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Thursday, 06 April 2017 01:53

Tech sector salaries on the rise as demand for professionals heats up Featured

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Tech sector salaries on the rise as demand for professionals heats up Image courtesy of jannoon028 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Things are looking up for Australia’s tech professionals, particularly for those starting out in the technology industry, with a new study predicting that starting salaries in 2017 are expected to grow due to the industry growing faster than the IT candidate pool.

According to the 2017 salary guide from Robert Half recruitment, starting salaries for technology professionals in Australia are expected to increase by an average of 2.7%.

Even better, top candidates in several IT functional areas will be able to negotiate above-market salary increases for the year ahead, according to Robert Half.

But, Robert Half cautions that the forecast wage growth for IT workers is optimistic at 2.7%, which is above the overall national average wage growth of 1.9% between December 2015 to December 2016, as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS figures showed the most competitive salary increases are being offered in Melbourne, with an average year-on-year increase of 4.1%, followed by Brisbane at 3.2%, Sydney at 2.2% and Perth at 1.1%.

“The technology market continues to thrive. As the industry becomes more customer-centric, and concern over persistent cyber-security threats increases, demand for specialist IT skillsets is rising,” says David Jones, senior managing director at Robert Half Asia Pacific.

“Because of demand consistently outweighing supply, top IT talent in many functional areas are able to negotiate higher salaries, and sometimes even above-market averages.

“Confidence is returning to the Brisbane region after the resources downturn, which is placing upwards momentum on starting salaries for IT professionals. Demand is also growing for IT professionals in Melbourne and Sydney as companies take a more innovative approach to growth and expansion, placing IT candidates in a good position for salary negotiation."

Jones says that in Perth, demand for technology professionals remains strong “as a consequence of nationwide IT projects and recovery within the mining sector impacting the local economy”.

“Salary growth is moving from a stabilisation into a recovery phase and there is reason to be optimistic as businesses are forecasting growth again in 2017.”

Also on an optimistic note, Robert Half reports that even though starting salaries will remain stable for many IT roles, there are several highly specialised IT roles that can expect an increase in starting salaries in 2017.

The recruitment firm also notes that salary increases are well above the regional average for many IT professionals, particularly in software development and cyber security.

“As Big Data/machine learning, customer-centric technology, and cyber security dominate the IT landscape, top IT candidates — especially those in the development and cyber-security/IT security space — will typically receive multiple job offers, leaving them well-placed to drive their salary negotiations. Employers will be faced with IT specialists leaving the organisation when they are offered a better remuneration package.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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