Despite the downturn, many tech skills are in demand and command a salary premium.
Recruitment for technology jobs held steady last year despite the downturn and demand was especially high for certain skills, a new recruitment survey has found.
According to the Robert Walters Global Salary Survey, organisations replaced key staff and recruited for business-critical roles. Business analysts and software developers were especially in demand between April and September. The reason for this is that projects that had been postponed in 2009 were begun again and companies invested in their IT systems.
Trends behind demand
IT professionals with strong web-based experience were in demand in quarter four, which Robert Walters attributed to the trends of cloud computing and social networking in business.
IT salaries in 2010 generally remained steady but organisations often paid premiums in order to recruit specialists in Java programming, .Net development and application architecture.
This dovetails with findings from another recruitment site, Jobs.ie, which recently reported its highest level of IT job postings since for almost three years. It also found that developers with C#, .Net and Java backgrounds were in high demand.
Salary increases of up to 10pc when moving jobs were not uncommon for people with these skills, said Leanne Nettleship, manager of the IT division at Robert Walters Ireland.
“We anticipate this trend to continue into 2011 as demand for these professionals continued to grow during quarter four of 2010. Many technology firms that committed to Ireland in 2009 and 2010 have strong growth plans for 2011 and the IT recruitment market is expected to remain buoyant,” she said.
UK and Irish salary differences
The survey also revealed that Irish CIOs, CTOs and heads of IT aren’t as well remunerated as their UK counterparts. Not only does the role pay more in London, but salary rates there are set to increase this year. The spread in 2010 was €130k – 200k, rising to €142k – 207k in 2011.
There is some good news, as Irish CIO salaries don’t appear to have dipped from last year to this: the post typically paid between €100k and €140k in 2010 and the survey forecasts this will remain level.
According to the survey, a head of infrastructure role in Dublin pays between €75k-€90k. Developers with .Net or C# skills can earn €45k-€60k, an increase on 2010 rates of €42k-€55k. An experienced Java/J2EE Developer can expect to take home a similar amount of up to €60k. This is a 20pc increase from the top rate in 2010, which was €50k.
Niall Kelly, managing director of Jobs.ie, said salary levels had been steady overall but he expects rates to increase as the economy recovers and blue-chip companies start to invest heavily in their web presence. “When this happens is anyone’s guess but assuming we don’t have any major global economic hit, perhaps in about four to six months,” he said.
The demand side may be healthy, but the question is whether there are sufficient numbers of skilled people to fill the vacancies. Many technology firms are currently hiring but say they are finding it difficult to recruit the right staff.