Julien Eichinger - stock.adobe.c

Digital economy pushing up IT salaries in ANZ

About eight in 10 IT professionals in Australia and New Zealand earned more over the past year while 23% were rewarded with a bonus, survey finds

The growing digital economy in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) has been a boon to IT professionals, going by the rising wages in the IT sector in both countries.

According to the latest Computer Weekly/TechTarget IT salary survey, involving 248 respondents, average IT salaries in ANZ grew from between A$100,000 and A$260,000 in 2018 to between A$120,000 and A$300,000 in 2019.

The growth in wages was seen across IT roles, from over $125,000 for an IT analyst to more than $210,000 for a C-suite executive. Depending on seniority, an IT professional with over 15 years of experience took home an average of A$167,754 in 2019.

Indeed, about eight in 10 respondents reported that they had received an increment over the past year, while 23% were rewarded with a bonus. Just 3% took a pay cut in 2019.

The buoyant IT jobs market in ANZ, particularly in Australia, has been driven by skills shortages, particularly in cyber security, cloud computing and analytics – the top three areas where companies struggled to attract and retain talent, according to the survey.

In terms of staff movements, those in more senior positions are more likely to stay put, with 48% of directors and 42% of C-level executives planning to remain in their current roles and companies in the immediate future. On the lower rungs of the corporate ladder, just 31% of managers and 28% of staff planned to do so.

When asked about what would make them switch employers, higher salaries stood out as the main draw, as cited by 53% of managers and 52% of architects. Notably, learning new skills was not among the top reasons for changing jobs for ANZ respondents, particularly among directors and C-level executives.

Across job functions and seniority, flexible work arrangements appear to be the most important job perk in ANZ, with over 50% citing work-life balance and remote work opportunities as the top “soft benefits” that matter to them.

Like workers in other industries, there is a lingering fear among ANZ IT professionals that they may lose their jobs to automation. About a quarter were preparing for automation’s potential threat to their jobs by expanding their skills. The same proportion of respondents in the survey, however, took a neutral stance.

Meanwhile, gender diversity continues to be a work in progress in ANZ. Only 12% of IT teams had a good balance of women and men, while just 35% of companies planned to improve the gender mix. This was despite the fact that 50% of respondents agreed that recruiting more women could help reduce the skills shortage.

According to the Australia Computer Society’s Australia’s digital pulse report, digital technologies continue to power the country’s economic growth, with the contribution of digital to GDP expected to grow by 40% between 2018 and 2023.

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