SA’s ICT job landscape

Although faced with an unemployment rate of close to 25%, South Africa is seeing massive demand for skills in the ICT sector largely unaffected by the challenging economic climate.

The booming demand for IT skills in South Africa has been echoed by the department of education, which recently highlighted that developing skills in ICT was vital for economic growth and further job creation.

“Information technology drives business – which drives the economy,” said Arnold Graaff, CEO of IT specialist recruitment agency, Compuways.

“The ICT sector is definitely growing steadily since the recession from 2-3 years ago.”

In June 2012, CareerJunction’s CareerJunction Index showed a 25% growth in the South African ICT sector, year-on-year.

According to Susan Rousseau, a client development manager at ICT recruitment agency, Insource.ICT, South Africa has been in the grip of a severe IT skills shortage for many years.

“As a result, employment in the industry has remained constant – and has shown growth in key areas,” Rousseau said.

Prevailing economic conditions have not overly affected IT employment, she noted, saying the industry would continue to grow.

“ICT recruitment has become more specialist as the IT industry has evolved,” she said, citing a large, robust South African ICT recruitment industry.

“Most of the players are specialist, niche agencies focused only on the recruitment of IT people.”

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Prospects for employment are “extremely favourable” for educated, skilled IT workers with updated technology exposure, according to Rosseau.

Compuway’s chief executive, Graaff noted that due to the move to the cloud, the need for pure technical skills in-house in small to medium companies has shrunk.

“These skills are required more by vendors. A new kind of IT Consultant is emerging and that is of advising users on how to select and use the best cloud products and how to make use of cloud-based IT Services or products,” Graaff said.

“To expand the South African skills base, the IT industry needs to attract young, bright graduates who view IT as a long term career,” Rousseau said.

“All recruitment companies have a role to play in building South Africa’s IT knowledge base,” she said.

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SA’s ICT job landscape