Salaries for high-level IT professionals rocket

Salaries for permanent IT staff have risen by four times the UK average percentage rise over the past 12 months, as competition for the most senior IT professionals intensifies.

Salaries for permanent IT staff have risen by four times the UK average percentage rise over the past 12 months, as competition for the most senior IT professionals intensifies.

Rising demand for senior project managers and business analysts has pushed salaries for IT staff up by an average of 15% over the past year, a survey of more than 5,000 staff by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (Atsco) has revealed.

Pay levels for IT staff have risen faster in the past year than they have over the previous five years, as employers compete for senior IT professionals.

Atsco’s findings are in line with the latest Computer/Weekly SSL survey of recruitment trends, published earlier this month.

It showed that vacancies advertised for management information systems and IT managers increased by nearly 30% in the first quarter of 2006, and demand for business systems analysts and project managers rose by more than 20%. However, PC support and other low-level skills barely registered any growth.

The findings will put pressure on IT departments to invest in training, factor in the recruitment of key staff at an earlier stage in project planning, and pay higher rates to attract the best staff.

“Cost containment remains a top priority for IT departments. But pressure on salaries has been building for some time and organisations are realising that in order to contain key skills they are having to offer more,” said Anne Swain, chief executive of Atsco.

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