Channel Partners

FAL 2016

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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COVER STORY money that I would make in one year alone would more than double, and in some cases, triple, what I am making now. Unfortunately, many of these companies only exist for a few years and succumb to financial meltdown." Still, respondent companies could do more to help themselves. Just 31% have access to technical or vendor-specific certification training or reimbursement, and only 12% get tuition reimbursement. Being paid to gain skills is a prized perk — for employees, it equates to being valued, challenged and trusted to be a part of the team for the long haul. Employers who don't invest in new skills are often seen as shortsighted. 56% SEE AN INTERNAL TALENT SHORTAGE IN ONE OR MORE AREAS IMPORTANT TO SERVING CUSTOMERS. �� What is your highest level of education? � High School Graduate Tech/ IT Trade School Some College Associate's Degree Bachelor's Degree Master's Degree/ MBA Doctorate/ Ph.D. 4.1 % 3.7 % 18.7 % 6.2 % 43.6 % 22.4 % 1.2 % BY LYNN HABER If college graduates with STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and math — are in high demand and earning the big bucks, and have been for quite some time, then what's going on in the IT channel? First, let's just note that The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported in their winter 2016 Salary Survey that among STEM undergraduates, demand is hot, and those with engineering degrees earn top dollar, followed by computer science fields, then math and sciences. At first glance, figures on highest level of education attained by respondents looks as expected — 62% of those surveyed have a bachelor's degree or master's/ doctorate, while 31% have an associate's degree or less. It's when we cross-tabbed compensation that the head scratching began, as well as nagging thoughts like, "Please remind me why I'm still paying off big college loans?" Respondents with an associate's degree or less took home the biggest paychecks. Looking at annual compensation in 2015 and expected compensation for 2016, these survey takers reported take-home pay of $140,615 and $146,404, respectively. Compare that to 2015 compensation of $116,116 for bachelor's degree holders and $113,334 for master's/ doctorate degree holders. The 2016 salary expectations for these two latter groups is $107,380 and $113,903, respectively. Those holding bachelor's degrees were the only ones anticipating a smaller paycheck, while those with top degrees are expecting just about no in increase in pay in 2016. About 20% of each education degree category work at companies whose primary revenue generator is telephony provisioning or management. After that, education levels diverge. For example, a respondent with an associate's degree or less was likely to work for a company whose primary revenue generator was help desk telephony and/or IT support, followed by unified communications provisioning and management. A survey respondent with a bachelor's degree could add data center architecture or management to these. Master's/doctorate types are mainly found in companies whose primary revenue generator is public or hybrid cloud computing. Coincidence? Digging deeper into survey data, it appears that holding a higher-level degree could put you in the C-suite: 28% of executive respondents hold master's/doctorate degrees compared with 17% with an associate's degree or less. However, when looking at other high-level job positions, such STREET SMARTS VS. SHEEPSKINS as owner/co-owner, sales staff and middle management, it's a real toss-up as to whether you need that more advanced degree to get ahead. In fact, IT channel professionals with an associate's degree are more likely than their more educated peers to own or co-own an IT channel busi- ness or hold sales staff positions. Twenty-two percent of those with an associate's or less are business owners compared with 17% (bach- elor's) and 16% (master's/doctorate). Among those in sales staff positions, 22% had associate's degrees or less followed by 14% bachelor's and 19% for a master's/doctorate. Ten percent of technical staff positions are held by those with an associate's degree or less. We don't want to diminish the value of completing a bachelor's degree or higher, but this does offer some fo od for thought. 26% LACK DIPLOMAS, AND THEY'RE DOING JUST FINE, THANKS. Data: Channel Partners and 451 Research 18 CHANNEL PARTNERS FALL 2016

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