High-tech skills still demanding high wages

Upward pressure on salaries expected to continue as enrolment in high-tech programs declines
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/21/2005

Canadian firms are paying a higher premium for high-tech workers with specialized skills than they did a year ago, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting and sponsored by the Information Technology Association of Canada, also found that specially trained workers at high-tech companies are earning more than their peers in other industries and software is significantly outpacing hardware as a career with opportunity in the Canadian workforce.

Three years ago the average wage for a hardware engineer was slightly higher than that of a software design engineer. But software engineers now earn up to five per cent more than their hardware design colleagues.

Average salary breaks $100K

The study found that some senior level high-tech positions have increased salaries by more than 25 per cent since 2001. Software design engineers are earning an average of $101,000 per year, up from $80,000 in 2001. Hardware engineers earn on average $97,000 up from $81,000 three years ago.

“Despite the challenges the high-tech sector has faced, compensation for specialized professionals with advanced skill sets continues to increase faster than the general rate of increase for wages,” said Danielle Bushen, principal, Mercer Human Resource Consulting. “We anticipate that the upward pressure on salaries for high-tech engineers will continue given that the enrolment rate in college and university high-tech programs is declining but the demand for capable professionals is not.”

The study,

HTC- High-Tech Compensation Survey, 2004

,was sponsored by the Information Technology Association of Canada, and includes data from 70 organizations representing about 47,000 Canadian high-tech sector employees.

The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information technology industry. Together with its partner organizations across the country, the association represents 1,300 companies in the computing and telecommunications hardware, software, services, and electronic content sectors. This network of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 542,000 jobs, $132.6 billion in revenue, $5.3 billion in research and development expenditure and $36 billion in exports that IT contributes annually to the Canadian economy.

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