Tech 2018

Technology Market Insights H1 2018

Published on 4th January 2018

The second half of 2017 has seen strong hiring activities, driven by a number of key factors, across the technology sector.  Many organisations were embracing technology to make their business more efficient and drive productivity.

There has been a widespread adoption of disruptive and emerging technologies, and a significant increase in focus on innovation. Furthermore, the growth of the fintech sector and increase in hiring across the start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong were also driving the demand for technology talent.

In H2 2017, we continued to see a huge demand for developers across all industry sectors. Demand for banking IT professionals with development skillsets has been extremely strong as banks grow their cash equities, derivatives, prime services and FICC desks in the region.  Professionals skilled in Java, .NET/C# and C++, as well as Python, continued to be highly sought after.  

Cybersecurity professionals were in demand

The introduction of the new China Cybersecurity Law in early 2017, and the plan to introduce GDPR at the start of 2018, have made IT security a hot topic throughout 2017.

In H2 2017, we saw high-profile hacking cases of banks and major multinational corporations hitting headlines around the world. Many organisations were looking to shore up their IT security and IT risk management practices. Expertise in cybersecurity continued to be highly sought after.

Technology contracting demand has been positive

Demand for contracting professionals, especially across the banking and technology sectors, has been high as these contractors were required to run projects. In the last six months of 2017, project managers, business transformation specialists, change management experts and contract programmers have all been in demand by banks, insurance companies and IT&T businesses.

Fintech continued to grow its presence

The fintech sector has been very active in hiring in H2 2017. Whilst China is no doubt the fintech superpower of the region, an increasing number of fintech companies have been growing their presence here in Hong Kong. Larger financial services firms were also forming their own fintech departments or adopting technologies to give them a competitive edge.

Demand for high-quality developers, project managers and business analysts (especially those with change management experience) in the fintech sector is expected to continue.

Customer journey has been the key

Throughout 2017, many larger banks and financial institutions focused heavily on the customer journey.  Digital, Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI) were all areas that saw continued growth. We saw high demand for data analysts, digital strategists and digital transformation professionals. These were people who helped to bring the banking industry back on track in embracing the "customer user experience".

Booming start-up community

The start-up ecosystem in Hong Kong has been booming in recent years and continues to evolve.  Earlier in 2017, we launched the recruitment brand, HaTCH, exclusively for the start-up community. We have experienced a huge degree of interest on HaTCH, and it is interesting to know that there are high-calibre professionals who are looking to move into the start-up sector.

Companies which have been hiring include those focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), Sharing Economy, and e-commerce.

Expertise in Web, Mobile, Server-side Development, and Data Analytics have been and will continue to be in high demand.

Technology hiring outlook for the next six months of 2018

We expect an overall high demand for technology professionals in 2018, particularly as follows:

•    Data scientists and analytics professionals to be in high demand throughout 2018

•    Web and mobile have been evolving at a phenomenal rate, and we predict that React Native from Facebook will potentially be the next popular framework

•    Project management, business transformation and change management expertise will continue to be highly sought after

•    Cybersecurity professionals will be highly sought after

•    We expect a high demand in blockchain and AI expertise throughout H1 2018, with these experts being hard to find

From a broader perspective, we would expect hiring trends to also evolve, as new disruptive technologies and dominant technology trends emerge. 2018 promises to be an exciting year for those who work in the Technology sector!

Salary Report for H1 2018*

Commerce & Industry

Job title Years of experience Annual salary range (HK$)
IT Management
Chief Information Officer  15+  1.5M–2.5M+
Chief Technology Officer 15+  1.3M–2.2M+
IT Director  12+ 1.2M+
Senior IT Manager  10+ 720K–840K 
IT Manager 8+  600K–800K 

Project Management
Program Manager / Director  12–15  800K–1.2M
Senior / Project Manager  10–15  480K–840K
Senior / Business Analyst  5–8  360K–720K
Technical Consultant 6–8  480K–600K 
Pre / Post-sales Consultant  5–8  360K–600K

Application Development
Solution / Applications / Systems Architect  12+ 480K–950K
System / Application Development Manager  9+  480K–840K
System Analyst  6+ 336K–480K 
Analyst Programmer  4–6  300K–360K
Senior / Programmer  0–4   144K–288K
RDBMS Developer / DBA  4–10  200K–660K

Infrastructure Director 10+ 1M–1.8M
Senior / Infrastructure Manager  8+  480K–800K
Infrastructure / Network Architect  10+  600K–1.2M
Infrastructure Analyst / System Specialist  6+  300K–420K
Senior / Network Engineer  4–7 360K–600K
Senior / System Engineer  2–5  280K–460K
Security Manager / Consultant   8+ 600K–900K
Security Analyst  4–5  360K–480K

Database / Data Centre  
Senior / Database Administrator  5+ 360K–480K
Data Warehousing / BI Specialist  7+  480K–600K 
Data Architect  10+  720K–960K 
Data Centre Project Manager  12+ 840K–1.2M

IT Support—1st Tier 0–3 180K–276K
IT Support—2nd Tier 2–5  204K–324K 
IT Support—3rd Tier 5+ 324K–396K
Helpdesk Manager  8+  540K–600K
Senior / System Administrator  5+  288K–400K
Senior / Network Administrator  5+ 360K–480K

QA Engineer  1–3  216K–300K 
Testing Manager  8+  540K–780K

Banking & Financial Services

Job title Years of experience Annual salary range (HK$)
IT Management
Chief Information Officer (ED to MD)  15+ 1.7M–2.7M+
IT Director  12+ 1.3M+
Senior IT Manager  10+ 750K–900K 
IT Manager 8+  600K–800K 

Project Management
Project Director  15+ 1.3M–1.5M 
Program Manager (VP to D)  15+ 800K–1.5M
Senior Project Manager  10+ 800K–1.2M
Project Manager  6–10+ 650K–1M
Senior Business Analyst  8–10 700K–1M
Business Analyst  4+  450K–650K

Application Development
Application Development Manager  10–15 800K1.2M
Lead Analyst Programmer  5–10 500K–800K
Analyst Programmer 3–5  350K–550K
Analyst Programmer  1–3 220K–350K
Architect—Applications, Solutions, Systems, Data (VP to SVP)  12–18 900K1.4M
Database Administrator  3–5 480K–600K
Database Administrator   1–5 360K–480K
C++ / Java (Associate to VP)  6–15 500K1.2M
.NET  (Associate to VP)  6–15 500K1.2M
RDBMS Developer / DBA   6–15 480K850K

Infrastructure / Network
Infrastructure Director (ED to MD)  15+ 1.5M–2.4M
Infrastructure Manager (SVP to ED)  10–15  900K–1.5M
Infrastructure Architect (VP to SVP)  6–15 700K1M
Network Architect  8–10+ 750K–1M
Network Engineer  5–8 500K–800K
Network Support (1st / 2nd Level) 3–5 360K–500K
Network Support (1st / 2nd Level) 1–3 240K–360K
Systems Administrator  4–8 400K–600K
3rd Level Support  5–10 350K–550K
Security Director (SVP to ED)  15+  900K–1.5M
Security Manager (VP to SVP)  8–15 700K1M
Security Architect (VP to SVP)  4–8 700K1M
Security Analyst  35 260K–450K

Senior / Database Administrator  5–7  380K–500K
Data Warehousing / BI Specialist  7–10 600K–750K
Data Architect  10–15 800K–1M 
Data Centre Project Manager  12–15  850K–1.3M
Database Administrator 3–5  380K–500K
Database Administrator 1–3 500K–650K 

Helpdesk Support
Helpdesk Analyst (1st Level)  1–3 220K–320K
Helpdesk Analyst (2nd Level) 3–5 350K–550K
Desktop Support Analyst (1st Level) 1–3 300K–400K
Desktop Support Analyst (2nd Level) 3–5 380K–500K
Desktop Support Analyst (3rd Level) 5–8 500K–620K 
Unix Administrator  3–6 500K–650K 
Network Administrator  3–6 500K–750K
Helpdesk Manager 8–12 750K–950K
Trading Systems Support  6–15 450K–900K

*Notes about salary table:

  1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
  2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
  3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
  4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
  5. Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
  6. Holiday entitlements range from 1225 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
  7. Healthcare policies are standard.
  8. Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 1520% of the base salary for senior executives.