Earlier this month Deloitte announced Fast 50 Regional winners across New Zealand, and unsurprisingly technology reigned supreme.
Featuring prominently amongst the category winners, software development and technology companies accounted for 16 out of the 50 chosen, such as Harmony, Timely and Vend.
New Zealand is internationally renowned for its entrepreneurial, creative and innovative businesses.
“As we can see from the Fast 50 list alone, we certainly aren’t slowing down when it comes to investing in tech, e-commerce and software development,” says Grant Burley, Director, Absolute IT.
Overall, New Zealand is ranked 18th in the Global Innovation Index and is seen as one of the leaders in the digital revolution.
Software development skills in hot demand
According to Burley, software development is one of the top three skills in “hot demand” by the New Zealand tech sector at the moment.
According to industry figures, Burley says software developers in New Zealand can expect to start on a median base salary of around $53,000 - depending on location.
In addition, median base salaries also climb at a staggering rate early on, increasing 42 percent after four years experience to $75,000 and then a further 21 percent to $91,000 by 9-10 years experience.
“The average age of software developers in New Zealand is younger than other skill sets,” Burley adds.
“With over 40 percent of skilled IT professionals in this field being aged between 25-34 years.”
Why this is important?
“Key take-outs to keep in mind are that Gen Y want flexible working hours, career development advice/opportunities and good salary packages,” Burley adds.
“Jumping from job to job isn’t foreign to them, particularly if they’re not challenged, don’t feel like they’ve got a good balance between work hard/play hard, or think their skills are worth more elsewhere.
“Their skills are in high demand and if they’re networked well, they’ll not only have recruiters offering them new opportunities, but other business leaders, exciting tech start-ups and your competitors.”
Figures from a recent Absolute IT job seeker survey found that 76 percent of Kiwi software developers have been in their current role 0-3 years and less than 10 percent are hanging around for 5+ years.
Burley says these figures are “significantly different” when compared with the rest of the tech sector where 68 percent have been in their current role 0-3 years and over 15 percent fit into the 5+ year’s bracket.
The University of Auckland in partnership with the University of Waikato have just launched a Postgraduate Certificate in IT at a new ICT Graduate School.
According to Burley, the core aim of the move is to “plug the gap” between the Information and Communications Technology industry and the industry’s talent shortage.
According to Professor Gillian Dobbie, new head of the ICT Graduate School, tertiary institutions in New Zealand have not kept up with the training graduates for the desired skill sets in the marketplace.
Dobbie says that due to the fast paced growth of the industry, technical proficiency was no longer the sole requirement for employers.
Also, Dobbie believes that IT employers these days are looking for candidates who not only can provide the technical nous required of an IT expert, but also candidates with strong interpersonal and communication skills that can fit in with the workplace culture of an organisation.
A notion echoed by Burley.
“While we struggle with a tech talent shortage in New Zealand the graduate job market is still fiercely competitive and it’s a small things that set potential employees apart; a summer internship, part-time tech support job while studying or a practical postgraduate cert in IT.”
Absolute IT’s recent employer insights survey found that 28 percent of employers were struggling to find the right talent with the right IT skills.