Staff shortages spur salary surge

Salaries are predicted to reach $630 a day for experienced Java programmers in the arena of mobile commerce, or m-commerce, said David Curry, from IntelliMark recruitment.

Curry said as the m-commerce market grows and evolves, demand will be "massive" for experienced IT professionals.

"The dotcom and e-commerce industries are booming and the requirement for ‘human talent' is growing at an equally significant rate," Curry said.

The rapid growth in GSM mobile and other wireless technologies and the mobile phone as an immediate source and conduit for news, data and monetary transactions will provide an all-encompassing personal and portable database.

Curry said IntelliMark has seen a surge in both contract and permanent opportunities for IT professionals, and expects this trend will continue at a phenomenal pace.

He said that every six months the recruiter, which annually places about 4000 IT specialists in companies through the Asia-Pacific region and worldwide, collates a salary survey of professionals it has placed.

The firm's most recent survey found the demand for professionals with technical skills and demonstrated technical competence was across the board from established companies and new dotcom startups.

IntelliMark recently stated that there was a shortage of about 30,000 IT professionals, while staff turnover continues at between 10 and 20 per cent a year and the Australian IT industry was growing about nine per cent each year.

"The impending implementation of m-commerce technologies, together with the massive growth in B2B e-commerce will generate a significant increase in the number of permanent and contract positions over the next 18 to 24 months," Curry said.

He said many students were turning towards IT, and professionals in the industry were changing direction because this new area offers greater challenges and opportunities to move into a new arena. While certain problems remain in the e-commerce industry, such as security, transmission and connection facilities, experienced IT professionals are needed to address these before the public can accept it as part of everyday life, he said.

The survey said that creative directors could expect to earn between $700 and $850 per day, or an annual salary of between $110,000 and $160,000; Internet producers, $510-$600 pd or $75,000-$95,000 pa; Web designers, $480-$560 pd or $70,000-$95,000 pa; Web developers, $350-$600 pd or $60,000-$90,000 pa; Web architects, $800-$1200 pd or $110,000-$150,000 pa; Java specialists, $520-$630 pd or $80,000-$90,000 pa; HTML specialists $380-$500 pd or $65,000-$75,000 pa; and usability consultants $240-$330 pd or $45,000-$60,000 pa.

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