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What graduates are paid in IT jobs

What graduate salary can I expect in an IT job?

Find out what starting salary you could earn on IT graduate schemes, and what typical earnings are like for IT professionals at different stages.

Your graduate salary for your first IT job could be under £21,000 or over £30,000, depending on what you do and where you do it. In some cases, remuneration could be even higher.

IT graduate scheme salaries

Starting salaries for IT jobs tend to be highest at big employers that run IT or technology graduate programmes. The following figures refer to 2019 start dates, unless otherwise stated.

  • Alfa graduate salary: £40,000
  • American Express graduate salary: £33,000
  • aquilaheywood graduate salary: £29,000
  • BAE Systems graduate salary: £28,000 minimum
  • BT graduate salary: £28,250 (£30,500 for its networking, security, software and technical consultant graduate programmes)
  • Capital One graduate salary: £32,000–£40,000
  • CGI graduate salary: £26,000 PTS (programme and technical services) division; £21,600 outsourcing services division (both for 2016 entry)
  • Close Brothers graduate salary: £27,000
  • Co-operative Bank graduate salary: £27,500
  • DSTL graduate salary: £24,000−£26,000
  • FDM Group graduate salary: £23,500–£27,500
  • Fujitsu graduate salary: £29,000 plus £1,000 joining bonus (2018 entry)
  • GCHQ graduate salary: £26,091
  • IBM graduate salary: £30,000–£35,000
  • Imagination Technologies graduate salary: £25,000–£30,000 (2017 entry)
  • Liberty Global & Virgin Media graduate salary: £30,000+ (varies depending on scheme)
  • Lloyds Banking Group graduate salary starting from £28,000
  • Lockheed Martin UK graduate salary: £27,000 plus £1,000 starting bonus
  • Metaswitch graduate salary: £32,001–£34,500
  • MI5 graduate salary: around £33,000
  • Microsoft graduate salary: £34,700 plus sign-on bonus (2018 entry)
  • National Grid graduate salary: £27,500 (bachelors degree); £28,500 (masters degree), plus £2,000 joining bonus
  • NHS health informatics scheme graduate salary: circa £23,000 (plus higher cost of living allowance where applicable)
  • Ocado graduate salary: £25,000–£30,000
  • REPL Group: £25,000 (2017 entry)
  • Sky graduate salary: £26,500
  • Softwire graduate salary: £36,000
  • Sparx: £30,000+ (2017 entry)
  • Tessella graduate salary: £25,000–£35,000
  • ThoughtWorks graduate salary: £32,000–£35,000
  • TPP graduate salary: £45,000

You can find more details on these IT employers and apply for graduate jobs and internships via their employer hubs.

Average salaries for graduate IT jobs

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey reported that computer science graduates who left university in 2015/16 and entered full-time paid employment were earning an average salary of £24,000 six months after graduating. Note that this figure covers all such graduates, regardless of whether they were working in IT or had a ‘graduate-level’ job.

According to the 2018 Institute of Student Employers (ISE) Annual Student Recruitment Survey, the average starting salary for graduates in digital careers was £34,750 and £31,017 for graduates working in the IT & telecommunications sector. Note that these figures are a median based on the salaries of the self-selecting sample of the ISEs members.

Can I negotiate a higher starting salary?

At entry level, there’s not much scope for negotiating a higher remuneration package. However, some IT companies do have salary ranges, and will position you on these depending on your academic qualifications, previous experience and performance in the selection process.

Steve Rodgers, international recruitment manager in Ocado’s technology division, comments: ‘We have a baseline graduate salary that can be augmented depending upon the individual. I wouldn't say it's negotiable per se but, for example, if a graduate has strong academics (a postgraduate degree) with appropriate project or relevant work/internship experience then we would make an enhanced offer.’

Will I get paid more if I have a postgraduate degree?

Some IT employers do start their graduates higher up the pay scale if they have a masters degree or PhD. For example, National Grid offers a slightly higher starting salary for graduates with a masters, while, as outlined above, Steve Rodgers states that a postgraduate degree is one factor that might contribute to a higher starting salary.

How much do experienced IT professionals earn?

The Hays UK Salary Guide 2018 gives an indication of what experienced IT professionals in a variety of roles could expect to earn (based on jobs placed by Hays recruitment agency). For example, an cyber security information security engineer (in London) could typically expect to earn £60,000, rising to £85,000 for information security architect roles. Developer roles can expect to earn £35,000–£50,000 depending on the location of the role and the languages they work with.

According to IT Jobs Watch, the median salary for developer jobs (all experience levels) is £50,000. The average for IT project management jobs is £52,500; the average for technology consultant jobs is £47,500; the average for technology jobs in investment banking is £67,500; and the average for technology jobs in investment management is £65,000. For business analyst roles the median salary is £50,000 (November 2018).

IT Jobs Watch's analysis also shows that the median salary for jobs requiring PHP skills is £45,000. For C# jobs the average salary is £50,000 (likewise for .Net jobs). For jobs involving Perl the average salary is £55,000 and £50,000 for Java jobs (figures correct as of November 2018). The 2018/19 salary survey by recruitment agency Mason Frank International reported that the media salary for developers/programmers specialising in the Salesforce CRM system was £50,659 for junior developers and increased to £80,999 for senior developers (please note this data is taken from a self-selecting survey with 2,203 respondents).

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