IT and technology
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 2017 start dates, unless otherwise stated.

  • Alfa graduate salary: £40,000
  • ARM graduate salary: £27,000 (2013 entry)
  • aquilaheywood graduate salary: up to £28,800 (2016 entry)
  • BAE Systems graduate salary: £28,000 minimum
  • BT graduate salary: £28,250–£31,500
  • CGI graduate salary: £26,000 PTS (programme and technical services) division; £21,600 outsourcing services division (both for 2016 entry)
  • Cisco Systems: £24,000–£28,000 (2012 entry)
  • Close Brothers graduate salary: £27,000
  • Co-operative Group graduate salary: £26,500
  • DSTL graduate salary: £20,800 minimum
  • FDM Group graduate salary: £21,500–£25,000
  • Fidessa group graduate salary: £24,500–£28,000 (2016 entry)
  • Fujitsu graduate salary: £29,000 plus £1,000 joining bonus
  • GCHQ graduate salary: around £25,295 plus benefits
  • GE (General Electric) graduate salary: around £30,000 (2012 entry)
  • IBM graduate salary: £35,000 strategic analytics consultant (up to £37,000 with relevant PhD); £30,000 software developer (up to £36,000 with relevant PhD); £30,000 other programmes (all 2016 entry)
  • Imagination Technologies graduate salary: £25,000–£30,000
  • International Financial Data Services graduate salary: £28,000 (2016 entry)
  • IPL graduate salary: up to £28,000
  • Lloyd's Banking Group graduate salary £28,000 plus £3,000 sign-on incentive and extra allowance for London placements (IT programme)
  • Lockheed Martin UK: £26,000 plus £1,000
  • Metaswitch Networks graduate salary: £35,000
  • MI5 graduate salary: £32,000 (for IT roles)
  • Microsoft graduate salary: £34,700 plus sign-on bonus
  • National Grid graduate salary: £27,500 (bachelors degree); £28,500 (masters degree)
  • Nestlé graduate salary: £27,000 (plus £2,000 'graduate allowance' paid over two years) (2013 entry)
  • NET-A-PORTER graduate salary: £26,000 (2013 entry)
  • NHS health informatics scheme graduate salary: circa £23,000 (plus higher cost of living allowance where applicable)
  • Ocado graduate salary: up to £33,000
  • Red Gate Software graduate salary: £25,000–£35,000 plus £2,000 signing bonus (2013 entry)
  • REPL Group: £25,000
  • Schlumberger graduate salary: £29,000–£39,000 (2013 entry)
  • Softwire graduate salary: £33,000 in London; £30,000 in Bristol, plus bonus
  • Sparx: £30,000
  • Tessella graduate salary: £24,000–£35,000
  • ThoughtWorks graduate salary: £32,000–£34,000
  • TPP graduate salary: £28,000–£36,000

You can find more details on these employers via the job search function on the TARGETjobs IT homepage.

Average salaries for graduate IT jobs

According to Ben Broughton, director of Premier Group Recruitment, junior developers starting their first jobs after university typically earn £24,000 to £26,000 in London, and £21,000 to £23,000 in the southern England, Midlands or Manchester areas. For infrastructure support jobs (such as those working with desktops or networks), typical first jobs for graduates pay around £22,000 to £24,000 in London (approximately 10% higher if the job is in the finance sector), and £19,000 to £21,000 in southern England, the Midlands and Manchester.

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey reported that computer science graduates who left university in 2014/15 and entered full-time paid employment were earning an average salary of £23,000 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.

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?

Looking at vacancies for those with around ten years’ experience, Ben Broughton comments that developer jobs (such as team leader or head of development) tend to pay around £70,000 to £85,000 in London and £60,000 to £70,000 in southern England, the Midlands and Manchester. For support jobs (such as IT manager), IT workers tend to earn £60,000 to £80,000 in London and £50,000 to £65,000 in southern England, the Midlands and Manchester.

According to IT Jobs Watch, the median salary for developer jobs (all experience levels) is £45,000. The average for IT project management jobs is £50,000; the average for technology consultant jobs is £60,000; the average for technology jobs in investment banking is £70,000; and the average for technology jobs in investment management is £65,000. (June 2016).

IT Jobs Watch's analysis also shows that the average salary for jobs requiring PHP skills is £40,000. The average salary for ASP skills is £42,500. For C# jobs the average salary is £45,000 (likewise for .Net jobs). For jobs involving Perl the average salary is £52,500. For business analyst roles the average salary is £50,000 (figures correct as of June 2016).

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