New Zealand software developers appear to be following their US counterparts with strong pay increases in some areas of work, particularly the latest languages.
Computerworld US says the big winners are systems analysts, programmer/analysts and database managers in junior positions gaining premiums for skills in areas such as Microsoft Visual Basic, C++ and Java.
Lampen Consulting’s Barry McAlpine says the same is happening in New Zealand, with some companies preferring graduates who are “a bit raw”, with no job experience but knowledge of the latest skills, over experienced people with more outdated skills. “Fourth-generation languages have certainly taken over from the old programming languages like Cobol.”
He says the message is to keep skills as up to date as possible. In the US some people are making money by jumping jobs, but McAlpine says people have to be careful they don’t get a reputation for not being committed.
However, he believes the number of people doing contract work will grow in future. Lampen’s latest salary survey showed that project and contract staff were most likely to be used for IT and technical or specialist roles.
In the US, bonuses are used to try to keep people from jumping jobs. Lampen’s survey found health insurance, bonuses, car parking and superannuation have been provided for IT roles, and some organisations provide cars for business and systems analysts, network and systems administrators and analyst/programmers.
The US survey found a general increase in IT salaries, as did the Lampen survey this year. In the US CIOs were bringing in 28% more than a year ago and nearly half of IS jobs were brining in an extra 10%.
Network administrators in New Zealand were paid the most in Wellington, with an average annual salary of $45,238 ($44,744 in the previous year). In Auckland CBD their average salary is $46,586 ($40,135); in the Auckland region $44,783 ($41,494) and in Christchurch $39,868 ($36,686).
The network administrator salaries ranged from $26,500 to $69,000. The national average in the US for a network administrator/analyst is $US47,000.
Systems administrators also have had increases in all centres except Christchurch, where the average salary has decreased from $41,948 to $40,018.
Auckland CBD systems administrators received the highest average salary at $48,175 ($45,849), followed by Wellington at $46,696 ($44,120) and Auckland region at $46,467 ($43, 025). The salary range was wide - from $23,460 to $80,000.
Analysts/programmers’ salaries ranged from $30,000 to $70,000. In the US workers in similar positions received $US43,000 (up 11%).
The big money appeared to be going to systems analysts, with averages in Auckland CBD at $61,739 and $62,761 in the Auckland region, $52,936 in Wellington and $50,097 in Christchurch.
The salary range was wide however - from $29,500 to $62,761. In the US the average equivalent salary was $US51,000 - up 15% on the previous year.
Business analysts’ salaries ranged from $30,000 to $87,500.
McAlpine believes people entering the world of IT expect increasing salaries - leading some people to do degrees in law or accounting and then doing a postgraduate IT degree.
In the Lampen survey, 81% of Auckland region respondents anticipated a rise in salary costs over the next year, with the retention of skilled staff being a factor. IT and software engineering roles were two areas where they expected to incur salary increases in senior management positions.