PHOTO - Woon Tai Hai, PIKOM chairman.
The latest edition of the ICT Job Market Outlook report points to positive salary growth of 10.9 percent for Malaysian ICT professionals within a resilient local economy, according to the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), analyst firm KPMG and online recruitment provider Jobstreet.com.
During the release by the three organisations of the fifth edition of the report on 22 May 2012, PIKOM chairman, Woon Tai Hai, said: "The trends indicate a positive feel on the overall job market in the country. Salary growth is moderate in tandem with the economic climate in Malaysia which is still experiencing resilient growth in spite of the conditions in Eurozone."
Woon said the average monthly salary of ICT professional rose from RM5,626 (US$1,790) in 2010 to RM6,280 (US$1,998) in 2011, a rise of 10.9 percent. "The average entry-level salary saw a significant rise from a monthly minimum of RM1,800 [US$570] to RM2,238 [US$712]. "There has been a lot of talk that the average entry-level salaries have not seen much increase over the last 10 years. PIKOM feels a moderate increase is manageable that will continue to attract people to the ICT industry."
"However, the ICT industry is still lagging behind some industry sectors in terms of salary rates," he said. "The oil and gas industry is by far the highest paying followed by those employed by telecommunications companies."
Woon added that professionals in the software development category earned the highest average salary in the ICT sector. "Taking home RM3,600 [US$1,145] per month compared to RM3,025 [US$962] in the hardware category and RM 3,225 [US$1,026] in the call centre category. This is for professionals with an average of five years of experience."
Size does matter
"The larger local companies and multinational corporations that employ more than 1,000 people tend to have higher salary with an average of 36.4 percent higher than companies with less than 100 employees," said Woon. "It looks like size does matter."
"As expected, the salaries in the Klang Valley are higher by nine percent compared to Johor but it is only marginally higher by 1.7 percent compared to Penang," he said. "In the region, Hong Kong professionals earn 3.1 times more than Malaysian ICT professionals. This is followed by Singapore that offers 2.52 higher salaries. Even our counterparts in Thailand, their salaries have caught up with Malaysians and are now marginally higher. Developed, English-speaking countries are still the main attraction for Malaysian graduates attracting them with higher salaries."
"Overall the job market sentiment is still good," said Woon. "There are still concerns about the global slowdown especially in Europe where the sovereign debt crisis has not improved the last two years. PIKOM is estimating at least nine percent growth in salaries in 2012 in line with the stimulus provided by various government economic programmes."
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