I've heard it many times before, "Insurance isn't incredibly sexy." And while most people would agree with that, I'm willing to bet that fewer people would agree with the statement, "Technology isn't incredibly sexy." In fact, Google, Apple and Microsoft are the three most sought-after employers in the world, according to LinkedIn's analysis of interactions from its more-than-175 million members.
Employers are recognizing and encouraging the attraction to a career in technology. U.S. tech professionals in a variety of industries earned a greater-than-5-percent increase in average annual wages to $85,619, up from $81,327 in 2011, according to a 2013-2012 tech salary survey from Dice, a technology and engineering career site. And the bank/financial/insurance sector is the second highest paying among 11 industries, offering an average IT salary of $93,599. Aerospace and defense was first, with an average IT salary of $97,622.
The increase in wages comes at a time when the vast majority of tech professionals (64 percent) are confident they could find a favorable new position in 2013 and, not surprisingly, when employers are taking steps to retain and motivate staff with both higher pay and more interesting or challenging assignments, the report says. That's maybe something technology professionals outside the insurance industry aren't seeing. Big data, analytics and mobile are at the top of insurers' IT priority lists, and these insurers need talented people who can help them exploit these "sexy" technologies.
In late June, insurancenetworking.com blogger Joe McKendrick reiterated the need for analytics talent in insurance. He points to a survey — conducted for SAP — that contends predictive analytics is the No. 1 opportunity that big data affords insurers. However, efforts to capitalize on big data are stymied by two obstacles: lack of top-level support and the lack of the right skills to make predictive analytics possible.
And, in Novarica's "2013 Research Council Meeting Report," released early this year, the 30-plus insurance CIO and senior IT executive members of its Insurance Technology Research Council said that in terms of staff development, the most unaddressed skill deficit is easily mobile.
Technology professionals are looking for competitive paychecks and challenges. And, insurers can offer both. The challenge is letting the world know about it.
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