Australia pays its way for IT managers

A global salary survey has placed Australia in the top 10 of the world's highest-paying countries for IT managers, but some within the industry are not convinced.

A global salary survey has placed Australia in the top 10 of the world's highest-paying countries for IT managers, but some within the industry are not convinced.

According to the survey, released by global HR consultants Mercer, Australia has come in at number 10 out of 35 countries surveyed for IT management salaries.

"Australia, which is facing a growing skills shortage of IT professionals, has seen IT salaries increasing steadily in recent years, and it is now comparable with other major Western countries," said Ken Gilbert, Mercer's head of human capital, in a statement.

The survey ranked Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium as its top three highest paying countries, taking into account a manager's base pay and an annual bonus.

Since its release yesterday, the results of the survey have been challenged by some in the industry.

"At the IT manager level, I definitely disagree with the findings," said Paul Rush, CIO practices leader at recruiters Talent2.

There aren't many career-centric technologists

Rush believes that the survey doesn't take into account enough of the factors which can affect a local IT manager's salary.

"First of all it's a size thing, the size of businesses here and the role of the IT manager is very different to that of the UK or the US, where the highest levels of overall remuneration are available ... taking into account the number of different bonuses available in those countries."

"Very rarely do you see comparable bonuses given in Australia until someone gets to CIO level," Rush said.

The UK and the US were ranked at four and six respectively in the survey.

Rush pointed out that there are other things to take into consideration when assessing remuneration for IT professionals, such as their career personality and decisions based on quality of life.

"There aren't many career-centric technologists," said Rush. "What we do see happen quite often is that a person will accidentally get to CIO and then focus on their career."

According to the survey, Australian salaries are highly competitive by region, ranking only just behind Hong Kong in Asia Pacific.

By comparison, Indian IT managers were fourth from the bottom, with Vietnam rounding out the list at number 35.

"The disparities between the top and bottom countries reflect the globalisation of the IT workforce," said Mercer's Gilbert.