NI technology salaries continue to perform strongly in the face of Brexit uncertainties

  • Salaries for the technology sector in Northern Ireland continue to perform strongly in the face of uncertainties presented by the UK’s exit from the European Union, reveals a regional Salary Survey Report from Abacus Professional Recruitment released this week.

    Ongoing inward investments to NI have boosted the local economy and resulted in the growth and diversity of job roles. Enhanced remuneration packages within both FDI firms and home-grown businesses also continue to increase the attractiveness of the region to live and work for both local job seekers and the diaspora community.

    Salary survey data from 100 respondents working across a variety of professional roles in the technology sector indicates continued market growth in 2016. Roles surveyed include head of departments, tech managers, analysts, tech leads and senior software developers.

    Of those working in analytics and software development, 68% experienced a pay increase in 2016 compared to 62% of those working as software developers. Almost all (95%) of tech managers received an increase with 85% receiving bonuses. High levels of bonuses are linked to factors such as employers promoting benefits to attract the best talent.

    Expectations are also high within these high growth sectors with 90% of those working in analytics and software development and 88% of software developers expecting a basic pay increase in 2017.

    Average salaries for respondents within analytics and software development ranged from £30,654 for analysts, £46,407 for tech managers and £69,722 for head of departments working in Northern Ireland.

    Average salaries for software developers ranged from £29,125 for software developers with 0-4 years of experience, £37,675 for senior software developers with 5+ years of experience and £49,444 for tech leads working in Northern Ireland.

    The results indicated that flexible working arrangements are prevalent within both industries in an effort to retain skills and experience, with approximately 81% availing of this benefit.

    The survey was undertaken by leading local professional services recruitment company, Abacus Professional Recruitment. Director Justin Rush said: “This is one of the broadest ever surveys we have undertaken of the technology sector in Northern Ireland. It highlights that these markets remain resilient in NI. Total compensation packages including salary increases and benefits continue to perform strongly. This is on the back of continued foreign direct investment from some of the world’s leading companies in areas of technology, finance and law.

    “Research shows that there was £6.8bn invested in the UK by technology companies in 2016i. We’ve found that there is an increasing demand for workers in the technology sector, particularly for entry level analysts, as businesses seek to grow their operations here.  Demand for technology skills such as SAS, SPSS and experience such as ios, scala and python is on the rise.

    “The results also reflect a positive progress in the Northern Ireland professional services sector with regards to the diaspora in relation to increasingly diverse opportunities, competitive salaries and benefits. However attracting returners from the national and international labour pool remains a key challenge.”

    Director Alan Braithwaite added: “Alongside organisations including InvestNI and over 20 global companies involved in our ‘Belfast for Life’ diaspora initiative, we have significantly invested in efforts to encourage professionals to return home to take up opportunities here. With lifestyle often the key consideration, the expansion of professional roles being offered, alongside improved salaries and benefits, is enabling great progress in tackling the so-called ‘brain drain’. Another area that needs to remain a focus is the continuation of investment in higher education. We must encourage our students to complete their undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Northern Ireland.

    “As the post-referendum picture and economic situation in NI continues to evolve, it is more important than ever that we showcase the attractiveness of Northern Ireland. Feedback from clients who have invested in NI in recent years has indicated a positive experience with recruiting employees from across the EU and they are keen to ensure the flow of suitably qualified candidates in the future.”

    Abacus’ multi-award winning ‘Belfast for Life’ campaign encourages leavers to ‘bring your talent home’ and is supported by many of NI’s most successful local companies and international inward investors, including Allen & Overy, EY and Herbert Smith Freehills. Over the past 2 years, the initiative has successfully engaged with over 2000 highly skilled professionals to promote the attractiveness of NI to live and work.

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