It's been extraordinarily difficult to hire IT people in the last year, and the pay reflects it. According to Skillsoft's 2021 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, IT professionals in the Asia Pacific region are now drawing an average pay of US$6,345 per month – and that's without considering the conversion rate to various APAC currencies.
It's a jump of 10.2 percent since 2020, and the figure climbs even higher for professionals who hold skills in particularly high demand: risk management and cybersecurity, for one, are looking at monthly pay of over US$6,800.
“Today’s digital-first economy has presented significant opportunities for organisations. However, it has also created a dire need for new skills in cloud computing, cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, and many other critical tech areas,” said Michael Yoo, General Manager, Technology & Developer, Skillsoft.
The pay increase is due mainly to extremely stiff competition for talent, which is leading companies to offer occasionally exorbitant sums to lure and then retain experienced professionals. 73 percent of IT decision makers surveyed in APAC said they are facing critical skills gaps in their departments, and while this is slightly less than the global level of 76 percent, it's still a lot of underskilled and possibly understaffed IT departments – which in turn has a knock-on effect on organisations' ability to carry out their daily operations.
Responsibility level and job function count
The US$6,345 reported by Skillsoft also averages the pay of everyone from executives to non-management staff. Broken down, the salary by responsibility level looks like this:
Meanwhile, some job functions are clearly drawing a lot more. After risk management and cybersecurity, the most highly paid job functions are IT sales and marketing, project and programme management, IT architecture and design, and business analysis.
Conversely, the least well-paid jobs in the sector are application development, service desk and support, and DevOps – loosely defined as the engineering roles that build, test and maintain infrastructure. These all draw less than US$50,000 per year on average.