Careers 2013: Tech roles in hot demand

IT vacancies returning to pre-GFC levels, says IITP CEO Paul Matthews

New Zealand businesses have been struggling to fill technology roles. Despite a challenging economic environment for the last three years, the number of skilled IT workers in New Zealand is still a concern says Paul Matthews, CEO of the Institute of IT Professionals.

In his role as head of the IT industry professional body, Matthews often talks with technology employers about their requirements. He says that transformation projects in government and new products and technology support in the private sector has been driving IT recruitment - but many employers are still struggling to find senior level IT staff.

Matthews says that despite a slow down in hiring between 2008 and 2011, there has always been an underlying demand for IT workers. Only now is that demand returning to pre-GFC levels, he says.

Business analysts and information architects are in particular demand, with IT employers struggling across the board to fill senior positions with the skills to support new projects and technologies.

Although the number of university graduates with technology degrees has been in decline, Matthews says employers have less difficulty filling graduate-level roles.

"There's a dichotomy in this shortage. We're starting to see a huge barrier with graduates trying to find work," says Matthews.

"Once they have two or three years experience they're off flying, but the difficulty is the formative years before that point."

Companies are increasingly recognising the need to invest in junior level staff and train them up to fill more senior roles, says Matthews.

Big hitters like Orion Health, which hired 150 new staff globally in the last year, are investing more in graduate programmes and initiatives to encourage more students to take up IT courses in university.

Both the need for experienced workers and up skilling of recent graduates could be addressed by fast-tracking current staff along their career paths, says Matthews.

"If you ask most software developers in the industry where they see themselves in the future, they'll reply they're happy where they are," says Matthews.

"We're not moving people up fast enough. Employers need to incentivise moving these skilled developers and technicians up the ladder. Retrain them to fill these roles.

"Expose these developers to these new areas and encourage progression in their careers."

Matthews says there is a major risk of successful New Zealand companies basing their development teams overseas if senior level talent in New Zealand cannot be sourced, which would have a flow on effect in the future of limiting opportunities in New Zealand.

"There's a risk if we don't address the supply side of things they'll start developing those teams overseas, and they won't be likely to bring them back," says Matthews.

"There comes a point where they have to. They have all this potential growth which is only limited by how fast they can grow, and that requires the right staff."

*This article is part of a Computerworld series on ICT careers. See also New ICT projects continue to boost staff demand, What are large ICT employers looking for? and Game studios bolster industry.

Tags careersInstitute of IT ProfessionalsIT management

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8 Comments

Anonymous

1

{$particularTech} jobs are real hot at the moment. Employers are screaming out for {$guessAtNos} workers which will be needed and the situation is real desparate. {$particularSchoolsOrTechsEtc}s will need to train {$GueasAtNoGrads} graduates if disaster is to be avoided.

Anonymous

2

as a recruiter I could build houses with the number of architects available looking for work!

Get the Govt to assist with intial hiring of grads with grants to employers - many SME's would love to hire but money is tight - any assistance to change that would certainly change employers appetitie to hire, and it wouldn't need to be long - 3-4 months maybe where there is a subsidy

Get some real grads who have done some awesome work in their courses doing the rounds - I had heard of some AUT guys came 3rd in the world for what they had done and they were seriously impressive, approachable and nice people - certainly high school students would sit up and take notice and consider IT seriously

Too much talking at the top end and not enough doing - the vast majority still theink IT is black magic, and as long as IT people keep trying to solve a non IT problem ( students perceptions ) , the shortages will continue - perception is everything, get some non IT people to make it understandable and interesting for the masses and the class sizes will increase.

It isn't that difficult but someone has to break out of the viscious circle and frshen things up and market it differently.

Anonymous

3

so, exactly what is an information architect? how does it differ from a data architect, im architect, enterprise architect, solutions architect, etc, etc, etc

and does one come with lego?

Anonymous

4

That IRD One News item last week - and who says it will be the last big project going overseas - was and is the reality that should be primary concern of Paul Matthews, this is just a convenient yarn that can be generated anytime when needed. But then again you don't get to top of anything by addressing real issues.

Anonymous

5

<?echo $particularTechnology;?> are real hot at the moment. Employers are screaming out for <?echo $geustimateOfJobNumbers?> and the situation is real desparate. <?echo $particularSchoolTeckEtc?> will need to train <? echo $geustimateOfGrads?> if disaster is to be avoided.

Anonymous

6

1. train your existing staff to fill the gaps
2. offer better pay and conditions to existing staff so they don't leave you in the first place
3. be realistic. your job adverts often ask for a person to be a brain surgeon, plumber, electrician and accountant, then you wonder why the job doesn't get filled. go figure.

Fluff

7

fluff article.
there are jobs out there in every market.
you don't need to go overseas to be happy.
if you want a job get off your a** and find one.

Anonymous

8

This sounds great except for one thing, who do you choose to be fast tracked to be promoted?

Ask anyone and does a great Analyst Programmer make a great manager? chances are no... the key is the sentence "Retrain them to fill these roles" and if they can't be retrained, let them stay where they are for everyone's sake.

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