2016 SMB Salary Survey Results: Educated and Experienced (Part I)

Analysis

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The 2016 SMB Salary Survey is now complete. I’m excited to share results over the next few weeks. Let’s get started.

Education
As we always knew – we’re educated. The facts are this.
• SMB 2016 four-year degree attainment: 44%
• US Average: 32%
The difference is 31.58 percent or nearly one-third. This isn’t a huge surprise

as we’re in a technical professional field where education isn’t only a tool but the road to greater professional competence and success.

Age
Oh my! The majority of the respondents were 51-58 in age with no one between 18-25. Houston we have a problem! Close behind was the 43-50 age group. Interestingly I’m seeing young people engage in other areas of technology such as coding, a byproduct of Coder DoJo and Hour of Code in our schools. The median age in the US labor force is roughly 42 years old. By the way, our older demographic suggests there will be a wave of consolidations in the near future. More on that in a future column.

Job Title
Here is the best news of all in my opinion. Over 80 percent (actually 81.49%) of us are business owners, a highly desirable group for several reasons. First, you have much more experience and business acumen than you likely acknowledge. You’re not some corporate Dilbert in a cubicle repeats the same tasks daily. You’re much closer to a wild catter solving new problems daily. You’re something of a risk taker, forgoing the gold watch after 30-years of corporate service. Right on! We are real people living in the real world! You can count yourself as someone who has started, own and operated a business – experience you can’t buy.

IT Experience
This is good and bad news and goes right to the heart of start-over challenges. The good news is that you are certainly competent in your profession (16+ years in IT). The bad news, in my humble opinion, is you might be stuck in your ways. My evidence is both quantitative and qualitative: survey results and conversations. My concern is that you are likely riding the server-side down to the bottom and not tapping your business acumen to perhaps provide Marketing 2.0 consulting services (CRM list AttachedApps; marketing automation systems like Marketo). Experience is a double edged sword. You don’t want too little; you don’t want too much. Like porridge, you want it just right. You read it here first!