Sad Story of IT Slowdown – Tech Salaries Are Stagnant

While most of the Indian media debates on how profitable or challenging has 2017 been for the Indian IT industry, we state the fact that the salaries in IT job market have not increased in last 18 months or more. In our study over IT salaries for past 18 months (Paywatch Salary Reports Oct 2016, April 2017 & Oct 2017), team Paywatch found that salaries have remained stagnant for most of the technologies & experience ranges. Techies have only been getting a hike with the increase in their experience and their technology shifts.

Comparing our three salary reports, we found out that the average salaries by large have not increased much for most of the technologies. In some cases, there has also been a downfall. So, we further compared graphs for each technology and each experience range. The results are visually similar. Here are some of our key findings that would draw the entire picture of Indian IT industry from micro to macro level.


A minor visible increase in average salary is keeping entry level candidates happy

Where 10 lakh graduates failed to get placements last year, it was a big bonanza for those who landed up in jobs for a bit more salary than their seniors. Oversupply! A very minor increase in the average salaries of developers with .Net, Java, JavaScript, PHP, QA Testers, DB Developers and DB Administrators has been seen. That’s ok, as long as these candidates get some salary credited to their bank accounts while their batch mates still go attending interviews. Who cares if big IT companies have formed cartel to keep fresher’s salary low? Companies are anyways happy to hire low-cost labor.


Where there’s a minor decrease, there’s more than just a matter of demand-supply ratio

There has been a minor decrease in the average salary of Python, Node JS, C++, Android, iOS, Hadoop, DevOps and Big Data. Looking at just the technology stack, one can infer a lot. There are very few C++ projects with companies these days. For Python & Node JS, openings are less than the popular technologies like Java, .Net and PHP. On the other hand, supply of candidates laced with these skills is quite good. But then, demand-supply ratio is not the only thing that’s decreasing salaries. Companies do not really trust entry level candidates for upcoming mobile technologies like Android, iOS or for critical projects in Hadoop, Big Data and DevOps. Those hiring them are mostly startups with crunched budgets or big companies on recruitment drives.


IT slowdown and layoffs arrest mid- experience candidates’ job hopping

There was a time when they were hopping jobs to get a fatter package…times change!  Slowdown in Indian IT sector and 56,000 layoffs in 2017 has been a big game-changer for mid-experienced techies. Now they are looking for job stability and are doing every kind of upskilling to keep themselves relevant in the age of Artificial Intelligence. Result, salaries remain more or less same.


Experience is increasing your salaries to be honest

There’s salary stagnation, why are techies not mad about it? Probably they are not able to see the stagnation at all. Appraisal cycles are running smooth and techies are hired on salary hikes. But there’s a catch, IT salaries are stagnant and increasing experience is the only attribute that is showing salary graphs take an uphill. This means if a good Java developer Rajiv with 4 years of experience was getting a package of 7 lakh in 2016, another good Java developer Sunaina with 3 years of experience & a package of 5 lakh in 2016 will still be getting a package of 7 lakh in 2017. She would be happy to receive a 40% hike without knowing about the salary stagnation. That’s why techies are not mad. That’s other story that employees of big companies are even fine with 6% to 8% hike these days.


Inflation-adjusted salaries will sink your heart

Yes, so there is a minor increase, and there is a minor decrease in the average salaries for all technologies, all experience ranges. Techies are not mad as long as they are getting x% hike every year. After all, the salary graph looks bullish. But if techies look at inflation-adjusted salaries, they would know that salaries for their job roles are actually lower than those on the same position a few years ago. It’s all in your mind…


The biggest losers, sadly!

Who would have thought that a developer from a hot and trending technology can become the biggest loser in the salary market? About two years ago, average entry level salary for React JS was 5.15 L/a. Now it has come down to 3.85 L/a. It’s about 33% decrease! Now, let’s adjust inflation into this game. How does it look? Not so encouraging. It is one of the classic stories of new technology becoming overnight hit with companies and they start hiring those who know it on whatever they demand. After a while, the demand-supply gap fills up and new people are hired on comparatively lower salaries, much lower than the expectations of upskilled new hires.


The expected and unexpected winners!

Higher your rank is in a company, the higher your increment is; sorry Mr. NR Narayana Murthy, it is not just limited to c-suit. On a brighter side, candidates with 10+ years of experience tend to have better salary increments even in these times. This is expected. What isn’t expected the 9% increment in the salaries of entry level developer skilled in a timeworn technology like Ext JS.

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