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More ASEAN IT pros staying in their jobs

Global economic uncertainty and staff retention efforts by employers are keeping the region’s IT professionals longer in their jobs

The global economic uncertainty is keeping IT professionals in Southeast Asia longer in their jobs despite the tight IT labour market, a study has found.

According to the 2023 Computer Weekly/TechTarget IT salary survey, only 15% of respondents were actively looking for a new role. Less than half of the respondents (46%) were not actively looking for new jobs but were open to opportunities.

That more IT professionals are sticking to their current roles despite favourable job prospects is in stark contrast to last year’s study, which revealed that just under a third of respondents would stay in their current roles.

Efforts by employers to retain tech talent through salary increments and hybrid work arrangements could have contributed to a stickier IT workforce this year. The average salary of tech workers in the region grew considerably, with those in Singapore earning nearly 11% more than what they took home last year.

Across the region, all respondents had a bigger compensation package last year, with over half expecting an increment again in 2024. About a third are expecting a bonus, while just 1% expect to take a pay cut next year.

IT infrastructure and cloud operations topped the list of hottest tech jobs in demand, underscoring the growing datacentre modernisation efforts and cloud adoption in the region. This was followed by cyber security, IT project management, application development, IT systems management, and business intelligence and analytics.

The hybrid work momentum is also picking up. Some 44% of IT professionals now work from home twice a week, while slightly more than a fifth (22%) do so thrice a week. Just 14% said their working hours are fixed, further underscoring the flexible work arrangements that more employers are now offering across the region.

Organisations in Southeast Asia also appear to be making progress in their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, with 43% of respondents commending their companies’ plans to improve women representation. Some 37% were neutral about their organisations’ DEI efforts, indicating that there is more work to be done.

A multiyear study by Google, Singapore state investment firm Temasek and global consultancy Bain & Company noted that Southeast Asia’s digital economy was set to reach $200bn in gross merchandise value by 2022, creating 160,000 high-skilled roles and indirectly supporting nearly 30 million jobs.

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