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ICT Trends: The Global perspective

Garry Roberton, Senior Lecturer, Wintec. 15 November 2012, 10:06 am
ICT Trends: The Global perspective

The ICT sector - a global perspective

In addition to the usual updates on the NZ scene, the latest edition of the ICT Trends publication includes brief extracts from online publications about the ICT job markets and tertiary enrolments in several other countries. For each of the countries mentioned, I've expanded below on some of the issues and include some more recent news updates.   


Extreme shortage of ICT professionals

According to the latest Clarius Skills Index report an 'extreme' shortage of 8258 ICT professionals in the June quarter is indicated, as compared to a shortage of 5500 workers in the March quarter. Recent technology developments, such as cloud computing, mobile development, information management and business intelligence, are [apparently] draining existing skill pools. This is expected to accelerate the shortage further when coupled with diminishing university enrolments.

AusRegistry, an Agile shop was seeking senior Java developers and had 320 applicants for about 15 roles. A lead DBA role had also been open for 141 working days, with 40 out of 140 applicants passing the tests, but without anyone being offered a job. More ICT workers are being brought in from overseas on 457 visas, in order to tackle the extreme skills shortfall.

ICT salary growth

For the second year running, ICT salaries in Australia have grown by approximately 4 per cent, according to the findings from the Australian Computer Society's (ACS) annual salary survey. The median remuneration package for ICT professionals was AU$117,500 for the private sector, AU$112,459 for public servants, and AU$100,211 for education workers.



IT skills shortage looming large in Europe

European Union member states were warned that an impending shortage of skilled IT professionals could hurt the economy of the 27-nation bloc. Demand for highly skilled ICT workers is already growing at 3 per cent a year. The EU commissioner for Europes 'Digital Agenda', Neelie Kroes, further stated that because Europe isn't providing enough IT skilled labour, there could be as many as 700,000 unfilled ICT vacancies by 2015.


United Kingdom

Critical Linux security skills gap

A competition has been launched by the UK National Cyber Security Challenge, which is aimed at addressing a critical Linux security skills gap. The majority of internet infrastructure is based on Linux, but Linux is rarely taught in schools and Linux security experts are in scarce supply. The lack of deep technical skills in cyber security is the principal reason that many organisations are unable to defend their computers, networks and data.

Computer Engineer shortage

According to Eben Upton, inventor of the Rasberry Pi, the UK government has only just realised that a shortage of computer engineers will 'shaft our economy'. The number of students taking Computing, ICT or Information Technology A-levels fell again in 2012, down 35 per cent.



IT sector hit by job losses and skill shortages

While an increasing number of technical jobs are moving overseas the Netherlands is being affected, at the same time, by a shortage of workers with high-value experience and skills. Feedback from a software engineer, who has worked in the Netherlands for 6 years, believes that the IT sector in the Netherlands is not what it used to be (pre-recession)……….and there is a shortage of software engineers and computer science graduates from Dutch universities, which will persist for years.


South Africa

Industries severely impacted by skills shortage

According to the annual skills survey conducted by ITWeb and published by the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering based at Wits University,  "two thirds (66%) of companies from a wide range of industries are severely impacted by a shortage of ICT skills". SA is limited by a shortage of women ICT practitioners and by a lack of people taking maths and science, according to Telkom CEO, Nombulelo Moholi.

IT employees are not equipped with relevant skills

IDG Connect recently surveyed over 100 South African IT professionals looking at the issue of skills shortages and development from the perspective of the people who work in the industry. The results indicate a belief that the country is suffering from a gap in the IT skills that companies need to deliver on key technology projects. "The overwhelming majority (83%) of respondents said that South African IT employees are not equipped with the relevant skills for a market that is rapidly moving towards cloud computing and managed services."



ICT talent shortage

Dell Malaysia has set several initiatives in place to overcome the skill shortage in the country, as well as to build its own talent pool. Positions in IT security, forensic IT, voice-over-IP, networking, and software development are currently in high demand due to the global environment.

Dell Malaysia University (DMU) is creating internship programmes for fresh graduates. The interns will work on real projects, and after their training, will enter the workforce, with some absorbed by Dell Malaysia.

Note: currently there are 29 ICT jobs containing VoIP in New Zealand.



Security staffing and skills shortage

A growing shortage in security staffing and skills is creating a seller's market for security professionals. The industry will need to add nearly 2 million jobs during the next three years in order to keep up with demand, according to industry figures. The "skills gap" is being driven by a variety of factors, including increasing volume and sophistication of attacks, greater compliance requirements, and a shortage of professional training. Companies requiring a certification, such as CISSP, are up 34 per cent this year and a CISSP-certified employee makes an average of $97,000 a year.

Note: currently there are 21 ICT jobs containing CISSP in New Zealand.


Global snapshot summary  

Worldwide there appears to be a chronic shortage of IT/ICT professionals with the requisite skills and experience. This shortage is predicted to get worse as demand continues to increase, based on the evolving developments of the digital technologies industry and enrolments in CS and ICT qualifications are not lifting fast.


New Zealand

Last month I mentioned that, given the volatility of the ICT job market this year it would be interesting to observe the trend between now and the end of the year. For this month the number of job ads on the Seek ICT website has fallen below 2,500, just above September 2010 levels.

Monthly Job Ad Trends - 2010 to September 2012


In spite of the overall decrease in job ads the Waikato and Canterbury regions experienced an increase in demand for the month.


Monthly Change for September 2012



DBA/Developer Demand for September 2012

Large increases occurred in demand for DBA/Developers with SQL Server skills/experience, for the month of September.



Increase in demand for people with qualifications and experience in Cloud technologies



The Analyst Category Leads Cloud Job Ads



Demand for people with Linux expertise continues to dominate.



And to wrap up on a lighter note observe below the Cloud's position (peak of inflated expectations, as of 2011) in Gartner's hype cycle for emerging technologies 2012.



More information

Garry also produces a monthly report containing statistics and facts related to ICT enrolments and job trends which can be accessed on the CITRENZ web site.

Garry Roberton is a Senior Lecturer with the School of IT at Wintec and Executive Board Member and Fellow of CITRENZ.


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