Project managers cash in on IT boom

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IT project managers are doing rather well out of the current IT boom.

Recruiters say many are being hired on short-term contracts - often around six months or less - on consultancy-style rates of around AU$1k a day. However, one consultant, who's temporarily relocated to Sydney from the UK, is reputedly charging AU$2k a day during his six-week contract.

Demand for IT project managers is being fuelled as Australia's major trading banks - enjoying record profits and share prices - invest heavily in new technology as they seek ways to maintain their record profit growth.

"We are seeing a lot of activity in this space," says Trevor Bradley, divisional manager, financial services, at Chandler Macleod. Bradley says banks are focusing on process improvement, automation and outsourcing. "They have a number of initiatives that they are working on. The demand for business analysts is very high."

As a result, recruiters have reportedly been inundated with requests in recent months for project management experts to advise the major trading banks on technology options.

In particular, banks are said to be interested in implementing more efficient systems to offset an impending slowdown in credit growth, expected by many in the market.

"They could be looking at an army of people who can roll out these initiatives," says Adam Kolokotsas, manager banking and finance in New South Wales for recruitment firm Tanner Menzies.

So who can become a project manager? "They tend to have a mix of banking and IT experience," says one recruiter who declines to be named. "We've placed about six of these people in the last month alone."

Kolokotsas predicts a mixture of IT, project management and banking experience will be an increasingly desirable profile as new projects are rolled out.

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