where salaries and other costs are higher.
One highlight of the survey that may surprise you (unless you took the survey) is that 92% of those surveyed are satisfied with their current jobs. Living in a democracy tends to make us skeptical of so many people voting the same way. Even if I can believe it, I'd like to have more insight on that question. My experience outside of Israel makes that number seem laughable, and in a departure I'd like to see that question have more answer options in future versions of the survey so that we can get a clearer picture of what people really mean by their reply.
Another change that I'd like to see in the next version is the separation of programmers by experience from the rest of the professions list. If you're a programmer, your response should be tabulated twice – once according to how much experience you have, and once according to the type of programmer you are. Otherwise, just like Jacob gives the lowest salaries to highest salaries, it could be useful to see the salary spread for each position according to years of experience.
I've taken the results from 2006 and 2007 and imported them into a Google spreadsheet for your easy comparison and mine. After doing so, here are some of the things I noticed:
- The average change across the board is about a 3.54% increase. If you ignore the fact that some salaries decreased, the average raise grows to 8.94%.
- Significant decreases occurred for Project Managers, Software Testers, Technical Writers and System Managers. This bucks the trend in the market as reported by CPS in February 2007 (Hebrew), claiming increases across the board of 5%-25% but that site mentions nothing about the methods used in the survey or even the population size. I'm not too surprised by these decreases – as more and more companies rely on major open-source software packages that are well-tested and well-documented, they no longer need exert as much effort on those tasks. I can believe that DBA salaries have barely budged for similar reasons.
- Double-digit increases occurred for Experienced Programmers, System Programmers, Web Programmers, Researchers and Marketing Managers. Not much surprise here, since when hitech is booming these kinds of people will be critical to almost any company. Experience usually means more efficient/productive, System & Web people build the product, Researchers innovate and keep your company ahead of the competition, and Marketers are needed to sell, sell, sell.
Some related links-
- A Hebrew article about the state of Israeli hitech industry, including a nice 5-year salary comparison chart for certain key positions. However the last two years are 2003 & 2006, a recession year and a growth year, so it should be no surprise that the increases were around 25%.
- Check Compare: The People's Salary Survey – a mostly-Hebrew site for Israelis to publish anonymously what they earn. Similar to the CJI salary survey, people post information about their work and each entry is dated.
Thank you again, Jacob Richman, for once more taking the pulse of Israel's burgeoning hitech market.
What about you? How does your experience compare with the recent published results? Tell us in the comments.