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Salaries on the rise in Gulf tech sector: survey

ACN report reveals pay bumps for two thirds of IT professionals; gender imbalance remains

Almost two thirds of respondents reported they had received an increase in salary in the past year.
Almost two thirds of respondents reported they had received an increase in salary in the past year.

Gulf-based IT professionals are enjoying higher salaries according to the Arabian Computer News Salary Survey.

Click here for more insight from the ACN Salary Survey 2013.

The anonymous poll, conducted online, received 171 responses from across the Gulf region, covering a range of technology roles, from CIO and IT manager to database administrator and software developer.

Almost two thirds reported they had received an increase in salary in the past year. While 20% of those polled said they had received a bump of 2% to 5%, over one third of respondents said their salary had increased by more than 5%. This compares to a median percentage shift of 1% to 1.7% in the US.

Despite their apparent prosperity, IT professionals were not entirely content with their lot. Only 31% expressed satisfaction with their current salary, while 37% said they were dissatisfied.

When it comes to job satisfaction however, respondents appeared able to separate this issue from that of remuneration. Just under half described themselves as very or fairly satisfied while only 17% said they were not satisfied.

Click here for more insight from the ACN Salary Survey 2013.

Recruitment experts told ACN that high turnover is to be expected in a developing economy, as opportunities for greater challenge or higher salaries are more common. Ninety per cent said they would be seeking a new job in the next two years; a third of that group indicated they would be moving on within the next six months.


To stop such turnover, recruitment firms urged companies to consider the priorities of technology personnel. According to the ACN survey, the most important factors in staff retention are salary and work environment, with the quality of the company itself coming closely behind.

Click here for more insight from the ACN Salary Survey 2013.

The desire to move on may be related to a recovering economy, as a slight majority of respondents said they had been with their current employer for more than five years. Just under a third had served two to five years; 23.5%, five to 10 years; and 22.5, over 10 years.

One area that showed a need for redress was gender balance. Only 3% of those polled were women and CompTIA and BCS told CAN the imbalance was hurting the industry as women are perceived as having greater soft skills and business skills, which the industry desperately needs in greater supply.

"It's vital that we reach out to more young women to encourage them to see what an amazing career IT offers," said Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

"Indeed, to fish in a talent pool already depleted by 50% through gender imbalance is to do disservice to the ambitions of an organisation."

Click here for more insight from the ACN Salary Survey 2013.

Keep your eyes peeled for the full ACN report on the salary survey, coming soon on ITP.net.