The world we live in is increasingly becoming more digital. The first thing people look at when they wake up in the morning is their mobile phones. It can be to check the time, Facebook notifications, Whatsapp messages... the list goes on. Speaking of which, I wonder how alarm clock sales are doing now.Today, almost every industry is innovating their existing business model to adapt to the digital era. It’s really not a matter of when anymore, but how.
This change is what inspired NEXT Academy’s core mission: To equip a million individuals with skills in the tech- and digital- industry, to build great companies or to thrive in their careers. To make the world a better place to live in.
But with all this talk about learning tech skills, one question must certainly have crossed your mind. How much are people actually making in these industries? Well we've done some research, and we've found some pretty astonishing results. For the purpose of this article, we will focus only on Malaysian salaries. This number could be a lot higher in more developed countries like the United States, for example.
How Much Do Tech Professionals Earn?
1) Web Developers
According to PayScale.com, a reputable salary comparison website, an average junior web developer bags about RM3,500 a month. The sample was taken across developers with varying years of experience (mostly junior, since this is a relatively new industry). We've also noticed that most of the respondents were versed in PHP as their backend technology stack.
What about Ruby Developers? (By the way, we teach Ruby on Rails in NEXT Academy’s Full-Stack Web Development Bootcamp). Many tech startups in Malaysia build their platforms using Python. Example: SAYS.com, Groupon Malaysia, and KFit, to name a few. We did some digging on Quora and found some golden nuggets of wisdom. Here’s what founder of VapeClubMY, Jeremy Ong had to say about Pyhon Developers.
"If you work for a venture-backed tech startup, salaries can range anywhere from RM3.5k – RM5k depending on how good you are (at creating production-worthy apps)."
A very promising trend indeed, as most Ruby developers do not get their skills from a traditional college degree. What about more experienced Ruby Developers? Here's what we found on the popular Ruby Developer community group in Malaysia's Ruby Brigade:
Fun fact: SushiVid was started by 2 of our Graduates at NEXT Academy.
2) Mobile Developers
According to Payscale.com, mobile app developers have a comparable salary, amounting to MYR57,275 per year. This is great news for you if you have an interest to develop mobile apps.
We dived into some of the hottest tech job portals in Malaysia to find out exactly what people are willing to pay for a mobile developer. Here’s what we found:
One healthcare startup, GetDoc was looking for mobile developers to build their mobile platform. While we could not get them to reveal the salary, one thing caught our attention:
“Paper qualification is nice to have but not a requirement."
As you can see, experience clearly trumps paper qualifications.Another startup, GoGet.my (one of their founders is also a NEXT Academy alumnus) was also looking to hire mobile developers, quoting a salary range of MYR3,000 – MYR8,000. Looks good to us!
Shoppr, an ecommerce startup, quoted a range of MYR2,500 – MYR8,000. We’re guessing it’s MYR2,500 for junior developers with potential to go up to RM8,000 when you’ve acquired more experience.
Of course, developing for mobile means learning languages specific to the system you're building for. This means learning different stacks for both Android and Apple devices. The good news is, once you learn how to think like a programmer, picking up other languages will come naturally.
3) Digital Marketers
In July 2016, we successfully launched our Digital Marketing course, which aimed to equip individuals with skills to grow their businesses.This is probably one of the newest, hottest roles to hit the waves of Malaysia’s job scene. Almost every business in Malaysia needs a digital marketer if they want to stay competitive and thrive. If you own or plan to build a startup, a digital marketer is usually one of the core employees to have.
Digital marketing specialists are synonymous with many other titles. Examples being SEO/SEM specialists, online marketing specialists, internet marketers, growth hackers, and social media managers.
Let's look at the salaries on the top end of the spectrum. A Digital Marketing Manager has the potential to bag MYR97,000 annually according to Payscale.com. This is probably because of the shortage of good Digital Marketing professionals of that level in Malaysia.
3) i) Fresh Digital Marketers
So what about freshies? One company, Novelplus Sdn Bhd is offering MYR3,000 – MYR8,000, depending on experience. Pretty good starting salary for something which is not offered in traditional universities. Another company, Wiseme Sdn Bhd is offering MYR4,000 – MYR8,000 for a minimum 3 years experience. Something you would expect for a mid-level digital marketer.
Digital marketers are needed for all kinds of industries. For example, a company in the property space is paying MYR3,000 - MYR5,000 for someone to manage their SEO/SEM activities. We are noticing a trend where employers are willing to go higher than other companies to secure good talent, possibly due to the lack of good digital-savvy professionals in the country.
In short, we hope these salary figures give you a better idea on what it’s like to get into a career in tech. The best part is, you definitely won’t have to spend an arm and a leg, or much time, to pick up these skills at NEXT Academy.
Disclaimer: This article is an opinion article by the author. It's meant to be a guide and by no way guarantees any earnings or income as a result of working or applying for any of the stated companies or industries.