Salary disconnect in SA IT industry

A new report reveals a disconnect between the salary expectations of South Africa’s engineering and IT students, and real world salary indicators.

Universum’s South African “Companies of the Future” report, based on a survey of 16,900 students from 23 universities, shows that engineering and IT student have the highest salary expectations, an average of R258,071 annually  immediately after graduating.

Health care and science students expect an average annual salary of R243,218 in their first job. Business, Commerce and Management students expect R238,939 per year.

Expectations and reality

According to the 2013 ITWeb salary survey however, an entry level IT employee should expect to earn R139,000 for at least the first two years following graduation.

Payscale’s statistics show that the entry-level salary for a BSc Computer Science graduate is R142,563, while entry-level engineering salaries range between R185,000 and R211,000 per year.

Crystal van Soest from Express Employment Professionals substantiated these statistics, saying that entry level IT salaries for graduates start from as low as R8,000 per month (R96,000 per year).

Entry IT Salary - expectation vs reality
Entry IT Salary – expectation vs reality

According to van Soest entry-level IT salaries in South Africa range significantly based on salary and region.

BCom Informatics graduates, for example, can only expect to earn between R96,000 and R144,000 annually in their first job. Electronic engineers in Johannesburg, on the other hand, can earn above R300,000 in their first year.

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Salary disconnect in SA IT industry