Mercer: IT Pay Gaps Vast Across the Globe

June 7, 2004 ( - When you look at the pay levels of Information Technology (IT) workers in places such as India, compared to their United States counterparts it is little wonder companies are looking to offshore these positions.

The U.S. has the fifth highest pay for IT professionals in the world, trailing only Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong. On the other end of the scale, the nations with the lowest five IT salaries – Philippines, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Indonesia and India at number six – look like a who’s who of Western IT offshoring, according to 2003/2004 IT Function Salary Differentials Worldwide report from Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Examining the difference in gross pay in four levels of expertise – team leader/senior professional, supervisor/experienced professional, manager/specialist, and senior manager/expert – Mercer found the differential between the U.S. and their developing nation counterparts staggering. Whereas a team leader in the U.S. makes $59,000 annually (4 th highest in the world), their Indian counterpart makes $9,700 annually (the 4 th lowest).

The differences become even more pronounced with the more expertise that is required. A U.S.-based Senior Manager pulls in $141,200 per year (the 3 rd highest globally). In India, the same position makes $39,000 annually (the 5 th worst globally). Other differences are noted in Supervisors – making $67,800 in the U.S. and $15,400 in India – and Managers – $89,800 in the U.S. and $24,500 in India.

Providing commentary on these results, David Van De Voort, global leader of Mercer’s IT Workforce Effectiveness group notes, “The differences in a country’s ranking for the four expertise levels of IT functions are likely a result of local supply and demand, maturity of the IT industry in the country, and the progressiveness of each nation’s taxation practices.” Specifically, Van De Voort says high-paying countries show pay preferences for certain levels of expertise. In low-paying countries, pay tends to be consistently low across all expertise levels.

A copy of the full report can be purchased by contacting Mercer at (800) 333-3070. The cost is $1,200.