What IT Professionals Really Want: It’s All About the Money

Two weeks ago I put forth the position that the reason IT leaders don’t get what they want from their careers is because they don’t really know what they want. (Read about it here.)

To help prove or disprove my position, I reached out to CIO Insight readers and members of my personal mailing lists and asked them to participate in a survey with one simple question: What do you most want from your professional career? We received 160 responses across a range of IT and business positions.

Respondent Profile



Senior IT Managers


IT Managers


Project Managers


Non-managerial IT professionals 


 Note: total 160 respondents

IT Pros: What We Learned

To make the answers as meaningful as possible, participants were required to choose a first, second and third response from more than 16 choices. (Respondents also had to option to write in a choice of their own-although fewer than two percent chose to do so.)

The goal in providing so many choices with only slight variations between them was to “force” IT pros to reveal the exact nature of what they want most from their careers. No hiding behind broad statements like “career advancement” or “challenging work environment.”

The top three survey choices for all IT respondents, from non-managerial IT pros to CIOs, were:

  1. I want to make more money

  2. I want to be more influential

  3. I want a seat at the table

In absolute terms, 129 of the 160 IT pros who participated in this survey  (over 80 percent) chose one of the above items as either their first, second or third choice.

More significantly, 45 percent of respondents chose “I want to make more money” as their first, second or third choice.

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