Published on November 9, 2023, 5:25 am

The Asia-Pacific region offers some of the highest-paying IT jobs, with cybersecurity/IT security, IT architecture and design, and cloud being the top three. These positions have average annual salaries of $65,524, $61,501, and $56,096 respectively. Interestingly, it is not the banking and finance sector that provides the highest pay for IT professionals. Instead, it is the construction, architecture and engineering industry that takes the lead with an average salary of $78,697. Following closely behind are government non-defence (state and local) with an average salary of $77,839 and insurance, real estate and legal with an average salary of $72,260.

According to the 2022 IT Skills and Salary Report by Skillsoft, 62% of IT decision-makers in APAC acknowledge skills gaps within their teams. Although this still poses a significant challenge for organizations, it represents an improvement from last year as there has been an 11% decrease in skills gaps.

However, another pressing concern for the industry is talent attrition. More than half (53%) of respondents in the survey stated that they are extremely or somewhat likely to seek new job opportunities in the next 12 months. This trend is influenced by factors such as the Great Resignation movement and “quiet quitting,” where employees silently disengage from their jobs due to burnout caused by rapid digital transformation and inadequate technical resources.

These trends contribute to record-high rates of talent turnover across all industries. As revealed in the report’s findings, employee retention and recruitment are currently the biggest challenges faced by IT leaders. To address these challenges effectively, organizations must make proactive efforts to shift their cultures towards fostering fulfillment, engagement, and motivation among employees.

Zach Sims, General Manager of Tech & Dev at Skillsoft emphasizes that learning plays a vital role in both individual employee growth and organizational success: “Learning is the catalyst for mutually beneficial growth for employees and employers, especially as organizations struggle to retain technical talent and keep pace with innovation.” By creating a culture of learning and talent development, companies are more likely to attract and retain ambitious individuals equipped with the right skills and certifications to drive impactful results.

The report also reveals the reasons why IT professionals change employers. The top three reasons cited are better compensation, a lack of training and development opportunities, and a lack of work-life balance. Surprisingly, despite the recognized value that certified staff brings to an organization (as acknowledged by 97% of IT decision-makers), the main barrier to training is management’s failure to recognize the need for it.

Investing in employee training offers significant benefits to organizations. Those who receive training experience improved quality of work (56%), increased engagement (41%), and faster job performance (36%). Moreover, organizations that invest in their people can expect significant returns on investment both in terms of the bottom line and employee retention.

Orla Daly, Chief Information Officer at Skillsoft, emphasizes the importance of tapping into employees’ desire for upskilling and growth: “With deliberate planning focused on creating transformative learning experiences, we, as an industry, can not only solve for today’s skills gaps but also create a sustainable workforce aligned with future skill needs.”

The report also highlights other key findings:

1. Skills gaps continue to be a concern for IT decision-makers:
– 80% see skills gaps as high or medium risks to their team’s ability to meet objectives.
– 63% have experienced difficulties filling at least three positions within the last year.
– Difficulties with hiring skilled candidates (44%) and employee retention (33%) are driving factors behind skills gaps. Additionally, 26% believe that not enough is being invested in training.
– Cloud computing; AI and machine learning; data analytics, data management, and data science are identified as the most challenging areas to find qualified talent in APAC.
– 70% of IT departments in APAC expect a budget increase in the next year, with cloud computing, AI and machine learning, and data analytics, data management, and data science being the top skill areas of investment.

2. Power skills are becoming increasingly critical:
– 92% of IT professionals in APAC have undergone some form of training in the past year. The top reasons for training are preparing the organization for new technology upgrades, earning a salary increase, and personal choice or interest to upskill.
– 61% of organizations offer leadership development programs. Team communication, interpersonal communication, and emotional intelligence are identified as the most important power skills to develop.
– One-fourth of IT professionals have participated in power and professional skills training in the last year.

3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts require further improvement:
– 75% of respondents state that their organizations prioritize DEI initiatives.
– Approximately 25% of respondents have experienced microaggressions, harassment, or discrimination at work.
– Only 43% indicate that diverse talent recruitment is being prioritized by non-management IT staff

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