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IT workers in Southeast Asia drew higher pay in 2016

Singapore continues to be an attractive magnet for IT jobs, with IT professionals in the city-state making more than their peers in neighbouring countries

More than half of IT professionals in Southeast Asia enjoyed an increase in salaries in 2016 amid a booming regional technology sector, a survey has found.

According to TechTarget’s latest annual salary survey, 56.3% of 738 IT professionals polled in the ASEAN region received a salary increase and 44.3% reported getting a bonus in their remuneration packages. Only 3.7% took a pay cut.

The regional IT job market is likely to remain rosy in 2018, when 60.6% of respondents in the survey said they expect an even higher salary. About 32% expect their salaries to remain the same in 2018.

However, IT salaries across the ASEAN region – comprising mostly developing nations – still fall behind that of developed markets.

IT professionals in the region had an average salary range of between US$5,000 and US$25,000 in 2016, while their counterparts in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) made between A$100,000 to A$150,000.

In ASEAN, those who earned more are likely to be senior IT managers with 12 years of experience, with an average salary of US$87,982. Developers who continue to be sought after across the region earned an average of US$47,358 in 2016.

Singapore continues to be an attractive location for IT jobs, with IT professionals in the city-state making more than their peers in 2016, especially for those who are early in their careers.

For example, the average salary of an IT professional in Singapore with less than seven years of experience was US$39,883, compared with an average of US$8,673 in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Tan Jinglun, IT director at Singapore car classifieds website sgCarMart, said the lack of good developers was a big issue for the company, which had been casting a wider net to scout for talent in the region. “We often had to turn to recruitment agencies to help us,” he said.

Like IT professionals in ANZ, those in the ASEAN region are likely to stay in their current jobs despite the lure of a lucrative IT job market, where employers are facing a talent crunch.

Read more about IT in ASEAN

Only 18% of respondents in the ASEAN region are actively looking out for a new job. and over 65% of IT professionals in the region are looking to climb in seniority in their company.

In a bid to retain staff, organisations in the ASEAN region are also investing in training programmes. Nearly 60% of respondents in the region said they receive formal training from employers when necessary and justified.

IT professionals are also taking up certification courses such as Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), as well as non-certificate security training programmes from the likes of Symantec, IBM Security and Forcepoint, underscoring growing concerns over cyber security in recent years.

Across ASEAN, women make up 20% of IT teams in the region. Only 33% agree that hiring women would help to address talent gaps and 34% said their companies have a plan to improve gender diversity. 

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