IT pay prospects climb to four-year high

Pay prospects for IT workers are at their highest levels since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, as the majority of directors expect their IT department to raise salaries and rates over the next 12 months.

Releasing its annual survey of IT directors, ReThink Recruitment positioned pay prospects at a four-year high, having found that 59% of IT departments see pay increases as incoming within the next year.

Over the last 12 months, when 54% of the directors notched IT wages upwards, salaries for IT staff jumped 4.3%, compared with a rise of just 2.3% for general workers (as measured by the ONS).

The anticipated pay rises for IT staff should, then, outstrip those handed to the average UK worker although, like the general workforce, “runaway inflation” is likely to keep eroding actual take-home pay.

“Salaries for many IT staff have actually fallen in real terms over the last year,” added Rethink’s Michael Bennett, pointing to a dip of £360 based on RPI inflation at 5.2%.

“However when compared with the average UK worker, IT staff salaries are still ahead of the game,” and “we have not any seen any major rate reductions in our clients in the first quarter.”

On the contrary within financial services and retail, IT wages have “rocketed.” Facing the latter, ‘mCommerce’ specialists command premiums of up to 20% against traditional e-commerce expertise, while insurers are continuing IT investment ahead of a compliance deadline next year.

“Insurers have to provide regulators with their Solvency II implementation plans by the middle of 2013 and many will have to invest heavily in IT systems,” Rethink explained.

“A shortage of candidates with Solvency II modelling skills has meant that pay has rocked over the last few years. Senior specialists are typically earning in excess of £150,000, or £1,000 per day, and pay packages are showing no signs of falling.”

May 15, 2012