4 July 2019 · Absolute IT IT Jobs

Time to change lanes in your IT  career? Or maybe you are thinking about a career in IT? With so many career paths available in IT it can be difficult to figure out which direction to take and which skills to develop for a successful IT career.  In March 2019 Absolute IT released the IT Job Market Report  which reviewed the New Zealand IT job market, with survey responses from over 2,200 job seekers and 300 IT employers, and one of the things that it looked at was ‘skills in demand’.

“The Job Market Report highlighted the increasing demand for certain sought-after IT skills that are often in short supply. It also became clear that employers are finding it harder and harder each year to attract and retain their IT staff, a trend we do not foresee to change in the near future,” says Helen MacDiarmid, Business Development Manager at Absolute IT.

Skills in demand in 2019

Technology continues to grow in importance and scale in New Zealand and abroad and consumers are expecting more from their product and service providers. More specialisation, faster turnaround times and easier access to their data. This is putting businesses under pressure to source those IT skills that can help them deliver on these demands.

“From the data it is clear that employers are short on talent in some key areas. While more can always be done to inspire Kiwis to pursue IT as a career, we also know that there are existing IT professionals looking for a new path to follow. If you’re trying to decide where to focus in IT, consider where there’s a skills shortage to see if your interests line up with industry demand,” advises MacDiarmid.

Software development skills

Developers of great software have never been more sought after. The ever-expanding SaaS (Software as a service) market alone in New Zealand needs top quality talent to build and improve platforms used at scale. Businesses are also developing their own software to run their organisational functions, requiring more development expertise. A software developer can be even more attractive when they have a full set of skills building on the front/back end development knowledge with creativity, problem solving, analytical and people skills.

If you have a solid overall knowledge of software and programming languages and the ability to learn quickly, interpret and follow technical plans then this could be a great career path for you. To find out more about Software Development as a career and jobs in this line, have a look at the section on our website.

Business analyst talent

The business analyst or ‘BA’ will likely enjoy a lot of variation and new challenges throughout their career. But underpinning the BA role is an ability to understand business challenges and help solve these in a practical way. New Zealand’s private and public sectors are always on the lookout for good quality BAs that have both the analytical and people skills, and Immigration New Zealand even currently lists ICT Business Analysis as a skills shortage.

“If you are comfortable working in the complex combination of business systems, processes and people, and have a strong foundation knowledge of IT, I’d encourage you to look into the market for BA work. IT professionals who have worked across a range of roles might find the BA role a logical culmination of this experience,” says MacDiarmid.

Interested in learning more about Business Analyst work? Check out our Business Analysis section here.

Agile experts

It’s likely you’ve come across or at least heard of ‘Agile’ as a project management methodology. The tech sector has continued to adopt an Agile-style approach to large projects, popular for its emphasis on human interaction and collaboration with stakeholders. Given that the Agile method relies on cross-functional teams (people with different skill sets), there’s a big demand for team leaders who can keep the project moving and ensure refinements are made efficiently to each iteration of the project (software for instance).

If you have a love for highly organised project delivery, a broad understanding of IT skill sets and the ability to relate to different personalities, you may wish to explore Agile as your next career move.

We took a closer look at the  Agile process and the different team roles in Agile, have a look at our Agile blog here. If you’re already an experienced Agile professional, then chances are there’s more than a few exciting opportunities in the market for you to progress.

Support/help desk roles

As software and tech solutions are becoming more sophisticated within the New Zealand industry, there’s always a need for knowledgeable IT professionals who can support an organisation’s staff with their computers and devices.

Support/help desk jobs are the first port of call for issues like lost files and passwords, installing required software and connecting into a network. Having the ability to explain technical processes to the layperson is an important component of this role – as is patience!

“We encourage people getting into the IT industry to consider IT support roles given the variety and transferable skills you’ll learn along the way. And for existing Help Desk professionals – you can be assured that there’s plenty of work around in 2019, have a look at our job board for the latest help desk and IT support roles,” comments MacDiarmid.

Networking and infrastructure skills

Getting business infrastructure in place that is secure and fast is essential to a large percentage of businesses. If you’re not familiar with this area of IT, you may have encountered it without knowing – if you’ve observed someone in the server room doing maintenance, setting up a wireless network or a remote access solution, that’s all part of a networking/infrastructure specialist’s role.

It is imperative for New Zealand businesses to make their networks safe from outside cyber-attacks and manage internal access levels to company information. Not only are networking specialists in demand but also broad IT infrastructure experts who can help roll out technology needs for an organisation such as computer equipment, servers and software. When the business updates its software or operating systems at scale, the networking/infrastructure role will be called in to carry this out.

These roles come with a lot of responsibility and attention to detail. Companies, relying more and more on sophisticated technology are also relying on these experts. As such, these skills are in hot demand and are a good career path to consider as an IT professional.

Project management abilities

Our latest IT Job Market Report shows that the commencement of new projects is the biggest driver for hiring new IT staff in New Zealand, and as new projects ramp up, so does the need for IT project managers.

“IT project managers should have an understanding across the different disciplines and be comfortable to discuss these with all the stakeholders involved in a project. If these skills are combined with fundamental project management abilities such as organisation, problem solving, people skills, financial and team management, you are likely to have many opportunities for work in New Zealand,” says MacDiarmid.

If you’re an IT professional who has worked ‘on the tools’ for several years across different areas and enjoy dealing with people, managing budgets and working to timelines then project management could be a potential future step. To find out more about what this job entails, go check out our Project Management page.

Digital & cloud skills

Our digital world is moving into the cloud at a rapid rate. Entire business tech stacks  can be run off services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud.

“Becoming certified in a platform like AWS or Azure can make you an attractive prospect for businesses looking to take more of their enterprise into the cloud. And with mobile apps being developed and powered by cloud solutions, the job opportunities for a cloud computing expert can span a vast number of industries,” comments MacDiarmid.

The rise of Cloud technology and government’s policy of ‘Cloud First’ have led to a high demand and short supply of these skills. To find out more about what Cloud jobs entail, go to our Cloud jobs section.

Testers needed!

It stands to reason that with all the new development work happening in New Zealand, that rigorous testing comes along with this. Quality assurance can mean all the difference to the success of software or an app as it goes live. Finding bugs and other issues in a testing environment requires great attention to detail and understanding of the platform.

“In a nutshell, testing is finding out how well something works; a good tester will try multiple avenues to break whatever it is they are testing. In computer hardware and software development, testing is used at key checkpoints in the overall process to determine whether objectives are being met. At the moment we are seeing a particular increase in the demand for automation and performance testers.”

We have developed a section on the different types of testing jobs and what it entails – if you think your skills and abilities will be a good match and you want to know more, go here.

Architects in hot demand

A crucial part of any complex IT project is to figure out how to meet business requirements. Architects do just that – they design technology systems that meet these demands and help business to find the right tools for the job.

Businesses in 2019 are relying more and more on experienced architects to guide the decision making that goes into what systems and solutions should be used. In a competitive and constantly-changing industry, architects can help companies to come up with the best solution for a business portfolio, application, system, infrastructure or the entire enterprise – depending on their specialty area.

Check out our dedicated guide on architects if you are interested to take this path.

Business intelligence a smart move

At its core, Business Intelligence (BI) is the art of using data to inform better business decisions.  In world that is overflowing in data and with organisations and businesses relying heavily on insights from the data, BIs are in high demand.

“We know that along with current Business Intelligence experts in the market there are other individuals with the raw skills and potential to be excellent BIs. While technical computing skills are important, a potential BI professional may come from a background in statistics, mathematics or physics. A BI applies data and research methodologies to help organisations optimise their services offerings and is a hugely rewarding role.”

If you’re interested in finding a job like this, make sure you browse our available roles or get in touch.

Why are IT professionals changing jobs?

Our research in March 2019 indicated that 56% of IT professionals are looking at new job opportunities this year and that career progression was the number one motivator for this.

The top five reasons for seeking a change of role were:

  1. Career development
  2. Current project coming to an end
  3. Better salary
  4. A change of scenery
  5. Feeling under-utilized

With the breadth of skills shortages within the IT sector, we’re confident that the market can help with satisfying these motivators.

What’s the deciding factor to taking a new job?

When it comes to actually deciding on picking one job over another, the feedback was interesting. While better income comes after career development and project conclusion as a motivator to move, the deciding factor often comes down to the money.

The top deciding factors for taking a new IT job were:

  1. Better Salary
  2. Challenging work
  3. Training and development opportunities
  4. Flexible hours and working environment

While job satisfaction and work-life balance are important to job seekers, money is still the top deciding factor when making these decisions.

Pay rises in IT sector

80% of IT employers surveyed gave a pay rises to staff in 2018. Of these, 60% expect to do this again in 2019. Over half of IT professionals expect pay rises. Given the high demand of specialist IT skills, companies are highly motivated to retain staff by offering packages that are appealing to their people, be it money, flexibility or job satisfaction.

IT internships in 2019

 IT internships are proven to be largely beneficial for businesses who take them on, often adding fresh, diverse perspectives into the workplace and also helps to attack the IT skills gap in New Zealand.

95% of employers who’d brought interns into the company had a positive experience.  The IT employers surveyed also considered internships as a  highly cost-effective way to source good, enthusiastic junior talent to grow inside the business.

On the job seekers’ side, the experience was similarly positive, with 89% attributing the internship at least in part to helping secure a job later (either within that company or elsewhere).

The challenge is that internships are only actively run by 43% of the IT employers surveyed. “Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received about interns, we are hoping to see an increase in this number,” says MacDiarmid.

Internships also have their own set of challenges. “Employers who haven’t participated in internship-style hiring did mention the challenges around the lack of resources to support interns and the obvious need for already-skilled talent for projects. On the whole, it seems that the upside of internships far outweigh its challenges and it can be a great investment to grow our future IT talent.”

Learn more about the salary rates for IT roles in New Zealand

Check out http://www.itsalaries.co.nz/ for specific information about different IT roles and salary ranges – and even compare your own salary to others in similar roles.

 

Are you interested in learning more about the skills shortages in New Zealand’s IT sector? Get in touch with our team for a chat – your ideal role could be closer than you think.