A lot of the time, we’re asked by clients and candidates alike, to compare and contrast salaries between Cayman and some of its main competitors. The below graph illustrates how Cayman compares in average median salary with San Francisco, Bermuda, New York and London. With the statistics in San Francisco, salaries in Silicon Valley did impact, however, as that is a separate entity in its own right, I negated those figures as best as possible. Additionally, other mitigating factors to consider from the graph would be exchange rate conversion (i.e. from GBP to USD), taxation, cost of living and availability of resources.
The main point the graph is trying to illustrate, is that the IT industry in Cayman has certain strengths and weaknesses. On face value there is a significant disparity between salaries here and worldwide. On further reflection; Cayman is tax free, so in net terms the salaries would look more competitive. To combat that however, the cost of living would arguably be as high as the other locations, if not higher, with the exception of Bermuda, which is commonly believed to be 15% more expensive day to day (figures reflected in the salaries on offer). The IT market in Bermuda, is certainly larger than its counterpart in Cayman, however I don’t think this will be a long term factor given the infrastructure and technological advancements in Cayman, almost on a daily basis.
The figures will also be inconsistent depending on industry sectors. The hedge fund and financial services roles in London and New York will be substantially higher than salaries in Cayman, as this is where the A* talent will reside. Additionally with contracting rates and supply and demand of talent, figures will be much higher. These locations are also more family friendly which does also affect the talent able to work; Bermuda being restricted to a maximum of two children and Cayman to a similar, but lesser extent are unable to attract such a wide range of experienced workers, as these people will tend to have families.
There is no simple, easy conclusion to be drawn from this graph, it’ll be a case of sitting down and evaluating jobs, salaries and locations on a case by case basis, but on face value it does appear that Cayman is lagging behind its global competitors, but on greater reflection, are our IT professionals really that hard done by? I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but perhaps it’s best to earn a little less, but commute via the beach, than a two hour disease riddled metro / tube system and have year round sun…