Banks in Hong Kong are facing increased competition for IT talent from both large tech firms and small start-ups.
One of the main attractions of working for a bank rather than a tech specialist is the compensation on offer. But how much do banking IT professionals actually earn in Hong Kong?
We’ve averaged out base salaries from several recruiter pay surveys across 10 key tech jobs in Hong Kong – from analyst to director level – to produce the table below.
If you want to work in a banking IT job in Hong Kong that now pays generous senior salaries, try project management – directors in that function earn HK$1,356k (US$174) on average, more than their counterparts in any of the other nine positions we looked at.
“A number of banks have offshored roles to low-cost centres but have kept managerial positions and leadership roles in Hong Kong and Singapore,” says Lynne Roeder a managing director at recruitment firm Hays. “Project managers who have the capability to effectively manage their staff remotely come with a hefty price tag.”
If you want a Hong Kong IT finance role where you will enjoy comparatively high pay inflation in the future, however, recruiters recommend specialising in cyber security.
Pay increments for cyber security candidates changing companies can reach up to 30% in Hong Kong.
“There’s a noticeable lack of cyber security experts in the market compared to more common finance technology jobs such as developers or infrastructure engineers,” says Roeder. “And it’s gaining ever-increasing importance on regional CIOs’ strategic agendas, which is driving high demand for a small pool of experienced people.”
In most sectors of IT banking, job seekers can expect pay rises of between 7% and 15% in Hong Kong.
But base pay isn’t the only motivating factor for Hong Kong techies. “Even though IT bonuses aren’t as effective a retention tool as front-office bonuses are, if candidates receive an offer with a less appealing bonus structure, they often decide to stay put regardless of any base salary increment,” says Roeder.
She adds: “Recently IT banking candidates in Asia are also attaching increased importance to work-life balance and aren’t solely focused on earning potential or job title.”
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