Graduate pay in computer sector increases by 31%


SALARIES for young graduates entering the computer industry have risen by as much as 31 per cent in the past 18 months and the vast majority of companies are complaining they still cannot find enough of them. In contrast, salaries for managers have tended to rise less dramatically, but still by a respectable 20 per cent in many sectors.

Irish companies are complaining that they cannot compete with multinationals when it comes to attracting qualified staff.

These are among the findings of a Technology Salaries and Skills Survey 1997, just published by Computer Staff Recruitment. CSR managing director Ms Elizabeth Neligan says that the faster rate of salary increases for new entrants to the sector reflects the greater demand at that level.

"There is a big demand from industry for hands on young techies, because of the push towards client servicing and desktop computers".

In contrast there are fewer vacancies further up the management pyramid and she predicts this trend would continue.

The survey, based on responses from 300 Irish companies, says that 70 per cent of them reported difficulties recruiting IT staff. Predictably, one of the main areas was COBOL, because of the Year 2000 problem.

However, the single largest area of skill shortages is in staff able to use RPG400. This is the most popular business processing system with the top Fortune 100 companies and companies are currently installing them at the international rate of one every ten minutes.

"There aren't any third level colleges training people in this language," Ms Neligan says. The shortage may increase because a large number of companies are considering replacing legacy systems rather than adjusting them to cope with the Year 2000 problem.