Eight in 10 Australian CIOs says it’s more challenging to find qualified IT professionals today than it was five years ago.

That’s according to the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide.

The shortage is a consequence of the increased demand for specialised skillsets needed to implement new technologies and protect against the changing threat landscape, the report argues.

The scarcity of talent is having an impact on salaries. According to the report, 97 per cent of CIOs are planning to award salary increases to an average of 21 per cent of their staff. The average increase is expected to be 8 per cent, which is significantly higher than the national wage growth of 2 per cent.

As IT employers battle an ongoing skills shortage, offering a competitive salary in order to secure top talent is often the most persuasive incentive, particularly in an employment market where 82 per cent of CIOs find it more challenging to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago.

“In this booming market, IT professionals with niche skillsets are finding themselves in high demand and are more likely to gravitate towards higher paying roles,” Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Australia.

The most in demand IT positions for 2018 include:

  • Cyber-security Specialist
  • Fullstack .Net Developer
  • Cloud Engineer

The escalating cost and frequency of cyber-attacks has resulted in organisations increasingly relying on cyber-security experts, and the best experts earn an average of $155,000. According to the study, 53 per cent of CIOs say IT security is the most difficult area to recruit talent.

Robert Half Salary Survey

The study also identified a demand for IT contractors, 92 per cent of CIOs plan to increase their temporary IT headcount in the company by an average of 21 per cent.

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