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IT Job Market in 2023: Slower Growth but Optimistic Future

CAREERSIT Job Market in 2023: Slower Growth but Optimistic Future

Last year, the IT job market was significantly less dynamic than in previous years, according to the “IT Industry Salary Report 2024” by the IT Services Employers Organization (SoDA). With high levels of pay raises, specialists changed jobs less frequently, but some were forced to do so due to employment cuts ranging from 12% to 26%, depending on the company size. This year looks more optimistic: 61% of companies plan to increase employment, and 72% plan to raise salaries. Experts highlight the persistent significant disparity between the salaries of women and men in the industry.

“Our study shows that the proportion of women in the IT industry has not changed from last year, remaining at 17% overall (referring to technical positions). The study also revealed that in 80% of cases, women on B2B contracts earn less than men, while on employment contracts, it is as much as 85%. Thus, this difference is very significant,” says Marcelina Chojnacka, Managing Director of the IT Services Employers Organization (SoDA).

In terms of amounts, these differences average over 1,300 PLN on employment contracts and nearly 1,100 PLN on B2B contracts. The SoDA report indicates that the largest salary disparities between women and men occur in positions like devops engineer and cloud engineer, reaching up to 5,100 PLN on B2B contracts. According to Marta Kępa, Managing Director of the organization, many companies still do not place enough emphasis on bridging the pay gap.

Last year, average earnings in the IT industry grew dynamically, especially under employment contracts (22% vs. 13% for B2B).

“Our study indicates that employees in positions such as DevOps Engineer and Cloud Engineer can enjoy the highest earnings, as these workers are also among the most sought after in the market,” says Marcelina Chojnacka.

Senior devops engineers and senior cloud engineers earn an average of 21,481 PLN on employment contracts and 25,200 PLN under B2B contracts. Senior software developers can expect only slightly lower salaries (15,700 PLN and 24,400 PLN depending on the type of employment). By contrast, positions at the lower end of the scale, such as quality assurance engineers or UI/UX designers, earn just over 10,000 PLN on employment contracts. As SoDA experts point out, IT specialist salaries continue to rise despite the challenging period in the industry. This trend is expected to continue this year, with nearly three out of four employers announcing pay raises.

“Definitely, the IT industry remains a promising employer. The development of artificial intelligence has also led to an increase in technology-related positions. We are facing a digital transformation that is already happening before our eyes, so the demand for specialists is still very high,” explains the Managing Director of the IT Services Employers Organization.

Last year, employees satisfied with their financial situation were less inclined to take risks and seek new jobs in an unstable market. The median turnover was 10%, whereas in the previous two years it was between 15-18%. Their attitude was influenced by companies cutting employment. Small entities, up to 50 people, reduced it by an average of 26%, while large companies, over 300 people, by 12%. SoDA experts assess that this was a result of smaller investments in digitalization, stemming from a global economic slowdown. This is why companies, seeking savings, reduced human capital. However, this year, over 60% have announced increases in employment, indicating that the demand for IT specialists is still very high.

“A year and a half ago, we conducted a study together with the Polish Economic Institute, which showed that to reach the European average, we need 147,000 specialists. The talent gap is significant. Of course, those were different times. If we conducted this study again now, probably the gap would be slightly smaller, yet it is important to emphasize that there is still a very high demand for very experienced specialists. However, we see significantly less demand for so-called juniors, that is, people who are just entering the job market,” says Marcelina Chojnacka.

This group of IT workers felt the consequences of last year’s slowdown the most.

“Young workers found it harder to enter the job market in 2023. Only 5% of job offers were for junior positions. Of course, there are certain solutions – there are specializations where the entry threshold is lower, such as software testing. One can also train in technologies that are certain niches. It will be easier for these individuals to gain experience and move up to higher levels of experience, like mid or senior,” says the SoDA expert.

Employers indicate that the biggest challenges in the coming months are related to financial pressure (32%) and maintaining and developing employees (23%), that is, finding interesting projects that will maintain the motivation and engagement of teams.

“The third indicator is managing remote teams. They are spread not only across Poland but across the world, so it is important to maintain their motivation but also to verify the effectiveness of their work,” says Marcelina Chojnacka. “Nearly 70% of our companies pointed to these three responses.”

87% of the surveyed companies last year offered employees co-financing for their development. A similar percentage indicated benefits such as sports cards and cinema tickets.

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