IT professionals write their own paychecks as talent crisis deepens

Even graduates getting 30 per cent pay rises

Specialist IT professionals are writing their own paychecks, according to a survey that claims even university graduates are getting salaries as high as 30 percent above market rates.

Seasoned IT veterans soaking up a nation-wide staff shortage are demanding top dollar, .Net and Java technicians and university graduates with less than two years experience are scoring 30 percent pay rises, well ahead of a 5 percent general IT salary increase.

The Candle ICT Market Analysis Australia 2007 survey collated 1000 responses from business in industries including telecommunications, ICT, financial and government, with up to 2500 employees.

IT contractors will get more jobs and will be better paid than permanent staff, according to the report. Business will increase contractor headcount by 53 percent, up 21 percent from last year, while new permanent positions have fallen 5 percent from 2006 to 33 percent.

Contractors should thank the skills shortage for their popularity, according to the report. As permanent positions are not being replaced as they are vacated, forcing business into bidding wars over top talent.

Fatter paychecks and other sweeteners have given IT contractors little motivation to move into permanent positions. Freelance professionals can milk between 20 to 30 percent more money than their equivalent permanent position by specialising in much needed niche skills.

Project management and administration took the hot seat as the national IT top job, followed by business analytics, application development (C# / .Net, Java / J2EEin particular), testing, storage and security professionals and helpdesk support.

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