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Cost of living crisis less of problem for tech pro retirees than others

Global tech recruiter Robert Walters says pay scale too high to feel tight grip of inflation, etc

Unlike other professions, retired techies may not be beating down the door to return to the workplace to cope with the unrelenting rise in the cost of living, according to a global recruitment agency.

A study of 700 tech professionals in the UK and Ireland indicates that the relatively comfortable pay scales means many in the IT industry are hardly beating the wolves from the door, says Ajay Hayre, principal recruiter for cyber and information security at Robert Walters.

"Generally speaking, we are starting to see more older workers choose to stay in work for longer or consider a return to work post retirement," he told The Register. "Interestingly, where this is the least prominent when looking at professional services / white collar roles is within technology.”

The finding of its study indicate 49 percent of tech pros are paid £42,000 (c $46k) across the UK and Ireland, which compares favorably to the £31,285 ($35k) average wage in the countries, but is lower than the £47,000 (c $52k) found by recruiter Indeed.

Obviously some sectors offer higher compensation based on complexity and availability of skills. Robert Walter found, for example, that First Class cybersec graduates can expect starting salaries of £40,000+ (c $45k) at some of the big consultancies.

Some 55 percent said they were satisfied with the pay packet – the highest among the various professions the recruiter polled. Altogether 36 percent said they had a "good" amount of disposable income despite the 9.9 percent hike in inflation in the past year, 38 percent had "some" money to play with but are living sensibly to cover the cost of living, and 7 percent said they rely on "side hustles" or contracting.

A healthy 43 percent of techies said their company provides more than 5 percent pension contribution, which compares favorably to hospitality workers where less than 30 percent received this financial input from employers.

Last week, The Reg revealed that an estimated 730,000 retirees in the UK are preparing to swap a life of leisure for a return to the office – remote or on-site – but as we pointed out at the time, tech is a relatively well paid industry, so not everyone will be feeling the financial squeeze.

Hayre told us that "technology has always been a well-paid for sector – and even more so during and post pandemic, so in some cases cost-of-living is less of an issue here compared to employees in other fields.

"In fact, the tech sector can easily be considered one of the fastest in which to progress – where unlike some roles such as finance where years on the job count, in tech it is all about skills, ability, and know-how – where it is not uncommon to see Heads of Tech or IT Security be in their mid-30s on very well-paid salaries. For senior contractors in cybersecurity and software – who can earn up to £700 (c $777) per day – early retirement is fairly common, and with that will be some well-thought through retirement plans."

For those techies of a certain vintage that may want to top up the pension pot, a way back into the workforce might not her as easy as it seems, Robert Walters warned.

"Given the nature of tech, it is not an industry you can easily dip back into after a career break. Whilst skills continue to be in-demand, it is and always will be a fast moving sector where if a professional does step away, they will miss out on a lot of additional qualifications and systems exposure – tech changes by the minute and so those coming out of retirement will have to spend some time swotting up before applying for new roles."

Updating skills and qualifications as a matter of course might be a good way to go. As we pointed out previously, a poster on Hacker News said: "The only way that age becomes a detriment is if you do not grow."

Well, quite. ®

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