In the latest Absolute IT Employer Insight Report we are seeing an interesting trend in terms of the demand for IT skills in the public versus the private sector.
Most in-demand IT skills
Over the last five years the top three most-in-demand skills from IT employers in New Zealand have been software development, business analysis and project management, and this year is no different. Overall these three skills still make up the top three rankings, but when we segmented the data to compare the private versus the public sector, another picture emerged.
Demand for talent across sectors
Business analysis, project management and support/helpdesk skills are all present in the top five in-demand skills for the private and public sector. Interestingly software development does not even make the top five list for the public sector, while occupying the top slot for the private sector.
Instead, digital/cloud and agile skills are in high demand in the public sector as several government departments are undertaking digital transformation projects. The New Zealand government has stated that it aims to have 80% of transactions for the 20 most common public services available online by 2021.
In contrast to this, IT employers in the private sector rate software development as their number one in-demand skill. As technology and product development helps businesses to maintain and grow their market share, it is evident that their focus is on talent that can help them execute and coordinate their IT projects.
Biggest business challenge for 2018?
When we asked IT employers what their biggest business challenge is for 2018, the overall answer was ‘retaining and attracting staff’. But looking at the data in detail, it is clear that while both sectors find talent management challenging, they have very different secondary challenges. While private sector employers focus on growing their market share, public employers find workplace culture a major challenge.
Training and development
In terms of training and development, this is a hot button for job seekers who rate career development highly when they decide on a job offer. It seems that employers understand this, as 85% allocate budget towards training and development and 17% of IT employers spend more than $30,000 on staff training and development.
It seems it is not just about the money and meeting targets for the majority of IT employers in New Zealand.
The top corporate social responsibility initiative for tech employers is offering graduate support or study sponsorship; this is encouraging as these types of initiatives will help to grow our tech industry and give more young job seekers the opportunity to start a career in the tech sector.