The results are in from A List Apart's 2008 Survey for People Who Make Websites. And the findings aren't all too surprising, not only based on the previous survey's results but also just from my own experience working in this field.
For example, I completely expected to discover:
- 83.8% of respondents are male.
- 84.7% of respondents are white.
- 68.6% of respondents say they definitely do not perceive a gender bias in this field. However, there is evidence of some sort of gender bias: 41.0% of women with a Master's degree and 5+ years in the field make less than $60,000 compared to 28.7% of men.
- The overwhelming majority of respondents are confident about their jobs and futures.
- The majority of respondents (19.6%) have 10+ years of experience.
- Job titles are all over the place, with 26% classifying themselves as "other."
- Most everyone knows the basics of markup and CSS, with 88.6% and 85.6% respectively, while the narrower and hugely-important areas of accessibility (46%), information architecture (57%) and usability (61.3%) have comparatively smaller percentages (though not too shabby).
What Does It All Mean?
I, personally, don't get too caught up in statistics. For one, they can be easily misinterpreted and skewed. For another, I don't have the interest or energy to analyze them. That said, though, I do believe it is essential that this data is being compiled. As I mentioned previously, I think these sorts of surveys are invaluable for our relatively new industry.
It is exactly this sort of information that I can turn to when it comes time for my annual review and salary increase request. Executives and HR folks typically know very little about our field. Which isn't surprising considering data has only been gathered for the past two years. So it is up to me to have all the ammunition about job titles, salaries and education at the ready when I need to ask for more money. Or when I'm seeking new employment.
Take at least a few minutes to look at the results for yourself and, if you care to, draw conclusions. And the fine folks from ALA are offering the data for you to do with it what you will. If you are into it, go for it and see if you discover something they didn't.