Skilled South Africans are in demand – and are leaving the country

Digital and IT professionals are leaving the country in growing numbers, leading to a shortage of skills in the sector, the Sunday Times reports.

Adcorp CEO Innocent Dutiro told the paper that finding qualified IT workers is becoming increasingly difficult due to the exodus of professionals.

“We’ve got an IT contracting business where we struggle to fill the requests that come from our clients because the skills here are in such short supply, and the demand for these skills is global,” Dutiro said.

He said that local conditions are pushing away IT professionals, as their skills are in high demand internationally.

“We’re competing for South African skills against countries with stronger currencies,” he said. “Our first objective should be to try and retain our own skills because we’re losing those to other markets.”

Dutiro added that South African businesses should take good care of their skilled IT workers, which he called an “endangered species” due to the shortage of them working locally.

News24 recently called on young South Africans to explain their reasons for wanting to leave the country and what would have to be different for them to stay or even return to their country of birth.

The publication received a number of responses – from IT managers and engineers to students, and unemployed, which has become a recurring theme for many in a country with a stagnant growth rate.

The current unemployment rate in the country is 27.1%, according to StatsSA, while the unemployment rate among citizens eligible in the labour market, aged between 15 and 24 years old, sits at around 55%.

As a result, a number of respondents have spoken out about their disillusionment over the future of the country.

Many identified the following core themes for wanting to leave:

  • Inability to find jobs;
  • Corruption;
  • Crime and safety;
  • BBBEE and Affirmative Action;
  • Lack of a future.

Recruitment specialist, Glassdoor, meanwhile, recently released a 2019 report of the 25 highest paying entry-level jobs in the United States. The bulk of the of the jobs listed in the top 10 ten are in the tech sector.

Data scientist was the highest-paying entry-level job last year, according to the research. Young adults in this field earned a median annual base salary of $95,000. That’s higher than young Wall Street workers received as investment-banking analysts.

Highest Paying Jobs for New Grads

Job Sector Base Salary Rand
Data Scientist Tech $95 000 R1.37 million
Software Engineer Tech $90 000 R1.30 million
Product Manager Industrial $89 000 R1.28 million
Investment Banking Analyst Finance $85 000 R1.22 million
Product Designer Industrial $85 000 R1.05 million
UX Designer Tech $73 000 R1.05 million
Implementation Consultant
Tech $72 000 R1.05 million
Java Developer Tech $72 000 R1.00 million
Systems Engineer Tech $70 000 R1.00 million
Software Developer Tech $68 000 R979 200

Read: 4 of the most popular visa options for professionals looking to emigrate to the USA

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Skilled South Africans are in demand – and are leaving the country