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Asia IT managers among lowest paid

IT managers in Asia are amongst the lowest paid, while the best-paying jobs are in Western Europe, new global salary survey finds.

Most of the lowest-paid IT managerial positions are in Asia, the latest global IT salary study by Mercer revealed.

According to the findings from Mercer's 2007 IT Pay Around the World survey, Hong Kong and Australia are the only countries in the Asia-Pacific region that made it to its list of 10 highest-paying countries in the world.

In contrast, seven Asian countries are among the 10 lowest-paying countries: Vietnam, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Beijing and Shanghai--the latter two Chinese cities were treated as separate markets.

IT manager: Top 10 paying countries

Rank Country US$
1
Switzerland 140,960
2
Denmark 123,080
3
Belgium 121,170
4
United Kingdom 118,190
5
Ireland 108,230
6
United States 107,500
7
Germany 106,730
8
Canada 93,860
9
Hong Kong 90,340
10
Australia 88,850


Neo Siew Khim, Mercer's Asia-Pacific business leader of information product solutions, said in a statement: "The lowest-paid IT employees in 2007 tend to be those in Asian markets.

“IT professionals in Hong Kong and Australia are the only two Asia-Pacific markets to make it on the list of top 10 best-paid globally, with the ranking of 9 and 10, respectively,” Neo added.

The survey found that IT managers in Vietnam and the Philippines receive the lowest average annual salaries in the region, at US$15,470 and US$22,280, respectively.

Their Indian counterparts rank fourth from the bottom of the global list, earning an average of US$25,000 annually.

Mercer's study found that salaries in Switzerland are the world's highest, with an IT manager role paying an average of US$140,960 annually. A counterpart in the United States and the United Kingdom earn an average of US$107,500 and US$118,190 a year, respectively.

IT manager: Lowest 10 paying countries

Rank Country US$
1
Vietnam 15,470
2
Bulgaria 22,240
3
Philippines 22,280
4
India 25,000
5
Indonesia 31,720
6
Shanghai (China) 33,770
7
Malaysia 35,260
8
Czech Republic 35,880
9
Beijing (China) 36,220
10
Argentina 43,180

Mercer IT workforce specialist, David Van De Voort, explained the discrepancy as a result of the impact of outsourcing and off-shoring of lower-level IT roles to Asia.

Said Van De Voort: "Lower-level roles are being moved to regions where talent is cheaper; the jobs that remain in Western Europe and the United States may be fewer in number but are more demanding and complex roles like vendor relationship managers, internal consultants and IT business partners."

According to Mercer's report, cash remains a large incentive for staff in Asia, as reflected by countries such as Indonesia, India and Vietnam having the "highest pay progression ratios". Pay increases are most significant between positions of seniority in the organizations.

In contrast, Western countries tend to rely on other factors such as bonus schemes. "In these countries, companies need to be more creative to attract staff. There is more focus on variable factors to attract staff, such as bonus schemes, while in lower-paying countries, the emphasis remains on cash compensation," said David Conroy, London-based principal in Mercer.

A recent salary survey by human resources agency Hudson showed that companies in Asia are offering higher salaries to retain staff.