IT Salary Survey 2014: The Results, "Arabian Computer News"


Dubai, United Arab Emirates - The ACN IT survey received 386 qualified responses from IT professionals working in the Middle East.


Compensation results show a wider spread than 2013. Every job role with 20 responses or more reported annual salaries from under $20,000 to $200,000+, indicating widely-ranging definitions of job roles and variation between different company sizes and sectors.

The overall industry salary average across all roles was approximately $81,000. 18% of respondents made $150,000 or more (13% last year) while 7% were in the top bracket of $200,000+. One-third of respondents reported $50,000 or less.

CIOs, CTOs and IT directors earned $151,000 on average, although $200,000+ was the commonest salary band. In the US, average earnings were $163,000 for CIOs, $131,000 for CTOs and $132,000 for IT Directors (according to InformationWeek's 2014 Salary Survey).

IT managers earned a median salary of $81,000-$90,000 – up considerably from last year's median of $61,000-$70,000. Meanwhile, InformationWeek reported an average salary of $102,000 for US managers and $140,000 for senior managers.

54% of respondents anticipated bonuses, mainly based on personal and corporate performance.

"Key talents are better-compensated here – just like everywhere else. We have noticed greater diversity in compensation packages due to the market environment, which is growing rapidly but not fully structured. What characterizes the Middle East is the fact that compensation is sometimes directly linked to average salary in an IT professional’s country of origin, with no company-wide standard approach," notes Daiga Trumpe, Head of Technology Practice Group, Middle East & Africa, Pedersen & Partners.


  • 70% of respondents received a raise in 2014, compared to 63% in 2013, with average increases of 2-5%.
  • Salary satisfaction rose from 31% last year to 35%. The split between respondents who are satisfied, dissatisfied or neutral stayed at about one-third each.
  • Job satisfaction rose to 56% from 48% last year, while dissatisfaction fell from 17% to 15%.
  • The most important factors for job satisfaction were good working environment and salary. Good employers, challenging work, stability and skill development were also mentioned.
  • However, one-third of respondents expected to change jobs within six months, and two-thirds within two years.
  • Compensation and advancement opportunities are the main motivators for changing jobs. New challenges, better environment, skill development and better benefits were also mentioned.

Trumpe says talent retention is prioritized as the market matures. "High-tech companies operating in the region know that human capital is vital to stay competitive and ensure sustainable growth. They retain the best talents with long-term incentives, professional development opportunities and succession planning.”


68% of respondents say that the region offers “good” or “very good” career prospects.

Daiga Trumpe says that companies are developing more focused IT teams and looking to outside sources for expertise, but recruitment in growth markets is still high. "The current IT development phase necessitates 'quality over quantity'. We see GCC companies optimizing their in-house IT teams — shifting towards core competencies and using alternative solutions for less business-critical workloads (subcontracting, freelancers, outsourcing). However, we still see bulk hirings in high growth markets such as Saudi Arabia, and in Africa where companies are now growing their existing teams."
Investment in internal resources may still be limited to core competencies, said Trumpe. "Investment in the right competencies and the right people (supporting business growth priorities) give companies incredible advantages over the competition, but the key question is still protecting and sustaining this knowledge in-house. There is a growing trend to invest only in key competencies and outsource other resources from specialized vendors."

Written by Mark Sutton on October for Arabian Computer News
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