IT pay jumps as skills gap widens
Offshoring blamed for cash bonanaza
The IT skills shortage in the UK is being made worse by the routine offshoring of entry-level tech jobs.
Income Data Services’ (IDC) latest findings on IT pay for 2008 shows that offshoring low-levels IT jobs to the likes of China and India has led to fewer graduate opportunities because firms are reluctant to invest in their diminishing Blighty workforce. Mid-level pay rates are also rising as a direct result.
Average salaries for IT user support techies have leapt 13 per cent to £24,177 in the past year, and systems engineers saw a 9.5 per cent jump to £31,120. Meanwhile, IT project leaders’ pay was up nearly a quarter (23 per cent) in just five years to £47,605, according to the IDS figures.
"The sizeable pay increases we are seeing in mid-level IT support and technical roles are being driven largely by acute skills shortages," said editor of the IDS report Ken Mulkearn. He added that outsourcing overseas has led to fewer opportunities for graduates and others to get a job in IT.
Earlier this month the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that Britain’s brightest kids should be required to study three separate science courses in secondary school to offset a shortage of employees in the IT and science sectors.
The CBI’s plea to the government came amid gloomy forecasts from a number of employers’ groups that expect to see a dismal time ahead in the jobs market because of a rise in redundancies accompanied by a downturn in recruitment. ®
Surely the solution to the degree and no experience problem has been presented?
When I did my degree (13 years ago) I did a sandwich course. I did a maths degree and got a job for a year at Lockheed Martin. It was fantastic, I learned Visual C++ and that year (with good references) allowed me to pick up a job as soon as I left uni.
Maybe things have changed from that now, I do not know. However, the years experience that you get from that kind of course is invaluable!
Another thing I was told by a HR interviewer after I got another job was that I was interviewed because my CV contained things that I did outside of work and was successful at e.g. senior grade in martial arts and international softball player. These things show that you can get your arse in gear.
Degree not worth the paper it's printed on?
I concur with the theme that seems to be running here - a good degree alone (or even at all) is not necessarily worth much...
I did a BSc in CS and managed to get a First, which was nice, but the amount of interviews I did before landing a job was scary. Luckily I'd a few things backing me up, which sealed the deal. During college I had gotten summer jobs working as a junior programmer for a small firm that produced financial software. I'm slightly ashamed to say that even after 2 years of the (4 year) course I only heard what the registry was during the work. I did the same again after 3rd year, then during final year I worked in a call centre (not IT related). I managed to convince the manager that my time would be better spent writing some software to them that would analyse and present stats to them, than if I was answering calls. He agreed, so I did that.
While seemingly small things these summer jobs and blagged experience was what got my foot in the door, I later found out just how - my first real job was with a large, well known consulting firm. Within a few weeks I was given a task by an overworked HR person to vet some new graduate CVs - I was given strict criteria - bin them if they didn't have a 2.0 degree at least (so that's only the first step) then they needed some form of practical experience, a willingness to travel, also extra activities that weren't IT related - so if your hobby was "running own server farm" you were ditched. And then the hard to quantify "fit with the company culture". Following these rules I had to ditch at least one outstanding CV - the guy had a first, a masters, loads of decent lab experience - but still didn't make the grade.
Once the CBI figure out how to get 2+ years commercial experience of a technology without being able to get a job using it, it'll all be sorted.
Could do with a decent apprenticeship scheme, so that graduates could get a _basic_ job with _basic_ requirements for minimum wage.
too many chumps floating around
I came to the UK as a backpacker, after a few months of working in bars i decided to do a bit of contracting (2004, it was £40/hr and I was 21 years old, no degree, just 2 years of intensive experience, I got that by working for FREE to get my foot in). I was lucky that the company and I got on well and they continued to contract me to different customer's sites for the next few years. I have literally travelled the world at their expense and continue to enjoy working in the UK (with inflation beating rates).
I always considered myself lucky but after working in countless IT teams with various customers all over the world & UK, I was not impressed with the level of competency from the majority of development teams here (and that includes offshore teams), in most cases there are 1 or 2 guys worth their salt but most are real numpties.
thaaank you great britain! please dont stop funding my adventures! I still have many women to meet and places to see ;-)
Well, if management is so crap, it'd be best to go into that instead of IT...