IT salaries are continuing their downward trend, with rates in some cases falling as much as 20 per cent over the last 12 months.
The Robert Walters 2003 Global Salary Survey has revealed that a slowing economy and ongoing pessimism have resulted in widespread cost cutting across IT departments, with many companies putting technology projects on hold.
IT directors can now expect to earn average salaries of between £55,000 and £85,000, with IT managers taking home on average between £40,000 and £65,000 a year.
Web developers, once the darlings of the industry, have also been affected by the downturn. Workers in senior roles can expect to earn between £30,000 and £50,000 as the focus shifts from new projects to propping up existing infrastructures.
Non-technical roles within IT, in areas such as business analysis and project management, have also been hit as clients continue to put many new projects on hold.
But it is the financial services sector that has suffered the most, with opportunities across banking, and investment banking in particular, thin on the ground and rates down on average 20 per cent since 2002.
Richard Lloyd, managing director of Robert Walters' technology division, said the slump in rates followed a trend which began at the end of 2000.
"In real terms we've seen a further drop of between 10 and 15 per cent since last year across most areas. It's a tough market," he said.
Despite pockets of activity, particularly in the public sector and across support roles, the recruitment company predicts that activity across the sector is unlikely to pick up until well into 2004.
"This year will be flat and we don't expect growth until at least the second or third quarter of next year," Lloyd said.
"Clients can't delay upgrading systems for too long. When the uptake comes it will be fairly steep, but this year companies will have to sweat it out."
Until the upturn, candidates should commit to cross-training and be flexible about the sorts of roles they are prepared to accept, Lloyd advised.
"The important thing is to come across as a team player. Those working will be expected to do more, which should be seen as an opportunity to broaden their scope," he said.
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