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Information Technology

Hotspots of skills in demand


This half will see various hotspots of demand across New Zealand’s active IT market. Starting with DevOps professionals, demand will be high for candidates with CI/CD skills gained within agile development environments. Cross functional digital skills are also sought. DevOps remains a growth area, especially at the enterprise level to support business transformation and accelerate the delivery of applications while maintaining quality. In addition, candidates with strong Azure or AWS experience are becoming invaluable in this fast-growing space.

.NET Developers will remain in continuous demand to develop software, while the growing popularity of .NET Core is fuelling a need for Developers with commercial experience utilising this framework. Candidates who have this experience as well as skills in modern JavaScript libraries such as React or Angular are likely to receive salary increases as supply and demand pressure intensifies.

Business Intelligence Developers are required as organisations mine their own data for greater customer insights. Data and analytics is quickly becoming a major focus within IT. With no sign of this slowing down, we expect Business Intelligence to be at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Front-End Developers with SilverStripe expertise are in demand since this is a popular content management system, and a New Zealand-based product, that many organisations are using. We’re also seeing demand for Front-End Developers with React JavaScript expertise to create interactive user interfaces. Those who have heavily customised Drupal are also sought as a strong alternative to SilverStripe Developers.

Python Developers are required too since this coding language is growing in popularity.

Full Stack Developers are sought by small to medium enterprises and the public sector. These professionals understand the latest frameworks, design cloud integration solutions and develop across the technology stack, thereby reducing the need for additional headcount.

In addition, Full Stack Engineers with Node.js expertise are needed since, in certain situations, this open-source, cross-platform JavaScript environment is considered more flexible and talks to the user interface more easily.

Senior Automation Engineers with continuous integration skills are required as organisations look for people who can detect problems early and protect data.

Senior Developers with continuous delivery expertise are sought. Having this skill in a team allows code to be released at any time.

Experienced Senior PHP Developers are in short supply. Suitable candidates are capable of heavy coding and website development from scratch. Client-facing soft skills are essential too, meaning those with good communication skills are valued.

UX/UI Designers are in demand. The growth of digital technology, especially mobile, has led to an increase in demand for candidates to create more advanced solutions to better engage with end users. With UX/UI Designers in short supply across Australia and New Zealand, salaries are increasing in this niche area.

The migration of local infrastructure to cloud platforms, in particular Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, is fuelling demand for Cloud and Security Architects and Engineers with exposure to DevOps environments. These candidates are in very high demand.

Data Scientists and Engineers with big data software expertise, particularly Hadoop, are in short supply. Organisations are competing with others outside New Zealand that offer significantly higher salaries for this growing and in-demand skill set.

Employers still look for entry-level candidates with Visual Basic experience. However, few entry-level candidates learn or are interested in such legacy technology. This is causing a major skills challenge for companies that have not upgraded to more modern technical stacks.

Cyber Security and Data Security candidates are in ongoing demand in response to the never-ending and increasing threats that organisations face. With high demand but a small candidate pool, organisations are using the complexity of their projects and attractive salaries to compete for the top talent.

Infrastructure Engineers are also sought. Managers want strong generalist candidates with several areas of expertise. Such candidates often have a diverse IT background, which means they understand various technical processes.

Onsite Helpdesk professionals are in demand for corporate organisations that want IT support onsite to liaise directly with staff for an immediate resolution. As is the case for Infrastructure Engineers, candidates with different and broad IT skills are preferred.

Employers are also experimenting with new and emerging disruptive technologies such as augmented reality, blockchain and machine learning. Any candidate with commercial experience in these areas is therefore in demand

Jobseeker advice

Employers look for candidates with both strong technical skills and exceptional soft skills. Today, being up-to-date with cutting edge technology such as .NET Core, React and AWS is not enough to stand out. However, if you add strong people skills to the latest technical skills, you’ll get noticed by employers.

Demonstrating a warm personality and a positive attitude to an interviewer will also help you succeed.

Consider upskilling. A report claims the half-life of learned skills is now about five years. Regardless of your role or level of seniority, it is therefore essential to continuously upskill in order to stay relevant in an increasingly mechanised world. Here’s 7 ways to upskill and keep yourself at the growing edge of your career without breaking the bank.