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High-paying entry-level IT Jobs in demand; still NOT enough

For some, the terms “high-paying” and “entry-level” when referring to jobs might not be the best match of words. Yet a recent study by e-commerce platform iPrice showed that entry-level jobs related to digital and technology fields earn incomes relatively higher than minimum wage levels in the Philippines. The same study observed, however, that if financial independence is the aim, even top entry-level digital jobs may not be able to afford them.

Digital Animation

Following new wage hikes approved by the government, the highest daily minimum wage in the Philippines amount to PHP 570 a day (said rate applies for Metro Manila). That means around PHP 11,400 for twenty working days. In the public sector, meanwhile, the lowest salary grade (SG-1) amounts to PHP 12,517 a month as of 2022, this following the Salary Standardization Law of 2019 (also known as SSL V). How do entry-level tech jobs compare?

Using data available from Payscale, the iPrice study found junior IT technicians averaging at PHP 15,000 per month. Junior graphic designers would not be far, averaging at PHP 15,085 monthly. From there, the numbers had nowhere to go but up. See the following average incomes for other entry-level tech jobs.

  • Junior digital marketing specialist: PHP 20,083
  • Junior data analyst: PHP 21,893
  • Junior community manager (social media manager): PHP 22,000
  • Junior software developer: PHP 23,436
  • Junior front-end developer: PHP 24,303
  • Junior software engineer: PHP 25,315
  • Junior UI/UX designer: PHP 30,338
  • Junior project manager: PHP 30,813

When placed in comparison with minimum wage levels, entry-level tech jobs in the Philippines gives the opportunity to earn over double the current minimum wage for the highest-paying categories. Job finding site Indeed defines “entry-level” as occupation typically requiring minimal education, training, and experience.

Entry Level Data Iprice

However, iPrice noted that the average monthly rent for one bedroom apartment in five major central business districts (CBDs) in Metro Manila would be around PHP 32,500, higher than any of the digital-related entry-level jobs earlier mentioned, and nearly triple the minimum wage. How about financing other essential expenses such as utility bills and groceries? For that matter, would there be room for savings and investments for young professionals?

“If Filipino entry-level workers aspire to live independently at an early age like some of their Asian peers in Singapore or Malaysia, then it may be very difficult or even uncomfortable,” stated iPrice, citing that they used data available from Numbeo to ascertain the average rent costs in Makati, Pasig, Taguig, Quezon City, and Manila.

In relation to this, Former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia said in a 2018 interview with GMA News that PHP 42,000 a month would be needed for a family of five members to “at least to live above the poverty line.” To start a family, meanwhile, iPrice offered its own estimate for the period December 2020 to October 2021: around PHP 61,000 to cover a newborn baby’s basic supplies.

To put things into perspective, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its latest Monetary Policy Report expects 2022 inflation to settle at 4.6 percent. Assuming prices rose by an average of 4 percent per year, something worth PHP 1,000 five years ago would cost around PHP 1,200 today. Had your wages caught up with the price trend?

Inflation Rate 2021 2022 Philippines

Perhaps on a brighter note, landing a tech job in this economy appears to have good prospects. According to online education technology (EdTech) company Refocus, digital-related jobs are in-demand.

“The past few years have shown great potential for more companies to hire IT and digital marketing professionals to help grow their businesses,” said Refocus founder Roman Kumas Vyas in a press release. 

This was supported by data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which reported on Labor Day 2022 that it has surpassed its 2021 target to create a million jobs through the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS), a program aimed to provide jobs in the midst of the pandemic.

“My recollection is about 980,000 jobs already created, bulk of which actually are coming from the construction and IT-BPM (information technology and business process management), and now the recovering tourism and the restaurant sectors as we are reopening that particular sector,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

It still depends, however, if available vacancies at this time would match the skills of the unemployed, and if the offered salaries would be sufficient for their daily cost of living. Having work is one thing, but as one study in PNAS demonstrated, experienced well-being also rises along with higher incomes. While salary may not be the only aspect that makes a job fulfilling, and money is not a definitive indicator of success, it helps meeting people’s needs. Striking a balance between job satisfaction and compensation for work remains a contentious topic even to this day.

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Avatar for Arius Lauren Raposas

A public servant with a heart for actively supporting technology and futures thinking, responding accordingly to humanity's needs and goals, increasing participation of people in issues concerning them, upholding rights and freedoms, and striving further to achieve more despite our limited capacities. In everything, to God be all the glory.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar for heardle game heardle game says:

    I think if your level of information technology is good enough for businesses, they are willing to pay you. However, current human resources are not enough to meet all the requirements of the strong development of science and technology

  2. Avatar for moon moon says:

    I work in the IT industry and I can safely say that most of these qouted salary prices are BS. last year I got through an interview with a company in a business area wont say who or where, the job was an information security job with lots of responsibilities and the pay was minimum wage. another company where I currently am working posted the job Im working now between 25-35k theyre paying me less than that. i can safely say so far these qouted prices are high-balls and not really what they’l really offer you when contract comes. which is BS.

    • Avatar for tukmullin tukmullin says:

      agree, better mag abroad na lang mga IT.

    • Avatar for jay jay says:

      Unless mag specialize ka talaga sa isang niche na halos walang saturation (example: CRM / Salesforce / Data Science / AI), real-world salary range talaga yung nasa post or sometimes less.

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