It should come as no surprise that Pakistan is making steady progress in the domain of information technology.
Be it the fact that that more and more local startups are benefiting from incredible rounds of investment, or the fact that the country recently crossed the $2 billion mark in terms of IT exports, we are looking towards an IT-dominated future.
Naturally, this means that jobs in the IT sector are not just surging, but they are also becoming more lucrative. Most founders agree that the biggest challenge for IT startups is competing for a limited pool of talent, especially during a time when remote work is on the rise.
So, how costly is it for companies to hire and retain developers and programmers? Thanks to the findings of a recent Pakistan Software House Association (PASHA) salary survey shared by Dawn, we now have a better idea of how much programmers in Pakistan can bag when they embark on their journey.
Average monthly pay
Unsurprisingly, a programmer can reap a pretty decent income on average, at all levels of seniority.
The average monthly salary for an entry-level programmer is PKR 51,344, while a senior developer with over six years of experience in the field can expect to pocket PKR 215,723 per month on average.
If anything, these figures are reflective of the enormous potential for growth in the industry. But, we all know some skills are rewarded more than others. So which tech stack or programming skill is the most lucrative in Pakistan?
The most rewarding programming skills in Pakistan
MERN/MEAN/full-stack developers possess the highest average monthly salaries in the programming realm in Pakistan.
Entry-level full-stack developers earn over PKR 61,000 per month, which increases to PKR 101,000 for junior developers with 1-3 years of experience, PKR 160,000 for mid-level developers with 3-6 years of experience, and PKR 233,534 for senior resources.
In terms of lucrative tech stacks, Python, Ruby, and Node are other technologies that are right up there.
The following are some other high-paying roles in the Pakistani tech sphere, with their average monthly salaries:
- 3D animator (entry-level): PKR 70,000
- Data scientist/miner (junior-level): PKR 106,765
- Game developers (mid-level): PKR 262,500
- Game developers (senior-level): PKR 412,500
Time to look at yet another interesting perspective with regards to programming jobs: impact of education.
Impact of education credentials on tech jobs in Pakistan
Jobs in the tech sector involve a plethora of skills, most of which are only possible via education, be it within the halls of a classroom or in the online sphere.
One might be led to believe that a university education plays a very significant role in helping someone land a job at a decent company, but as it happens, that is not quite the case.
As per the survey, only 21 percent of companies reported giving preference to Pakistani university graduates, while 11 percent favor those having international certifications. Interestingly, only a mere 9 percent of companies favor candidates with higher education or credentials from foreign institutions.
While these statistics are bound to raise eyebrows, it is worth pointing out that graduates of leading local universities continue to lead in terms of employee headcount.
Lahore and Islamabad acquire the most programming talent from COMSATS, followed Bahria University and FAST-NUCES. Meanwhile, Karachi-based companies regard the University of Karachi and NED as their biggest pools of talent.
The IT industry in Pakistan, for all intents and purposes, is booming. Granted, there are still areas which could use some major improvement, especially gender diversity.
Tech companies in general have a reputation for being dominated by men, and when one considers the national diversity ratio of 17.08 percent, it is clear that Pakistan has some serious catching up to do in this regard. The survey suggested that 65 percent of companies have a male-female ratio of less than 20 percent and only 6 percent of companies can boast a 40 percent female staff.
Having said that, data like this is incredibly meaningful in terms of getting a clearer idea of where a particular industry stands and where it is headed. For Pakistan, the upward progress is encouraging, but with special focus on making the tech sphere more inclusive, it could certainly go even further.