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IT salaries in Singapore to grow by 3.2% in 2017

Cyber security and big data experts will be in high demand as Singapore ramps up efforts to build strong digital capabilities

The demand for IT professionals is heating up in Singapore, with salaries of IT security professionals set to surpass the national average, according to a survey by recruitment consultancy Robert Half.

According to the Robert Half Salary Guide, IT professionals in the city-state can expect their salaries to increase by an average of 3.2% in 2017 – well above the national average growth of 2.7% as identified by the Ministry of Manpower, suggesting that companies are willing to pay top dollar for IT talent.

That said, about half of Singapore’s IT workers believe they are not being paid fair wages considering their job responsibilities. Just under half (47%) said their pay is not proportionate to their daily workload.

Pay and salary increments are a significant motivator among Singapore’s workforce. Robert Half highlighted the need for organisations to review remuneration packages to ensure competitive salaries are offered to offset high workloads resulting from an increased focus on technology.

According to Robert Half’s research, 92% of IT professionals said they were willing to accept a job offer with a higher salary if they felt they were not being paid fairly by their current employer. Some 70% were less inclined to look for a new job if they received a pay raise.

“Companies are increasingly implementing new and innovative technologies and demand for skilled IT professionals continues to rise, resulting in upward momentum on starting salaries for professionals in this sector,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director at Robert Half Singapore.

With the growing risk of cyber attacks, cyber security professionals are unsurprisingly the most sought-after in Singapore’s IT labour market.

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A security analyst in the financial services industry with four to seven years of experience, for instance, can expect to command a starting salary of between S$100,000 (£56,000) and S$130,000 in 2017, representing a year-on-year growth of 12.2%, according to the survey.

“Companies realise they are competing for a limited pool of top candidates, leaving highly skilled and experienced security analysts, security consultants and IT risk professionals across industries in a good position to negotiate above-average salary gains in 2017,” said Imbert-Bouchard.

Big data specialists, as well as infrastructure architects with strong leadership and communications skills to effectively lead a team and communicate complex IT terms, can also expect substantial salary growth in 2017.

“Singapore companies are currently in the race for digitisation. Those that are quickest to adapt and at the cutting edge of innovation will be able to gain the strongest market share, said Imbert-Bouchard. “Because of this digital acceleration, the shortage of skilled IT professionals who are able to manage complex IT systems, data and analytics projects is becoming more apparent,” he added.

In February 2017, the government-led Committee on the Future Economy singled out data analytics and cyber security as high-potential growth industries that will support digitisation efforts across the country. One of its recommendations was the use of Singapore’s conscription programme to develop deep, niche skills in cyber security among full-time servicemen.

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