What graduate salary can I expect in an IT job?

28 Mar 2023, 09:23

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

Graduate counting money in their wallet

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 2023 start dates, unless otherwise stated.

  • Airbus graduate salary: £29,725 for most IT-related schemes
  • Alfa graduate salary: £40,000
  • Aviva graduate salary: 28,000 for the technology programme; changes according to the market for the Graduate Leadership Programme
  • American Express graduate salary: reported to be between £34,000 and £44,500
  • BAE Systems graduate salary: £30,000
  • Babcock graduate salary: £31,000 for IT and digital engineering programmes
  • Bank of England graduate salary: £31,000
  • Capital One graduate salary: between £30,000 and £40,000, with a £5,000 joining bonus
  • Close Brothers graduate salary: £31,500, typically increasing to £33,000 in the second year (2022 entry)
  • Deloitte graduate salary: reportedly between £31,000 and £38,000
  • FDM Group graduate salary: reportedly between 23,000 and £27,000
  • IBM graduate salary: £32,000 across most schemes
  • KIER graduate salary: £28,500 for ICT graduates
  • Kubrick Group graduate salary: reportedly £34,000
  • Lloyds Banking Group graduate salary: £35,000 for the software engineering scheme and £45,000 for the data science scheme
  • Mercedes AMG graduate salary: reported to be £33,000
  • MI5 graduate salary: starting at £33,000, and with a guaranteed increase after the first year
  • NATS graduate salary: £28,000 for IT solutions graduates
  • National Grid graduate salary: £29,254 (bachelors degree); £30,318 (masters degree), plus a £2,000 joining bonus
  • NHS Digital graduate salary £24,907
  • PCC graduate salary: reportedly between £22,000 and £27,000 for the IT business systems scheme
  • Sky graduate salary: reported to be between £33,000 and £35,000
  • Softwire graduate software developer programme salary: £42,000
  • TPP graduate salary: £50,000 (software development and technical engineering graduate schemes)
  • Virgin Media graduate salary: £30,000, with a £2,000 welcome bonus, for technology and digital schemes
  • Zurich graduate salary: £29,400 for the change and technology graduate programme

What is the best paying graduate IT job?

The graduate programmes we’ve come across in the course of our research that are most likely to bulk out your bank account are TPP’s software development and technical engineering roles – both of which pay £50,000 per year. We are not saying definitively that TPP offers the highest graduate technology salaries, but it is the highest-paying employer that we’ve found.

Salary trends in IT jobs

The trend in IT seems to be a consistent rise in salaries. The 2022 Hays UK Salary Guide analyses results of a survey carried out in August 2021, and states that 63% of employers predicted salary increases in the following 12 months. Over half of technology employers had increased salaries over the previous year – by an average of 3.8%.

Particular demand in areas of cyber, software development, and data and advanced analytics roles saw even greater average increases in salaries – by 8.3%, 6% and 4.6% respectively. Demand in these areas is unlikely to stop any time soon, so we predict that this trend will continue.

Can I negotiate a higher starting salary?

At entry level, with established graduate recruiters, 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.

Established 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. Some offer additional financial incentives, too, such as the joining bonus offered by National Grid and Virgin Media.

You might find that smaller or start-up tech employers will be more open to negotiating a starting salary with individual hires – if that is the case, head over to our advice features on how to negotiate a starting salary and how to answer the interview question ‘What are your salary expectations?’ .

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 other 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 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 £75,000, rising to £110,000 for IT security architect roles. Those in developer roles, who are no longer at junior level, can expect to earn £35,000–£90,000 depending on the location of the role and level of expertise. Data analysts can expect a salary of £25,000–£50,000 across England and Wales, while for data scientists salary expectations can range from £35,000–£100,000.

According to IT Jobs Watch, the median salary for developer jobs (all experience levels) is £60,000. The median for technology jobs in banking is £75,000; the median for fintech jobs is £71,600; the median for IT consultants is £70,000; the median for games developers is £57,500; the median for IT project management jobs is £55,000 and the median for IT analyst jobs is £37,500.

IT Jobs Watch's analysis also shows that the median salary for jobs requiring AI skills is £70,000. For .NET jobs, the average salary is £60,000. For jobs involving Perl the average salary is £62,000, and £70,000 for both Python and Java jobs (6 months to September 2022).

Next: search graduate jobs, schemes & internships

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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