Shaun Stanislaus’s Tech blog

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Best S’pore combo: Experienced, educated IT manager

In Singapore, it certainly pays to grow old–at least, for those in the IT profession. And those who slogged those extra years in post-graduate studies are also laughing their way to the bank.

According to the ZDNet Asia IT Salary Benchmark Survey 2008, there are significant differences between the overall average annual salaries of IT professionals with higher paper qualifications and more years in work experience.

The study polled some 5,400 respondents from Singapore, 62.1 percent of whom held jobs in the IT, Web and telecom sectors.

Twenty-one percent had more than 10 years of experience in the industry, and this group raked in the highest overall average annual salary of S$96,430 (US$70,683). In comparison, respondents with between five and 10 years of experience earned at an overall average annual salary of S$69,239 (US$50,752), while those with fewer than five years of experience brought home S$39,263 (US$28,780).

IT salaries also varied between job functions, with respondents holding positions in IT management pulling in the highest average annual pay at S$99,562 (US$72,979). This figure was significantly higher than the overall average annual salary for Singapore, which stood at S$62,502 (US$45,814), and is more than double that of those in IT support–the lowest paid job function–who earned an average annual pay of S$44,884 (US$32,900).

Papering for more pay
Singaporeans disgruntled about their low-paying jobs, however, might want to consider going back to school for their doctorate or Master’s degree.

According to the survey, IT professionals with PhDs pulled in the highest average annual salary of S$96,805 (US$70,958), followed by respondents with a Master’s degree who earned an average yearly pay of S$79,635 (US$58,373).

However, only 0.8 percent of respondents owned a PhD, compared to 60.3 percent who had Bachelor degrees.

In addition, most of those surveyed had more than one IT skill, where expertise in application development was the most common. Some 52.1 percent of respondents were trained in this technology area, earning an average annual pay of S$66,145 (US$48,484).

The second most common IT skill (36.6 percent) was desktop and software management. However, these IT professionals raked in the lowest average annual salary at S$58,772 (US$43,080), compared to their peers holding the other skillsets in the top five IT skills list.

The survey also confirmed common beliefs that bigger companies have the capacity to offer better paychecks, compared to smaller organizations.

For instance, respondents with skills in managing operating systems earned an average annual salary of S$53,437 (US$39,169) when they were from a company with fewer than 100 employees. In comparison, their counterparts from organizations with more than 1,000 employees raked in an average yearly paycheck of S$69,595 (US$51,013).

In a nutshell, the survey suggests that Singaporeans looking for the best remuneration should strive to:

  • be a full-time IT manager, at a company with more than 1,000 employees;
  • hold a PhD degree, with skills in enterprise application;
  • own IT certifications that include Project Management Professional (PMP), and Certificate Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); and
  • have more than 10 years of experience in consulting and business services.

IT Salary Benchmark Survey 2008
ZDNet Asia conducted an online survey between late-2007 and early-2008 to gain insights into Asia’s IT workforce and salary trends. It drew 21,635 respondents from sectors such as government, healthcare, IT, services, telecommunications, legal and finance, and across seven Asian economies: Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Some 5,400 respondents were polled from Singapore, 62.1 percent of whom held jobs in the IT, Web and telecom sectors.

Average Annual Salary by Industry

Job Function Industry
Government Education and Health IT, Web & Telecom Legal and Finance Media, Marketing and Sales (non-IT) Manufacturing, Services and Others (non-IT) Combined
IT Management S$101,680 S$101,675 S$105,988 S$76,198 S$91,718 S$99,562
Project management S$64,847 S$64,128 S$74,078 S$51,793 S$57,272 S$64,572
Systems Development S$49,837 S$47,205 S$61,123 S$33,917 S$50,904 S$49,107
Communications S$42,937 S$54,975 S$58,228 S$79,234 S$61,259 S$55,571
Support S$42,360 S$43,980 S$55,578 S$32,250 S$43,316 S$44,884
Other IT Professionals S$51,472 S$74,985 S$66,200 S$47,222 S$53,883 S$69,163
Overall S$60,703 S$61,723 S$73,059 S$50,798 S$60,313 S$62,502

Average Annual Salary of the Top Five IT Skills

% of Respondents IT Skills Average Annual Salary
52.7% Application Development S$66,145
36.6% Desktops/ Software S$58,772
33.2% System Administration S$60,931
32.5% Operating Systems S$61,132
31.9% Servers/ Networking S$63,890

Average Annual Salary by Job Function and Employment Status

Job Function Employment Status
Contract Full-time Combined
IT Management S$83,207 S$99,951 S$99,562
Project management S$53,994 S$65,499 S$64,572
Systems Development S$40,515 S$49,746 S$49,107
Communications S$30,677 S$56,943 S$55,571
Support S$31,599 S$46,673 S$44,884
Other IT Professionals S$43,373 S$70,237 S$69,163
Overall S$44,755 S$63,918 S$62,502


October 27, 2008 - Posted by | IT Salary |

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