The top 10 technology roles set for the biggest salary gains in 2017

19 April 2017

2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

  • Hong Kong technology professionals can expect an average salary growth of 4.3% in 2017. 
  • 73% of Hong Kong technology professionals say they are being paid a fair salary in relation to their role and job duties. 
  • 98% say they would move jobs for a higher salary if they felt they were not being paid a fair salary with their current employer. 

The technology industry in Hong Kong is booming, which is exacerbating an already increasing skills shortage. With demand outweighing supply in many functional areas, starting salaries are growing for highly-skilled technology professionals. In an optimistic technology market, the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide has identified the IT jobs that can expect well above industry average salary growth. 

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According to the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide, Hong Kong professionals are set to experience an average salary growth rate of 4.3%. This optimistic growth is in-line with positive salary sentiment, as Robert Half research confirms almost three in four (73%) IT professionals think they are being paid a fair salary in relation to their job responsibilities. 

Adam Johnston, Managing Director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “A booming technology market is driving demand for skilled IT professionals. After a slight downturn in tourism, businesses are rebounding and allocating budget to business transformation and customer experience projects. Companies are becoming more innovative in attracting customers through digitisation, Big Data and data analytics. As companies invest in the Cloud, open source, and performance tools such as DevOp and Agile, candidates with specialist skills in these areas are in high demand.”

The war for top IT talent continues and pay is still a great motivator in Hong Kong. With 98% of technology professionals in Hong Kong saying they are willing to move jobs for a higher salary if they felt they were not being paid fairly in their current role, businesses will need to offer competitive salary packages in order to secure, as well as retain, top IT talent.

“With skills shortages prevalent across the technology sector, IT professionals who are in high demand are more likely to receive and accept attractive offers from competing organisations. In order to hold onto talent, companies need to ensure they offer appealing remuneration packages, in-line with or slightly above industry standards.”

“To increase their market value, IT professionals need to stay abreast of industry developments and keep themselves up-to-date with new software, emerging systems, and be highly confident with new devices and applications. Professionals who are able to stay ahead of the curve will be able to command higher salaries,” Adam Johnston concluded. 

What are the top technology jobs with the highest salary gains? 
With significant skills shortages present in many functional areas, companies will need to adjust their salary packages to remain competitive in attracting and retaining staff. Highly qualified IT candidates in hard-to-fill roles know they are in high demand and can negotiate accordingly. 

1.    Cloud Engineer 

2017 min [1]  2017 max  YoY growth [2]
$360,000  $1,000,000 + 16.2%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Cloud technology has already revolutionised the way companies store and utilise information, and the emergence of Big Data has only compounded the need for highly skilled Cloud specialists. This demand has put upwards pressure on starting salaries for Cloud Engineers in Hong Kong.

2.    Data Warehousing Specialist 

2017 min  2017 max YoY growth
$380,000  $1,200,000 + 14.5%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

In an increasingly data-driven market, professionals who can properly store and utilise Big Data are able to make informed and strategic decisions for their organisation. Because of this, Data Warehousing Specialists will find themselves in increased demand – resulting in increased starting salaries for top candidates who display the required skills, such as deep technical expertise, communication skills and general systems and application development knowledge. 

3.    Network Manager 

2017 min   2017 max  YoY growth
$400,000  $800,000 + 14.3%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

In order for a company’s IT processes to function at peak performance, businesses need IT professionals who can efficiently manage computer networks as well as a high-performing technical support team. Highly skilled Network Managers can therefore expect to receive strong salary gains in the year ahead. 

4.    Project Coordinator 

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$300,000 $660,000 + 14.3%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

As Hong Kong companies continue to expand and invest in business transformation projects, businesses need adequately skilled professionals to assist in implementing company projects. This demand will cause starting salaries for Project Coordinators to grow in the forthcoming year. 

5.    IT Security/IT Risk Lead

2017 min  2017 max  YoY growth
$700,000  $1,500,000 + 14.0%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Cyber-security is a key priority for Hong Kong organisations. To ensure their business is protected against external threats and security breaches, companies need to ensure that recruitment and retention of IT security specialists is a cornerstone part of their cyber-security strategy. As clever hackers become more sophisticated, the demand for cyber-security specialists is expected to increase, which is placing upwards pressure on salaries. 

6.    Project Management Officer

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$360,000 $660,000 + 13.3%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Professionals who can assist and manage the timely delivery of a company’s initiatives and projects are currently in high demand as Hong Kong businesses focus on increasing company growth and initiating new business projects. Experienced and highly skilled Project Management Officers who are able to assist on company projects and work independently can therefore expect to see their starting salaries grow substantially in 2017. 

7.    Project Manager

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$600,000 $1,200,000 + 12.5%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

With companies increasingly initiating new business projects, the demand for Project Managers within Hong Kong businesses continues to grow. Companies are increasingly looking for experienced and highly qualified Project Managers with well-developed people skills who can successfully implement, manage and develop key innovative projects for their organisation. Because of this growth and demand, Project Managers can expect above-average salary growth for the year ahead. 

8.    Database Administrator Lead/Development Lead 

2017 min   2017 max YoY growth
$700,000 $1,200,000 + 11.8%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Hong Kong businesses are becoming highly data-driven which explains the increased demand for IT professionals who can properly utilise and analyse Big Data, and make informed and strategic decisions for their organisation based on that data. Because of this, Database Administrators will find themselves in increased demand – resulting in increased starting salaries for top candidates.  

9.    Program Manager 

2017 min  2017 max YoY growth
$720,000 $1,400,000  + 10.4%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Hong Kong companies continue to expand and implement new technologies to accelerate growth. Program Managers need to understand all of their company’s innovations and projects, and manage a team of professionals to ensure the timely delivery of each company initiative. These roles are essential to business success, and because of this demand, Program Managers can expect substantial salary growth in 2017. 

10.    Scrum Master 

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$415,000 $960,000 + 10.0%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Businesses need skilled professionals to resolve technological impediments and manage scrum processes, which are increasing in complexity as Hong Kong companies continue to expand and adopt new technology. Because highly qualified Scrum Masters are in high demand and short supply, they are in a prime position to negotiate above-average salary gains. 

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[1] Salaries refers to starting salaries. Salary figures provided vary according to level of experience, size of the company, sector, employee skills and the organisation itself. 

[2] Salary difference between 2016 and 2017.

About the Robert Half Salary Guide
The 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide is the most comprehensive and authoritative resource on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services and information technology.

It offers a comprehensive overview of the current salary ranges, industry trends and specific job trends for finance and accounting professionals, finance professionals in the financial services sector and information technology professionals. The results and insights of the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide are based on comprehensive analyses, local job placements, local expertise and independent research among executives and office workers. For the first time we have also aggregated our data with Broadbean job posting data (a digital tool that captures job advertisement analytics and talent acquisition behaviour).

About the research
The research is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in February 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 finance and accounting, 100 technology and 100 financial services employees in Hong Kong.  

MEDIA CONTACT

Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
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