A major salary benchmark report released by the National Computing Centre and involving 202 companies found overall salary growth to be a stable: its current growth rate of 3.4% is actually higher than the 3.0% reported in 2007.
Indeed, IT staff in the transport, utilities and communications sectors enjoyed increases well above average at 4.6%. Higher than average growth was also seen in the business services (4.5%), manufacturing (4.4%) and finance (4.2%) sectors, although salary growth was less upbeat in government (2.8%) and retail (3.2%).
In terms of demand, half the respondents to the salary survey said they expect staff quotas to increase over the next two years, while a third said they still have problems recruiting and retaining staff. The IT services sector in particular cited strong growth potential, with 80% of respondents in the sector saying they expect an increase in staff numbers over two years. The government (62.5%) and financial (54.5%) sectors also rated strongly in terms of expectations of growth in staff numbers.
“It is clear that IT labour markets will be hit as new projects are delayed and postponed, and cost-saving measures introduced,” the report noted. “However, this will be counterbalanced by continuing skills shortages and a more pronounced transition to an outsourced IT service delivery model.”
It concludes: “In tough times, those with in-demand skills are likely to stay in-post until the economy improves.” Specific skills currently most in demand included Oracle, SAP, .NET, web development, business analysis and network support, while skills expected to increase in demand over 2009 included virtualisation, .NET, C# security issues and ITIL.