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Insights for Permanent Microsoft professionals

Whatever the Microsoft Cloud role, use our guide to benchmark your salary or contact rate, or to uncover what you should be paying employees in your team.

What are the main things hiring managers look for in a Microsoft candidate during a job interview?

Positive attitude
0 %
Willingness to learn
0 %
Passion
0 %
The ability to demonstrate their skills 41%
Communication 41%
An understanding of the role 30%
Cultural fit 29%
The ability to demonstrate their skills 41%
Communication 41%
An understanding of the role 30%
Cultural fit 29%
Integrity 29%
Confidence 27%
Creativity 29%
Integrity 29%
Confidence 27%
Creativity 27%

Factors that impact on your earning potential according to our respondents

Survey respondents were asked to rank factors most likely to increase earning potential, with years of experience working with Microsoft products topping the list of the biggest influences on a Microsoft professional’s salary.
Important Neutral Unimportant
Years of technical experience with Microsoft products 92% 7% 2%
Exposure to large projects 87% 11% 2%
Years of experience in IT 84% 13% 3%
Specific vertical industry experience 71% 24% 5%
Microsoft certifications 57% 26% 16%
College/University degree(s) 45% 33% 23%
Important Neutral Unimportant
92% 7% 2%
Important Neutral Unimportant
87% 11% 2%
Important Neutral Unimportant
84% 13% 3%
Important Neutral Unimportant
71% 24% 5%
Important Neutral Unimportant
57% 26% 16%
Important Neutral Unimportant
45% 33% 23%
Other factors mentioned by respondents as having an impact on earning potential include:

“I believe that creating a personal brand and becoming known either within the industry or within the current partner where you work is important to reach your earning potential.”

Solution Architect, United States

Download our salary tables to better understand what you could earn and compare your salary against your peers.

Expert insight

Planning a five-year career journey

Ryan Treacy, Global Digital Workplace Solutions Leader for Microsoft 365 and Power Platform at Kyndryl, shares his tips on planning a rewarding career path in the Microsoft cloud industry.

Find something you enjoy and work towards it
Since you’re going to work for a large amount of your life, try to find something that you enjoy. If you’ve tried something out before and found it interesting, work towards getting into that space. When I started my career, I found that I really liked SharePoint, so I thought about how I could get my hands on SharePoint more.

Once you’ve found your passion, find related careers and think about what that job entails, what the next step up is, and most importantly, are these the kinds of jobs you actually want to do? Plot a potential route, outlining each job on the pathway. You should also think about whether you want to go down a technical path or a managerial one; this will help you plan your pathway.

“Creating a five-year career plan is essentially about figuring out where you want to be, what kind of job you want to do, and outlining the steps you need to take to get there.”

Take advantage of certifications
Certifications are a great way to make progress on your career journey. Find out which certifications align with your goals and plan which exams you aim to take in the next six, 12, or 18 months.

Don’t sweat the timeline too much
Don’t get too caught up on being ahead or behind schedule. Your journey is flexible and can often be impacted by things you simply can’t plan for. Just because you’re ready to take on an architect role, for example, doesn’t mean there’ll be one available at that time.

You might get halfway through your plan and decide you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. Don’t worry, you haven’t lost anything; the skills you’ve learned will always benefit you in some way, shape or form.

Review your plan at least once a year
Take a minute to review your plan every now and then. Ask yourself: Is this still the route I want to take? Am I still enjoying it? Is there something new I’d like to explore?

When generative AI exploded recently, I saw the way the market was headed, and I wanted to know more. So I pivoted towards Azure AI, revamped my plan, took some exams and started learning more. Tech moves quickly, and being adaptable in your career planning will help you seize on great opportunities.

What’s on offer in the jobs market?

Are Microsoft professionals experiencing pay increases?

Almost two-thirds (62%) of Microsoft professionals received a salary increase from their current employer in the last year.

On average, those who received a salary increase from their current employer saw their pay rise by 11%.

Let’s see those pay increases broken down further:

0-5% pay increase

38%
6-10% pay increase

31%
11-15% pay increase

12%
16-20% pay increase

8%
21-25% pay increase

4%
26-30% pay increase

3%
More than 30% pay increase

4%

What reasons did those working for an end user give for experiencing a pay increase?

I received an incremental pay increase 50%
I received a performance-related increase 42%
I received a promotion 20%
My organization is more profitable now than it was 12 months ago 7%
Greater demand for Microsoft professionals has increased my market value, and my employer wants to keep me 3%
More opportunities for remote work have increased my job options, and my employer wants to keep me 2%
My organization made staffing cuts and I have taken on more work 2%
I gained an additional Microsoft certification 2%
There's a lack of Microsoft talent in the market and my employer wants to keep me 2%
Other 4%

What reasons did those working for a partner give for experiencing a pay increase?

I received a performance-related increase 53%
I received an incremental pay increase 47%
I received a promotion 15%
Greater demand for Microsoft professionals has increased my market value, and my employer wants to keep me 12%
I gained an additional Microsoft certification 9%
There's a lack of Microsoft talent in the market and my employer wants to keep me 7%
Increased demand for Microsoft services means my organization has more clients than a year ago 5%
Increased opportunities for remote work have increased my job options and my employer wants to keep me 4%
My organization offered staff pay increases due to an increased workload 2%
Other 4%
AdobeStock_356049725-scaled.jpeg

Did your salary change when you last changed jobs?

Yes, my salary increased
0 %
No, my salary stayed the same
0 %
Yes, my salary decreased
0 %
Not applicable
0 %

On average, individuals who obtained a salary increase after changing jobs saw a 21% rise in their earnings.

We asked those who took a pay cut when they changed jobs to share their reasoning. The top responses were:
For a better work-life balance

37%
I wanted to take my career in a new direction

33%
I wanted to work for that organization

24%
More flexible working opportunities

20%
Remote working options

16%
Better company culture

16%

Download our salary tables to better understand what you could earn and compare your salary against your peers.

Are employees negotiating pay increases?

60%
33%
7%

The majority (79%) of employees who attempted to negotiate a raise were successful, and earned a 15% pay increase on average.

Interestingly, 67% of respondents who have previously negotiated a pay increase said they’re likely to do so again in the coming year.

Why have some employees never negotiated a pay increase?

Reasons for having never negotiated a pay increase are similar in this study as those identified in our previous surveys—and can be grouped into the following themes:

Would you rather look for a new role than negotiate with your employer for a higher salary?

Then chat to one of our experienced team to help you find the role and salary you deserve.

Are employees comfortable asking for a pay increase?

Less than a third (32%) of those who have never negotiated a pay increase say they would feel comfortable asking for one in the future, while 38% feel uncomfortable having that conversation.

Comfort with asking for a pay increase does not seem to have much of a bearing on people’s willingness to pursue one, as 41% of those who have never negotiated before tell us that they plan on doing so in the coming year.

Three mature colleagues sitting in the modern office and discussing business strategy, business people working together. Teamwork and cooperation concept

Counteroffers

A counteroffer is an offer made by your employer to persuade you to reconsider your resignation. Half (50%, down from 57% in our previous study) of professionals have received a counteroffer after resigning from a role.

What are employees offered as a counteroffer?​

Salary increase 90%
Promotion 28%
Remote working 18%
Bonus 14%
Flexible working hours 14%
Training and development opportunities 12%
Retention bonus 9%
Additional paid time off 7%
Employer funding for certifications 5%
Shares in the company 4%
Commission 3%
Other 4%

On average, those who received a salary increase as part of their counteroffer received a 17% raise.

Over a third (35%, up from 31% in our previous survey) of respondents who received a counteroffer accepted it.

Why do employees accept counteroffers?

“I was given remote work and better pay; they basically matched what I was going to get from my new potential employer.”
Director, United States

On average, professionals who stayed with their employer after receiving a counteroffer remained in the organization for a further two years. There was an exceptional case where an employee stayed on for 7 years—but this was not typical.

More than a quarter (27%) of those who accepted a counteroffer later regretted their decision.

What are the reasons behind employees expressing regret after accepting a counteroffer?

Rewards and recognition

A competitive salary isn’t the only thing that candidates look for in today’s ecosystem. Candidates continue to prioritize factors like work-life balance, wellbeing, and professional development when searching for their next great role, meaning that employers need to put together appealing and well-designed compensation packages to lure in the best talent. Offering desirable perks that have a real impact on employees’ quality of life can seriously improve your chances of attracting top talent in a market where demand significantly outstrips supply.

In this section, we’ll break down what perks and benefits Microsoft professionals are receiving, what they really want, and how potential employers can mark themselves out by offering candidates something they won’t find elsewhere.

What employee benefits are Microsoft professionals receiving?

1.

86%

Company laptop

2.

69%

Health/medical insurance

3.

67%

Home working

4.

58%

Training and development opportunities
5 Bonus (monthly/biannual/year-end bonus) 51%
6 Flexible working hours 48%
7 Casual dress policy 44%
8 Life insurance 43%
9 Four weeks or more paid time off 42%
10 Retirement savings plan/401(k) match/pension contributions 37%
5 Bonus (monthly/biannual/year-end bonus) 51%
6 Flexible working hours 48%
7 Casual dress policy 44%
8 Life insurance 43%
9 Four weeks or more paid time off 42%
10 Retirement savings plan/401(k) match/pension contributions 37%

How many employers are offering remote working?

We asked respondents to tell us how many days they work remotely or from home per week, and the results are as follows:
None

17%
1 day

5%
2 days

12%
3 days

13%
4 days

11%
Full-time remote working

42%
AdobeStock_394392964-scaled.jpeg

Average working hours

Permanent employees who took part in our survey work between 8 and 70 hours per week—with 3% of respondents telling us they work over 60 hours a week.

The average working week for a full-time employee was found to be 43 hours.

LinkedIn poll

Microsoft professionals were asked:
What has caused you to work overtime?

Heavy workload

57%

Work culture

22%

Time spent on menial tasks

15%

Other

6%

‘Other’ responses include addressing inefficiencies arising from insufficient tools and processes, as well as contending with impractical deadlines set by ineffective management.
*Data taken from a poll conducted on Nigel Frank’s LinkedIn in Sep 2023.

LinkedIn poll

Microsoft professionals were asked:
What has caused you to work overtime?

Heavy workload

57%

Work culture

22%

Time spent on menial tasks

15%

Other

6%

‘Other’ responses include addressing inefficiencies arising from insufficient tools and processes, as well as contending with impractical deadlines set by ineffective management.
*Data taken from a poll conducted on Nigel Frank’s LinkedIn in Sep 2023.

Paid time off by region

Professionals working in a permanent role tell us that they receive, on average, 21 days of paid time off (PTO) a year.

The amount of paid time off our respondents receive varies massively from country to country, due to differing employment laws and regulations around minimum vacation time provided to employees. But as companies compete for talent, PTO is becoming a popular bargaining chip for those looking to hire the best professionals. Over the past few years, we’ve seen levels of PTO offered to Microsoft professionals increase, even in regions where PTO is a legal requirement and employees are guaranteed leave. This is likely a response from companies to employees’ desire for better work-life balance, particularly in such a notoriously hardworking sector as cloud technology.

See below for the average PTO days by country of our respondents:

34 Days

29 Days

29 Days

28 Days

24 Days

24 Days

23 Days

22 Days

20 Days

19 Days

19 Days

Conclusion

A massive 83% of Microsoft professionals are offered some degree of remote working, with just 17% stating that they work in-office five days a week, and 42% working remotely full-time. This data indicates that any business not offering some degree of home-based or remote working will be in the minority, and, given the high percentage of respondents preferring remote or hybrid working models, will likely be at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting talent. Paid leave continues to be a key differentiator too, with businesses offering above-average amounts of PTO putting themselves ahead with a talent pool increasingly seeking better work-life balance.

Want the highlights from this year's Careers and Hiring Guide at a glance? Our key findings report contains our top level insight and salary tables, so you can compare your own salary or benchmark your teams' across the Microsoft ecosystem.