Tech professionals most likely to see pay raises of more than 10% in 2016

SINGAPORE - Good news for those in the tech industry! IT professionals are more likely to see large salary increases this year than their counterparts in the finance or banking sectors.

According to recruitment firm Robert Half's latest 2016 salary guide, about two in 10 (20%) employees in the tech industry can expect their salaries to rise by 10 per cent or more.

By contrast, only nine per cent from the finance & accounting sector, and none from the banking & financial services sector are likely to get similar increments.

Mr David Jones, Robert Half's senior managing director for Asia Pacific, acknowledged that the area where salaries are most likely to increase are in technology roles.

"We are seeing strong demand for professionals with skills in IT audit, security and change management. Responding to technological change is a priority for many companies in Singapore and they need top technology professionals to deliver projects and update their systems," he explained.

Earlier this year, it was reported that tech giant Google was seeking to hire a team of software engineers in Singapore.

Salaries to expect in Singapore 2016 (per annum): Robert Walters

  • Cyber security specialist: $110k-$250k, up from $100k-$200k in 2015
  • IT database administrator: $70k-$220k, up from $70k-$175k in 2015
  • IT applications developer: $70k-$150k, up from $70k-$120k in 2015
  • IT applications development manager: $100k-$200k, up from $84k-$170k in 2015
  • Finance manager (Accounting):$80k-$120k, up from $70-110k in 2015
  • Senior auditor/auditor (Accounting): $70k-$100k, flat from 2015
  • Private banking anaylst/associate: $50k-$90k, flat from 2015
  • Compliance advisory/research analyst/associate: $50k-$90k, up from $45k-$90k in 2015
  • Consumer/retail banking associate: $45k-70k, flat from 2015
  • Investment banking associate: $50k-$90k, up slightly from $50k-$85k in 2015
  • General/core compliance associate: $50k-$75k, up from $45k-$75k in 2015
  • Corporate/M&A lawyering: $70k-$140k, flat from 2015
  • Key sales/marketing account manager (consumer): $70k-$100k, flat from 2015
  • Marketing manager (consumer): $100k-$120k+, flat from 2015

On the whole, more than seven in 10 (72%) employees can expect their salaries to stay the same or increase between one and five per cent.

The report also revealed that finance and accounting professionals are most likely to enjoy a salary increase of more than five per cent in 2016. Three out of five employees in the industry can expect an increase of more than five per cent.

However, the outlook is significantly less rosy for those in banking & financial services, as salaries within this sector are expected to be the most flat out of the three industries covered.

Reflecting reduced hiring activity in banks around the world, salary increases on offer for Singapore banking professionals are expected to be five per cent or less for a huge majority of employees (96%).

Commenting on the figures, Mr Jones said that the modest salary increases reflected the subdued global economy, but there remains optimism for both economic and corporate growth this year.

"Singapore's employment market is still active with many firms making hires to replace staff who have left and to expand their headcount. However, hiring activity is not driving up salaries the way it has in previous years," he said.

He also pointed out that while in previous years business leaders typically cited the lack of supply of candidates, this year employers faced a shortage of candidates with the right specialist knowledge and experience.

"There has been a significant change in the factors driving salary increases in Singapore. It's not a lack of supply that is the problem, it's a lack of skills," he added.

The problem of workers with insufficient skills has been acknowledged by the Government. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that the upcoming Budget would look at helping workers learn new skills to cope with changes or to enter new industries through the SkillsFuture framework.

10 tips to asking for a pay raise

  • Let your boss know in advance what some of your concerns are instead of barging into the office demanding more money. Giving you boss some time to think about the issues you are worried about also allows him to accurately analyse your performance beforehand.
  • This allows you to better argue for a desired pay raise. Back it up with evidence and point out specific examples where you have stepped up beyond your job scope. However, do not bring up every single thing you have done as that will just bore your boss. Highlight only the ones that may mean something to your superiors.
  • If you are gunning for more money and recognition, do not turn aggressive when your boss has something to say. Listen for criticism and be open to constructive feedback - or at least try to appear open to it.
  • Let your boss know how much more you can do for your company with a raise. Explain what you plan to achieve in the coming year to justify getting more money.
  • Be aware of what others of your rank are getting within and outside of the company. With a rough gauge, you can negotiate for a more reasonable pay to match your peers.
  • Be understanding toward your boss so that he/she does not feel like you are being pushy. Express your appreciation for any sort of help your boss is willing to give, even if it is not significant monetarily.
  • You don't have to sell your soul to the company but do make an effort to stand out by doing the things others don't want to do or simply forget about. Volunteer for ad hoc projects and show your boss that you deserve more recognition by being different from the rest.
  • Do all the research you can to provide valuable input when your boss needs it. Give usable ideas and provide solutions when a problem arises. This requires you to do more by studying what others have done.
  • Don't be a know-it-all. Be humble and remember that your boss is still your superior. When naming your achievements, talk a little about the things you are working to improve on as well. This demonstrates the level of awareness you have about the work you are given.
  • Even if the answer is no, don't take it personally. Listen to feedback and work on improving on your weaknesses. After some time, approach your boss again and gently remind him to reconsider giving you a pay raise.