Press Release

Demand for permanent IT staff with Mobile skills has increased by 39% in the past year (from Q3 2016 to Q3 2017), according to the latest Tech Cities Job Watch report from Experis, the global leader in professional IT resourcing. With a concurrent 26% increase in the number of contractor roles over the same period, Mobile technology skills are now the industry’s most wanted. Topping the rankings of the five disciplines featured in the report for the first time, Mobile roles for IT professionals made up 28% of all those advertised in the UK in Q3 2017.

The quarterly report tracks IT jobs advertised within five technology disciplines (Big Data, Cloud, IT Security, Mobile, and Web Development), and across 10 UK cities. Web Development roles dropped from the top spot this quarter, with a fall in the number of positions advertised on both a permanent and contract basis – down 8% and 22% respectively year-on-year (Q3 2016 – Q3 2017).

But these demand fluctuations are not reflected in the remuneration for roles in Mobile and Web Development. While the volume of permanent and contractor roles advertised for Mobile skills rose 39% and 26% year-on-year (Q3 2016 – Q3 2017) respectively, permanent salaries only grew by 1% and day rates by 2% over the same period; failing to keep pace with inflation. It was a similar picture across the other technology disciplines as well, with only modest salary rises in permanent Big Data (1%) and Cloud (1%) roles. Interestingly, despite the demand drop for Web Development, permanent salaries had a modest rise of 2%, while IT Security saw remuneration drop by 3%, despite a 39% rise in demand for permanent positions.

Martin Ewings, Director of Specialist Markets, Experis UK & Ireland, explains this apparent disconnect, commenting: “Despite the growth in app development across the tech industry, the results show an apparent disconnect between increasing demand for these roles and the salaries they command. We’ve seen an explosion in the Internet of Things (IoT) in recent years, with multiple industries experimenting with new Mobile and Web applications. Both disciplines play an integral role in innovation within organisations, as developers continue to build and experiment with this connectivity. But the results from this research tell us that companies are taking a new approach to tackling the technology skills crisis they are facing in this area.”

Today, almost 60% of custom apps are now built outside the IT team – almost one in three of those are by employees with limited or no technical development skills. New, easy-to-use software platforms have made this possible and have enabled organisations to reduce their dependence on hiring external Web Developers or paying high premiums for additional Mobile IT specialists; instead training their own.

Ewings continues, “While hiring additional permanent and contractor Mobile skills to tackle IoT remains a priority, businesses are also looking to upskill from within the business and outside the IT team through citizen developers. On this basis, businesses should aim to foster a culture of learnability, upskilling and transferable skills within their organisation. The pace of change is such that specialisms in technology can quickly become obsolete.”