Pay falling for entry-level IT jobs

But management-level IT professionals have seen a boost of 20.5 per cent, according to new research.

Entry-level IT workers' wages haven't increased in years, while higher-level tech managers still get big salary increases, research has shown.

According to statistics from the Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) and iProfile.org, pay for first-line support staff has held firm at 18,000 over the past five years, while second line support staff have seen an increase of just 0.8 per cent a year.

Managers have seen an increase of 20.5 per cent over that time period, the research showed. Other research released today showed a four per cent increase across the board for all IT workers.

ATSCo suggested the differential between low- and higher-level pay mirrored the way those roles are outsourced - as more entry-level work moves offshore to India and other countries, those jobs become devalued here. And, as the UK specialises in higher value IT work, management jobs become worth more.

"Whilst entry-level IT positions may be moving offshore, sophisticated project management jobs remain firmly rooted on UK soil," said iProfile's chief executive, Rick Bacon.

"These managerial positions are as much business focused as they are focused on technology," he added. "We're seeing increasing competition for these positions, and it's crucial that people looking to secure or switch jobs in this area are recording and communicating their full range of skills to potential employers."

This could worsen the skills shortage, as the lack of entry-level IT jobs makes it difficult for graduates to get jobs, discouraging them from studying the subject in the first place.

Ann Swain, chief executive of ATSCo, said: "The outsourcing of entry-level IT jobs has meant fewer graduate-level jobs are available in the UK. It's like removing the bottom rung from the career ladder."

"The shortage now is of candidates with a few years experience looking for second and third jobs. But how do you get that experience if entry level jobs are being sent offshore?"

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