APAC IT Talents See Pay Rise Fastest

Image credit: iStockphoto/AndreyPopov

It has never been a better time to be a tech talent.

The annual Skillsoft report “Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report” showed that APAC IT professionals went home with an average of USD6,435 in salary — a 10.2% increase from last year. The APAC region also had the most significant jump.

Key areas that are now lucrative for tech talents include cloud, risk management, security, and IT project management.

Globally, tech talents are also in demand. Across the world, 52% of respondents said that they received a pay raise because of job performance, learning new skills, and obtaining industry certifications.

The pay raise is in line with the high demand for tech talent and the growing gap in certain tech areas.

According to the report, 73% of IT decision-makers (76% worldwide) face critical skills gaps in their departments, a 145% increase since 2016. However, the report also noted a slight improvement from 2019 and 2020 when the global percentages were 79% and 78%, respectively.  

“Today’s digital-first economy has presented significant opportunities for organizations. However, it has also created a dire need for new skills in cloud computing, cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, and many other critical tech areas,” said Michael Yoo, general manager for technology & developer at Skillsoft.

“Gaps in skills don’t just disappear; they only grow wider if not properly addressed. While it is encouraging to see early signs of closing the gap, work is far from done. Organizations must place a bigger emphasis on investing in employee training, empowering professionals to earn new certifications, and filling vacant roles with diverse candidates,” he added.

So what is widening the skills gap? The top-most reason is not the lack of qualified talent. Instead, in the report, 38% of IT decision-makers said the rate of technology change outpaced their existing skills development programs and was the primary driver of the skills gap. The difficulty in attracting qualified candidates (35%) came in second, while 32% highlighted the lack of investment in training resources as the reason.

There is also a growing urgency within companies to fill these gaps, contributing to a rise in pay. According to the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Work 2022 Predictions, these gaps will create a financial impact that will grow to USD6.5 trillion worldwide by 2025. Other reasons why companies want these talent gaps closed include increased employee stress (55%), difficulty in meeting quality and business objectives (42% and 36%, respectively), and creating project delays (35%).

One area that came out strong in the report was professional development. Companies are beginning to see the value in driving such efforts to close skills gaps and raise employee morale.

In the report, 56% of IT decision-makers worldwide said they have a plan to train existing team members. And, given that 80% of IT professionals report various benefits after achieving new skills and certifications — including improved quality of work (49%), higher levels of engagement (32%), and faster job performance (27%) — providing upskilling opportunities is a win-win for both organizations and employees alike. 

Tech talents also noted that they are willing to move on if they don’t get any learning and development opportunities. For the third consecutive year, respondents that switched employers within the past year cited the lack of learning and development opportunities as their top reason for doing so (59%), taking precedence over better compensation (39%) and work/life balance (31%).   

Regarding training, 66% of respondents prefer a formal, instructor-led approach, while the rest felt informal, peer-to-peer methods were better. This creates a need for companies to provide personalized and blended learning experiences.

Image credit: iStockphoto/AndreyPopov