More than 80% of the organizations indicated their IT staff enjoys a pay rise within the year, according the latest IT salary trend survey conducted by Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS). Surveying 58 organizations, ranging from major IT vendors and local enterprises, this is the second time that the IT professional association organizes a study of similar nature.

Among the organizations that indicated an increase of salary for their IT staff, 77% of them stated the raise fall within the range of 4-6%. The increase is higher than local inflation rate, which was 4.2% in July 2012.

The study also found nearly half (47%) of the respondents indicated they hired ICT related fresh graduates this year, with 11% of them offering a starting salary higher than HK$16K and 77% of them offering HK$10K-HK$16K. About half of these organizations indicated the starting salary for the newly graduates is higher than last year.

"According to the [survey] results, IT fresh graduates and other IT professionals both receive salary increases, which points to a promising trend in the human resources market in Hong Kong," said Stephen Lau, president of HKCS.

According to Michael Leung, CIO of China Construction Bank (CCB), the bank has hired four newly graduates this year. The entry-level positions include mobile applications development, Internet banking development and IT help desk assistant.

Among the total respondents, more than half (33) of the organizations hire more than 400 employees in total and 25 of them hire more than 100 IT professionals within the organization. "I believed the survey results are representative of the sector," added Lau.

HKCS' survey finding appears to match with those with larger sampling size. Hudson in July released findings of survey with 432 local employers, in which 46.9% of respondents in the IT&T sector said they will hire more people.

"With the uncertain prospects of the global economy, the demand for ICT talents remains strong and companies are willing to allocate more resources to ICT, which suggests further room for development for the ICT industry," said Lau.

Cultivating talents

On top of releasing salary trend survey data, HKCS also announced a series of promotion campaign to encourage the younger generation to pursue a career in IT. Part of the campaign is organizing the IT Career Expo, which will be held on September 22.

Open to the public, the expo include an exhibition from 30 international and local organizations, which together plan to offer more than 300 positions. In addition, more than 10 career seminars will be held to allow students and potential employees a face-to-face sharing with local CIOs, entrepreneurs and HR experts.

"Different from a job expo, this is Hong Kong's first career expo in IT," said Leung from CCB, who is also HKCS' vice president (talent cultivation). "The expo provides one-stop ICT career information to people who are at different stages of their careers and have varying aspiration for the future professional development."

Another highlight at HKCS's talent cultivation campaign is the launch of "ICT Talent Cultivation Program--ICT -as-a-Career Toolkit and Career Talks" Project. This project includes a series of videoclips with the theme of "IT for Future Creation" to promote IT as a career.

The 11 episodes of 10-minute video clip are written and performed by local comedian and columnist Lam Chiu Wing, with other local celebrities sharing their experience in IT. The videos are available on Youtube and will be used for promotion during career talks in secondary and tertiary institutions.