Wits University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) and the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) has published the ICT skills survey for 2021.
The survey, which is based on respondents from companies in the ICT sector, shows that there is still strong demand for IT jobs in the field, despite the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The findings in our survey show that the ICT industry has coped well in these disruptive times without needing to change much or re-invent itself. ICT companies and ICT professionals have coped well with new working conditions,” the authors said.
“They have not needed to scurry around hunting for new technologies and skillsets. Everything required for the ‘new normal’ was already in place.”
Although there is much more to be done, ‘digital transformation’ in multiple sectors and in organisations large and small simply happened in March 2020. South Africa now has the opportunity to make it stick by ensuring that ICT continues to evolve, the group said.
This will require the ongoing development of innovative technologies and growth in our skills base to meet increasing demands.
Despite the relative positivity in the sector, the report still identified a number of top occupations with hard-to-fill vacancies in the MICT sector, including:
|Job||Number of vacancies||Average salary*|
|Software developer||2 434||R650 690|
|Computer Network Technician||1 948||R481 814|
|Developer Programmer||823||R568 303|
|ICT Communications Assistant||755||R243 000|
|Computer Network & Systems Engineer||731||R726 674|
|ICT Security Specialist||713||N/A|
|ICT Systems Analyst||676||R728 396|
|Web Technician||514||R588 753|
|Systems Administrator||405||R523 937|
|Management Consultant (Business Analyst)||359||R502 907|
|Advertising Specialist||224||R316 121|
|Telecommunications Network Engineer||164||R481 814|
|Database Designer & Administrator||114||R597 820|
*Salary data collated from Adzuna and is for comparison purposes only.
The top programming languages were found to be .NET, C#, C++, Java and VB. On the other hand, there has been a decline in demand for people to maintain legacy systems, such as COBOL developers, the survey shows.
“In addition, many companies were adopting the agile project management methodology. As a result, scrum masters were in demand, though there are very few people in the country that have certified qualifications to work with the method.
“With regard to telecommunications, which incorporates both the retail side and the technical side, network-specific professionals, such as computer network technician and computer network and systems engineer, continued to be in demand.”
Companies in the sector also indicated that employers increasingly require people that have more generalist skills such as communication skills, productivity tools and time management, rather than specialist skills.
“With greater convergence of technologies, people would need to be able to move seamlessly between several differing technologies.”