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.

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Your graduate salary for your first IT job could be under £24,000 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 2021 start dates, unless otherwise stated.

  • Airbus graduate salary: £27,000
  • Alfa graduate salary: £40,000
  • American Express graduate salary: £40,000 (2020 entry)
  • BAE Systems graduate salary: £28,000 minimum
  • Bank of England graduate salary: £30,000
  • Capital One graduate salary: £32,000–£40,000 (2020 entry)
  • Close Brothers graduate salary: £27,000 (increases to £32,000 in the second year)
  • FDM Group graduate salary: £23,500–£27,500 (2020 entry)
  • IBM graduate salary: £32,000 minimum
  • Lloyds Banking Group graduate salary: £31,000–£45,000
  • Metaswitch graduate salary: £41,500
  • MI5 graduate salary: starting at £33,350 and rising to £36,053 after the first year for the intelligence and data analyst programme; starting at £36,159 and rising to £39,091 after the first year for the technology graduate development programme
  • National Grid graduate salary: £28,709 (bachelors degree); £29,753 (masters degree)
  • NHS health informatics scheme graduate salary: circa £24,628 (plus higher cost of living allowance where applicable)
  • Sky graduate salary: £30,000–£35,000 (2020 entry)
  • Softwire graduate salary: £37,000 or £38,500, depending on location (software development graduate programme)
  • TPP graduate salary: £50,000 (software development and technical engineering graduate schemes)
  • Virgin Media graduate salary: £30,000 (technology and innovation graduate scheme)

Average salaries for graduate IT jobs

According to the 2020 Institute of Student Employers (ISE) Annual Student Recruitment Survey, the median graduate salary for digital and IT careers is £31,500, which is higher than the overall average of £29,667 across all sectors. Note that these figures are a median based on the salaries of the self-selecting sample of the ISE's 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.

Tech recruiters have previously told TARGETjobs that, while they may not be open to negotiating graduate salaries, the listed graduate salary may just be a ‘benchmark’ on top of which enhanced offers may be made to candidates who have especially strong academic results (such as a postgraduate degree) or particularly relevant work or project experience.

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, some recruiters have stated 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 2019 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 IT security engineer (in London) could typically expect to earn £65,000, rising to £90,000 for IT security architect roles. Developer roles can expect to earn £22,500–£95,000 depending on the location of the role, level of expertise and the languages they work with. Data analysts can expect a salary of £30,000–£40,000 across England and Wales, while for data scientists salary expectations can range from £42,000–£90,000.

According to IT Jobs Watch, the median salary for developer jobs (all experience levels) is £55,000. The median for IT project management jobs is also £55,000; the average for IT consultant jobs £50,000; the average for technology jobs in investment banking is £85,000; and the average for technology jobs in investment management is £95,000. For business analyst roles the median salary is £50,500 (6 months to July 2021).

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 £52,500 (likewise for .Net jobs). For jobs involving Perl the average salary is £62,500, £65,000 for Python and £65,000 for Java jobs (6 months to July 2021).

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