IT salary survey 2013

Getting the right staff with the right skills is a fundamental issue for the industry.

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IT salary survey 2013 The ACN IT Salary Survey 2013 was conducted online at from July to September.
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By  Mark Sutton Published  November 20, 2013

Getting the right staff with the right skills is a fundamental issue for the industry. Attracting and retaining talent has frequently been addressed through financial rewards, but is salary the main motivator for IT personnel, how satisfied are the region’s IT professionals with their jobs, and what factors are most important in looking for new opportunities? The ACN IT Salary Survey 2013 aimed to find out.

The need for skilled professionals in the IT sector has never been more pressing. New technologies are creating unique new skill requirements, that have to be addressed, through new hires, outsourcing or training, and many organisations cite lack of skills as a major obstruction to successfully completing projects.

In the Middle East, the situation is made worse through higher turnover of personnel, with expatriate staff keeping an eye open for the next opportunity and a small cadre of skilled nationals in high demand, particularly for government projects. As the market has matured, IT organisations have looked to ways to address the skills requirements other than just making expensive hires from outside the region, but salary still remains the key motivator for most staff. But how do salaries in the region stack up against other markets, are people happy with what they are making, and what other factors play a role in job satisfaction?

Click here to view the The ACN Salary Survey 2013

The ACN IT Salary Survey 2013 aims to bring more transparency and insight into IT salaries in the region, along with related issues such as skills and certification, job satisfaction and prospects. The anonymous survey was conducted online from July to September this year.

The respondents

In all 171 IT professionals, responded to the survey. The majority of these, 87% were based in the GCC, with the rest in the wider Middle East — 60% were working in the UAE and 14% in Saudi Arabia. The survey gained responses from across all major verticals, with most respondents in full time employment, split between organisations of 1,000 or more employees (47%) and smaller organisations (53%). In general the respondents were educated to degree (50%) or masters/MBA level (42%), with a mix of technical certifications. Most have been in IT for at least five years (84% in total), while almost two thirds (59%) have been in the industry for ten years or more. Four-fifths of respondents were below the age of 45.

In terms of job roles, the broad scope of the IT sector was well represented across different functions. Sixteen percent of respondents were CIOs, CTOs or IT directors, and 22% were IT managers. Other roles including project management, database and systems administrators, software development and consultants were well represented. Interestingly, in two of the most in-demand categories of skills — IT security and analytics — only two respondents described themselves at security specialists, and there was only one data scientist.

Salaries & Satisfaction

In terms of base salary, respondents were asked to give their total annual income, including allowances, but excluding bonuses. The survey found that 13% are making $150,000 or more per annum; while about one third of all respondents make between $20,000 and $50,000. Highest earners, with a median salary of $150,000 plus were those in C-level roles, while for an IT manager, median salary range was $61,000 to $70,000.

Across the main job roles, salaries showed a considerable range, with respondents stating salaries of anywhere between under $20,000 per year to over $100,000 for most roles, with the exception of DBAs, systems administrators and network engineers. The wide range of salaries is most likely reflective of the difference in scale in organisations, and wide scope of professionals that go by the title of ‘IT manager’.

In comparison with other markets, the Middle East would appear to in line for high end jobs, and in line or slightly lower for mid-tier roles, depending on the source of data. Global employment portal shows that salaries for IT managers in the US are in the range of $53,000-$108,000; for CIOs, the range is $110,000-$155,000. IT portal InformationWeek found that in 2013, median US IT salaries were $90,000 for staff and $120,000 for managers, across all job functions.

Click here to view the The ACN Salary Survey 2013

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