IT salary increases are at the highest rate in three years and the rate of redundancies is lower than in other...
sectors, according to research from salary survey firm Celre.
Analysts say this is driven by the fact that in contrast to other sectors, companies are finding it difficult to recruit and retain IT staff with the skills they need.
The biggest needs are for people with project management skills and a combination of business and IT skills, and this is reflected in the Celre Computer Staff Salary Survey.
BCS Chartered IT Professionals (CITP) are the top earners with an average salary of £54,080, indicating that companies are paying top price for business and IT experience.
Adam Thilthorp, BCS professionalism in IT programme manager, said CITP represents people who are skilled in technology and also understand the business application of that technology.
Michael Bennett, director at ReThink Recruitment, said CITP candidates are typically people with wide experience and who are in senior positions that command high salaries, but it was not typically a pre-requite set by employers.
The highest demand, said Bennett, was for Prince2 project management certification, which came in as the second most highly paid skill set with an average salary of £48,000.
"Project management is the biggest demand area because of the perceived failure of IT to deliver projects," he said.
According to Bennett, the premium for Prince2 was higher that that for IT infrastructure library certification because of lower supply.
Alex Lawson of IT recruitment firm CV Screen said that Prince2 could also be applied to a wider variety of projects throughout organisations, not just help desks and other IT services.
ITIL came in only fourth on the earnings ladder with an average salary for practitioners of £40,000, behind the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE) qualification at £41,259.
Bennett said companies were still willing to pay higher salaries for more technical qualifications such as MCSE, which remained in demand because of the continued dominance by Microsoft of applications in the business world.
The Celrey survey found the top earners were IT directors with an average salary of £114,412 followed by IT managers (£92,717) and IT function heads (£78,040).
All of these are above lower level IT salaries, which ranged from £28,000 to £36,000.
This gap was identified in a survey by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) and on CV service iProfile, which was published in May.
That survey found that salaries for entry-level IT jobs have declined in the past five years, while salaries for IT professionals in management roles have continued to beat inflation.
ATSCo said the gap was a result of companies outsourcing technical support to countries with lower staff costs. This had widened because of the increased demand for skilled UK professionals to manage the increasing number of IT projects offshore.
With the IT industry facing a looming skills crisis and demand increasing for a combination of IT and business skills, leading academics have called for government to restore funding for computing studies, particularly at a postgraduate level.