Normalisation of Salary Growth in Australia’s Tech Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on IT workers in Australia, causing a surge in salaries as companies resumed projects and competed for tech skills and talent. However, in 2023, economic challenges led to a slowdown in salary growth and some job losses in the tech sector. Despite this, there are still plenty of lucrative opportunities for tech workers due to the ongoing shortage of tech skills, especially in high-demand areas.

Recent reports suggest that tech worker salaries in Australia are either stagnating or falling in 2024. For example, Employment Hero’s SME Index indicated a decline in the median hourly rate for tech workers, while data from Seek showed a small growth in advertised salaries in the information and communication technology sector. However, these reports may not provide the full picture, as they may not capture all talented tech workers or include salary information in job advertisements.

The Australian Tech Salary Guide by Think & Grow highlights the varying salary growth between different tech roles. While team leaders saw minimal growth in salaries, software engineers experienced significant growth. According to Nicole Gorton, director at recruiter Robert Half, it is important to view salary data in context. She explains that the past three years were not normal due to the pandemic and subsequent restructuring. However, despite the recent slowdown, the tech industry is still hiring, and salaries are expected to remain healthy, particularly in areas like data, cybersecurity, systems engineering, and business transformation.

The tech hiring market in 2024 presents opportunities for tech workers, with companies cautiously positive about hiring, depending on project needs and industry sectors. Roles in high demand include developers, business analysts, cybersecurity specialists, data engineers, BI and data analysts, systems engineers, and cloud engineers. Employers are also considering how their tech workforce can adapt to an AI environment and remain competitive in their industry.

While salary growth may have stabilized, tech work in Australia is still attractive, with ample opportunities for international workers. The Australian government is implementing strategies to tap into global tech talent, including specialized visa pathways for highly skilled workers and visas for areas facing skills shortages. Despite potential barriers, Australia offers technological expansion and growth, making it an appealing destination for APAC tech workers to expand their skill sets.

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