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UK – IT professionals in high demand

30 October 2013

As IT becomes ever-more crucial to business operations, demand for technology professionals will only continue to grow, reports Robert Half. Research conducted by e-skills UK indicates that demand for such workers will increase by +1.62% each year up until the end of the decade, as organisations seek the expertise needed to make the most of their investments.

The rate of employment growth in the technology field far outstrips that of many other sectors, and the result of this can be shortage of talent supply. Employers are competing to attract the individuals they believe can take their organisation forwards, and the result of this is salary inflation and a stronger negotiating position for industry professionals.

Technology has become essential to the basic operations of companies across almost every sector, and this means many are offering lucrative contracts to the right candidates. As well as generous salaries, employees can secure attractive benefits packages and a commitment from their employer to offer professional development opportunities.

But which technology professionals are in the strongest bargaining position? According to the Robert Half Professional Hiring Index, the most pronounced skills shortages are currently for programmers & software developers and web design & development professionals. With employers competing with one another to secure their services, such individuals have the opportunity to be selective about which roles they take.

Web developers, for instance, have seen their average earnings rise by +5.9% between 2012 and 2013. Typically, professionals with such skills command between £34,500 and £50,750 per annum. And the rate of salary growth has been even greater for mobile applications developers, who have seen a +6.6% increase in average earnings, and now command between £32,750 and £59,500 per annum.

Looking ahead, professionals with big data expertise are to set to benefit from increased opportunity - both for new roles and pay rises - over the coming year. Data volumes are growing at +40% per year, around eight times the rate of IT spending growth, and this is putting increased pressure on companies' technology infrastructures and their staffing arrangements.

Data can offer significant value to businesses from a decision making perspective, but it needs to be effectively collected, stored, managed and interpreted. Indeed, skilled technology talent is needed to harness the power of this information. Data architects - which saw a +2.9% salary rise between 2012 and 2013 - are set to be in greater demand, along with data managers, database administrators, data modellers and business intelligence analysts.

Big data professionals who possess business knowledge, technology expertise and analytics skills are even better placed to capitalise on a talent shortage in this field. Organisations are increasingly looking for technology staff who are able to draw insight from data that is relevant to their strategic purpose. This can assist with the development of new products and services, creating vital new revenue channels for businesses.

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