Experience pays well for those in IT

There is strong correlation between years of experience and a good salary in Asia's technology arena, according to ZDNet Asia's latest IT salary survey.

With IT hardware and software becoming more commoditized, IT professionals are required to have a wider range of technical and commercial abilities. And technologists armed with more experience are earning more than their junior counterparts.

According to the ZDNet Asia IT Salary Benchmark Survey 2008, there is strong correlation between years of experience and a good salary. Conducted across seven economies in the Asia-Pacific region, the study polled a total of 21,635 respondents from various industry sectors such as government, IT and telecommunications, across seven Asian economies: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

The study found that IT professionals from Hong Kong had the highest overall average annual salary at US$57,303. Singapore came next at US$44,858, followed by Thailand, where respondents had an overall average salary of US$24,108 per annum.

On average, Hong Kong respondents had 8.9 years of experience--the highest across the seven countries. They are followed by Thailand's respondents who have an average 8.8 years of experience, ahead of Singapore's 7.5 years.

Law pays well
The survey also indicated that respondents in the legal and finance sector commanded the highest average annual salaries among the various industries.

For example, in Hong Kong, IT professionals working in this sector had an average annual salary of HK$492,917 (US$63,093), while those in Singapore earned S$73,059 (US$53,567).

At 48.9 percent, Hong Kong had the highest proportion of respondents who held at least one IT certification, followed by Singapore at 41.9 percent and India at 41.1 percent. The Philippines ranked in at the bottom, with 24.4 percent of respondents in the country holding at least one IT certification.

Average Annual Salary (US$) by Country and Job Function

Country Job Function
IT Management Project Management Systems Development Communi-
Support Other IT Professionals
Hong Kong $79,101 $53,377 $46,769 $61,339 $47,380 $65,996
India $31,312 $16,263 $11,805 $7,923 $7,823 $14,897
Indonesia $15,184 $8,580 $4,808 $7,227 $4,485 $7,639
Malaysia $35,523 23,135 $17,651 $20,718 $16,389 $25,747
Philippines $23,721 $12,952 $10,545 $9,686 $7,438 $10,091
Singapore $71,457 $46,344 $35,245 $39,884 $32,214 $49,639
Thailand $37,080 $23,883 $17,545 $17,449 $12,386 $28,148

Average Annual Salary by Years of Experience (U.S. Dollar)

Country Years of Experience
Less than 5 Years 5-10 Years More than 10 Years
Hong Kong
42,360 52,429 75,757
7,581 16,005 29,864
4,112 8,691 14,928
Malaysia 14,684 20,336 33,806
6,893 11,908 20,932
Singapore 28,690 44,016 70,461
10,809 21,757 32,288

Click on the map to view further details of the seven economies featured in the IT salary benchmark survey.

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