Global IT compensation is at an all-time high, thanks to skills trainings

IT professionals earned an average of $5,000 more in 2019, all because of job performance, Global Knowledge found.

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The average annual salary for IT professionals worldwide is $89,732—the highest yet found by Global Knowledge’s yearly report. The report is the largest worldwide study of professionals in the tech community and has been conducted every year for more than a decade. 

IT professionals earned an average of $5,000 more in 2019 than in 2018, with the main reason being improved job performance, the report found. 

This increase in both salaries and performance quality indicates that more people are taking steps to progress their professional development, resulting in better performance and more compensation, according to the report. 

SEE: Why IT pros need soft skills to advance their careers (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Global Knowledge’s 2019 IT Skills and Salary Survey used the Qualtrics Insight platform to tabulate submissions. The survey was sent out via email to recipients in the Global Knowledge database and yielded 12,271 responses, with more than half (54%) from the US and Canada, and the rest from other countries around the world. 

Salaries around the world

Globally, the highest salaries in various functional areas included cloud computing ($115,889), IT architecture and design ($98,580), project management ($98,344), and cybersecurity ($97,322). The report also broke down salaries by region. 

SEE: How to become a cybersecurity pro: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

North America 

North American IT professionals earned $109,985 on average, which is 23% more than the worldwide average mentioned previously. These professionals also saw a 6% raise in salary in 2019 and 50% received bonuses, according to the report. 

US IT professionals, in particular, earned higher average salaries than those in any other region at $113,639, which is largely due to geography. While salaries along the coasts were the highest, those locations are also where the cost of living is the most expensive, the report found. 

In Canada, the average annual salary is $74,048, with the highest paying IT professionals living in Quebec and making around $77,897. 

The highest paying job function areas in North America included executives ($148,034), cloud computing ($138,320), and IT architecture and design ($126,095), according to the report. 

Latin America 

In Latin America, IT professionals earned an average of $41,465. IT decision makers in this region make significantly more than their staff–a 44% difference. IT decision makers also saw the highest raise percentage out of all regions at 9%, while their IT staff only saw a 5% increase, the report found. 

The functional areas with the highest salaries were executives ($68,253), cloud computing ($50,480), and project and program management ($48,478), according to the report. 

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) 

The average salary for IT professionals in EMEA was $70,445, with IT staff seeing a 6% raise and IT decision makers seeing a 5% raise, which was in line with the worldwide average raise percentages, the report found. 

Within Europe, Switzerland dominated the salaries with an average of $136,301. Norway had the second highest at $97,525, followed by Germany at $95,456, according to the report. 

The highest paying function areas in EMEA were executives ($101,523), cloud computing ($99,290), and IT architecture and design ($83,606), the report found. 


IT professionals in the Asia-Pacific area made on average $65,738 per year. Similar to Latin America, the ratio between the salaries of IT decision-makers and IT staff is significant, at 38% difference. 

However, the raise percentages for IT decision makers and IT staff are the same, at 5%, the report found. 

The highest paying function areas for the Asia-Pacific region were executives ($108,794), cloud computing ($84,764), and program and project management ($74,608), according to the report. 

Why salaries were higher

A commonality across all regions was that every area received some percentage of a raise. As previously stated, salaries were higher in this edition of the report than any other. This survey aimed to discover the reason behind the shift. 

Respondents said that the top factors that increased salary included their current job performance (42%), a standard company increase (39%), a promotion within the company (15%), and a cost of living increase (15%). 

A particularly interesting reason behind a pay raise was the development of new skills (9%), the report found. Those same individuals who said they developed new skills of added value reportedly earned nearly $12,000 more than last year, indicating reskilling and upskilling training sessions pay off, according to the report. 

Learning and development is often overlooked or not prioritized in companies, which is harmful to both employees and companies. The majority of employees (94%) say they would stay longer at an organization if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow, LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning report found.  

Upskilling and reskilling employees is particularly crucial in the era of digital transformation; as technology is constantly changing and evolving, employees need to do the same. 

Rather than firing and rehiring workers with every technological shift, companies should instead allocate resources toward intellectual growth and skills. And Growth Knowledge’s report is evidence that the skills training does its job. 

For more, check out Impressive professional development benefits from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and more on TechRepublic.

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