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What Is an IT Pro?

Thanks for helping us create this insider’s view of our industry

Does this person sound like you? Your average annual compensation is $66,200. You're most likely a male about 38 years old, have a college degree, work 52 hours per week, and have about 11 years of IT experience. You probably live in the U.S. and work at a company that employs about 8000 people. Your chief job responsibilities are supporting end users, administering systems and networks, deploying desktop hardware and software, and performing systems analysis. You're generally happy with your job and you're not actively looking for a new position. But, you could be tempted by the right opportunity if it offered challenging work, professional development and training, and (of course) a good compensation package and job security. You have some concerns about outsourcing and offshoring.

The IT professional described here is a composite based on the answers to our extensive Windows IT Pro Industry Survey 2004. This exhaustive 75-item reader questionnaire provided the data underlying the articles in this issue. Our editors performed in-depth analysis of this information to help you see how you compare to your peers. For an overview of the survey's topics and how we conducted the survey, please refer to "Putting a Face on the IT Pro," page 15. To dive deeper into any particular topic, you can read the feature stories and examine the data tables and graphs.

At the heart of the research study and this issue of the magazine is our salary survey. You'll learn the details about how much IT pros earn plus what extra compensation people receive and how salaries vary according to region, years of experience, job title, and many other factors, in the article, "How Does Your Salary Stack Up?," page 21. In addition, you can do a personal evaluation of your salary by visiting our Salary Calculator Tool online at This tool gives you a handy way to compare yourself against people in situations similar to yours, justify a raise, find out whether a different area of the country has higher salaries, or see how your salary reflects your years of experience.

This issue is full of useful—and fun—information that's all about you. This magazine is all about connecting the IT pro community; we think this survey data puts a face on that community. And we're not neglecting the core of technical content this month. You'll also find your favorite columns in this issue.

Bonus Section: The Hall of Fame
I'd be remiss not to highlight the special honor roll we're debuting in this issue: The Windows IT Pro Hall of Fame. On page 66, we reveal the 34 inductees in this year's class.

The list of innovators who have contributed to the development of our industry is a long one, and in this issue, we've only scratched the surface. We surveyed our writers and staff editors and did hours of research to find the pioneers whose innovations spawned the IT industry that you are part of today. We all can experience the excitement and passion of these innovators and share in the pride and satisfaction they must have felt—or continue to feel—in being part of such a dynamic, important industry. Join us in celebrating these people, and be sure to let us know whom you think we need to honor in the future.

An Incredible Response
Most of all, we thank the 2700-plus readers who participated in this online research project. Several of the survey questions were open-ended, and I can't tell you how gratifying it is that you answered in so much detail. Reading through thousands of comments, opinions, and anecdotes was truly enlightening. I'm also awed by the strong affinity you busy IT pros have for this magazine. A huge 60 percent of you said our editors could contact you directly with further questions. Thank you so much for opening yourselves to us.

We hope this issue helps develop community among IT professionals. You're a diverse yet cohesive group that makes daily contributions to the industry. As the survey evolves in future years, we hope to better understand—and help you explore—the trends, cycles, and people that continue to shape and drive our industry.

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