Aust IT salaries poised to rise

Information technology salaries are poised to rise as the tech employment market bounces back in 2004, according to a survey released by Michael Page Technology (MPT).The technology salary survey released today reveals that recruitment of information technology professionals will rise in 2004, with security, customer relationship management and business intelligence driving the increase.

Information technology salaries are poised to rise as the tech employment market bounces back in 2004, according to a survey released by Michael Page Technology (MPT).

The technology salary survey released today reveals that recruitment of information technology professionals will rise in 2004, with security, customer relationship management and business intelligence driving the increase.

While MPT maintains that overall salary outlook is "mixed depending on the sector", competition between businesses vying for certain information technology professionals is driving up salary levels.

Lesley Bishop, director of MPT, says the competition for skilled information technology professionals is a "positive indicator" for the future of the information technology job market.

"The fact that clients are prepared to pay for top talent across all sectors of Banking & Finance, IT&T, Consulting, Commerce & Industry and Government is one of the strongest indicators yet that technology recruitment activity is rebounding," Bishop said.

The survey claims an increase in online transactions between organisations and with business customers is creating a high demand for appropriately skilled information technology professionals. This will make security expertise a strong point for technology professionals in the future.

MPT says that the shift to security, customer relationship and business intelligence investments comes as big companies move away from outsourcing projects.

However, Bishop says that although the information technology employment indicators look good for 2004, information technology workers shouldn't expect a return to the "glory days of the late nineties".

"While there are early signs of a more wholesale increase in salaries across the board, candidates should not expect a return to the heady days of the late nineties which was fuelled by the dotcom boom and was simply never sustainable," said Bishop.

The survey also showed that "performance-based bonuses" are now the preferred incentive driving employee performance. However, the majority of respondents reported to prefer a promotion rather than an increase in salary.

"Only five percent of respondents listed money as their main motivator for changing roles, with career advancement being the main motivator," said Bishop, adding "This highlights an interesting trend in itself professionals are now more concerned with career advancement and stability as opposed to the next big earner."

The survey also claims that in the future contracting will "no longer the road to riches", yet according to MPT the demand for contractors is still likely to increase in the short term.

"Companies are moving towards fixed-term, fixed-price contracts to complete projects, which typifies the now budget and deadline-focused customer," said Bishop.