With IT job vacancies continuing to climb as companies struggle to recruit and obtain critical skills in South Africa, there is an opportunity to upskill or reskill individuals to meet this demand.
Prudence Mabitsela, founder and managing director of Dynamic DNA, a training and skills development company empowering Africa’s ICT generation, believes these skills are needed to build the economy of South Africa and to close the digital skills and gender divide in the country.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) kicks into gear and more companies speed up their digitisation strategies due to the global pandemic, now is the time to add these scarce skills to your resume to ensure employability and career advancement in the sector.
“There are many opportunities in a variety of industries not just the IT sector,” said Mabitsela. “Jobs span across banking and financial services, retail, Fintech, government, legal, logistics and many more. It is imperative that both learnerships and upskilling or reskilling of existing employees are prioritised so that we can close the digital divide.”
One way that Mabitsela believes individuals can take advantage of this skills demand is to take specialised, certified courses which can range from one year to a few months in duration for one qualification and depending on the course, and with the advancement of technology many of these can be done online.
“It is important to ensure that these courses are aligned with the MICT SETA qualifications framework and provided by an accredited training provider,” she advises. “This ensures that you receive quality education given by qualified lecturers with a certificate that is internationally recognised.”
Here are the top 6 most in-demand IT jobs in the country and the skills you need to get ahead:
1. Software developer
Developer salaries vary greatly and can be viewed here.
- GP R48,442 to R65,604 p.m.
- WC R45,012 to R56,685
- KZN R42,755 to R55,882
There are key skills required in software development today that are worth investing in to ensure that your career stays on track,” said Mabitsela.
“Cloud computing is one that everyone should add to their CV in 2021 as more companies move their environments into the Cloud. That means learning platforms like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform will be highly beneficial for your career.
“Other skills include upskilling on version control tools such as Git and SVN; containers and tools like Docker and Kubernetes; Des such as VSCode and for Java Programmers, Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ. If you only know one database programming language, then adding a few more is critical in 2021 because this will keep you ahead of the competition.”
2. Computer Network and Systems Engineer
The average salary for Systems Engineer is R525,000 per year in Johannesburg, while the typical engineer can earn around R30,000 per month.
Systems / Network Administration jobs pay the following:
- GP R35,265 to R47,947 p.m.
- WC R30,133 to R43,256
- KZN R25,920 to R30,640
In the interconnected world we find ourselves in, computer networking skills are increasingly in demand, said Mabitsela.
“If you are wanting to lead your career forward the following skills will ensure you get there: Linux; Juniper; DOD; Windows; Active Directory; Network Security; VoIP; System Center Configuration Manager; Business Process; Configuration Management; OSPF; Domain Name Systems; Unix; and Architecture skills.”
3. ICT Systems Analyst
The average salary for a systems analyst starts at around R38,000 per month (R450,00), with average earnings in this position at around R600,000 per year.
Due to digital disruption and advancing technologies it is important for the systems analyst to get the skills needed to deal with the technologies that are reshaping businesses, said Mabitsela.
“Advancing your skills in these technologies will definitely help you get there: AI (Artificial Intelligence); BI (Business Intelligence); Big Data; RPA (Robotic Process Automation); Blockchain; the Digital Economy; Information Security; Cloud Computing; Software Development; Agile IT Project Management; ML (Machine Learning); and DL (Deep Learning).”
4. Programmer Analyst
The average salary for a Programmer Analyst in South Africa is around R500,000, ranging between R385,000, and R600,000, depending on skills and experience.
A programmer analyst usually has a broad skillset ranging those vital IT technology skills to softer skills like communication, problem solving and even creativity, said Mabitsela.
“It would also be beneficial to get certifications in newer computer systems such as cybersecurity; cloud computing; platform optimization; automation; deep learning; intuitive application development and big data.”
5. ICT Security Specialist
The average pay for a cyber security Specialist is R525,000 a year, while the average salary ranges between R373,000 and R660,000.
With the increasing rise of cybercrime, every ICT security specialist needs a range of skills to ensure their company is secure from attack, said Mabitsela.
Beyond the fundamental networking and security skills the following are worth adding to your CV: Incident Detection and Response; Security Management Frameworks; now more than one of these common operating systems and their vulnerabilities iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux; understand different Network Infrastructures; Data Privacy; Data Analysis; Network Monitoring systems like Splunk, Solarwinds and Nagios; as well as soft skills like problem-solving; teamwork and skills.
6. Business Analyst
The average salary for a business analyst is R550,000 per year in Johannesburg, but can go much higher, depending on experience.
- GP R45,277 to R58,545 p.m.
- WC R40,498 to R53,365
“It is important as a business analyst to stay up to date with industry developments and be able to analyse the capabilities of the myriad of tools out there.
“From a technical perspective depending on your current certifications, it is worth updating these skills in 2021: Data Analysis; Business Process Models; SQL Server; Microsoft Visio; Test Cases; Test Plans; UAT; Data Warehouse; JAD; Application Development; User Acceptance; UML; Web; Activity Diagrams; QA, SME and many more,” said Mabitsela.
You also want to add non-technical skills like research, negotiation, communication, financial planning, and decision-making to your CV if you haven’t already, he added.
“These specialised skills will develop your career and set you apart from the competition, not to mention securing your employability well into the future. Take your future into your hands and speak to your employer about how you can close the digital skills gap in your organisation.”