ICT Trends – Employment Prospects for 2014
IT Sector – Supply & Demand
The message contained in the final newsletter for 2013 for anyone contemplating a career in ICT is
very positive; the number of well-paid jobs in the industry with good long term prospects, not just
here in NZ, but globally is well documented.
There are two major factors influencing the rosy outlook for employment in this industry; demand -
a continuing growth in new jobs, and supply - a shortage of both graduates, with the requisite
knowledge and skills, and highly skilled professionals.
This positive employment outlook is reinforced by a number of recent stories with headlines such as
Techday’s IT Brief “Don’t leave town before you’ve seen the booming ICT market” and
Computerworld’s “NZ ICT sector faces 'dire' skills shortage”.
The Techday article states that, according to the latest Absolute IT Employer Insight Survey, a
whopping 75 percent of employers are planning to hire new staff in 2014, the majority within the
next 3 months, with the main reason being new projects.
In the Computerworld story the CEO of IT services company Fronde, Ian Clarke, states that there is a
dire shortage of highly skilled IT professionals in the country, despite the fulfilling and lucrative
careers the sector delivers.
This shortage of highly skilled IT professionals is further emphasised in the Techday article with the
headline “Kiwi IT jobs boom smashes $110k salary mark”. Head of Trade Me Jobs, Peter
Osborne, states that eight of the top ten highest-paying jobs are in the IT sector and paying at least
$110,000 per year. A real shortage of IT gurus is leading to these high salaries being offered as
businesses throw more money on the table to attract people into their roles.
Across the Tasman, under the headline “Shortage of IT graduates a critical threat”, an analysis
by The Australian Financial Review of university course take-up by domestic undergraduate students
since 2001 shows a 36 per cent decline in students starting IT degrees, and a 41 per cent decline in
students graduating from those degrees in the same time frame.
Worldwide there are many similar headlines (refer News Bytes A – Z) heralding the widening gap
between the expanding IT job market and the shrinking availability of skilled IT professionals.
So just what is the current state of supply and demand here in New Zealand?
Tertiary ICT Enrolment Trends
Figure 1 indicates an increase in ICT diploma EFTS (equivalent full time students) for 2012 of 7.4 per
cent on the 2011 figures. International enrolments, however, are down by 5.7 per cent for the same
period thus continuing the overall decline in international diploma enrolments from peak numbers
in 2009. Completions for 2012 year are up by 5 per cent on 2011 (Data derived from the MoE
Education Counts website).
Fig.1 Diploma ICT Enrolments (EFTS) & Completions 2005 – 2012
Figure 2 illustrates an increase in ICT bachelor EFTS for 2012 of 9 per cent on the 2011 figures while
completions are up 27 per cent for the same period. Enrolments overall have increased by 30 per
cent since the 2008 trough of 4830 enrolments (EFTS).
Fig.2 Bachelor ICT Enrolments (EFTS) & Completions 2005 - 2012
The domestic ICT enrolments (EFTS) for both diplomas and degrees continue to trend upwards,
providing an encouraging outlook for prospective employers of ICT graduates.
Seek ICT Job Adverts
The Seek ICT job adverts for January and February are currently tracking the 2013 numbers, as can
be seen in figure 3.
Fig.3 Seek ICT Job Adverts Monthly Trends 2010 –2014 (February)
Trademe IT (fig.4) job adverts are up 5 per cent on this time last year.
Fig.4 Seek ICT & Trademe IT Job Advert Trends to February 2014
The monthly Seek ICT job adverts for February (fig.5) have increased for the main regions with an
overall increase for all New Zealand of 43 per cent. When compared with the same period in 2013
the numbers for Wellington and Canterbury are slightly lower while Auckland is up by 8 per cent
(Refer fig.6 for specific numbers).
Fig.5 Seek ICT Job Advert Trends Monthly Change for February 2014
Figure 6 provides a detailed record of the Seek ICT job advert trends by region to February 2014.
Fig.6 Seek ICT Job Advert Monthly Trends to February 2014
The ICT job market is off to a healthy start for 2014 with the Auckland region being the main driver,
continuing a trend apparent in 2013, while the Wellington region continues its downward trend on
numbers 10 per cent below this time last year.
Next month’s newsletter will examine the ICT jobs most in demand, based on two recent headlines;
NZ Herald: Sexy new jobs in IT, Fitness and NZ – Stuff.co.nz: The hottest careers for 2014.
News Bytes: A to Z
Australia – Computerworld: Vic govt pushes plan to boost ICT skills
"Of particular concern is that interest in studying ICT after secondary school remains low
(particularly for women).
Australia – Financial Review: Graduates need to upskill to find IT work
A combination of under-qualified university graduates and aged workers with outdated skills are
exacerbating a shortage of experienced information technology professionals in Australia.
Australia – Financial Review: Freelancer.com chief blasts government’s IT skills shortage denials
The Department of Employment report, released last September, is in stark contrast to the message
coming out of the local technology industry, with bosses complaining about how difficult it is to
recruit qualified IT staff.
Australia – Financial Review: Shortage of IT graduates a critical threat
Course take-up by domestic undergraduate students since 2001 shows a 36 per cent decline in
students starting IT degrees, and a 41 per cent decline in students graduating from those degrees in
the same time frame.
NZ – Computerworld: NZ ICT sector faces 'dire' skills shortage
CEO of IT services company Fronde, Ian Clarke; “Leveraging our local IT heroes is another great way
to inspire young people to choose careers in technology.”
NZ – DoL: 15 to 24 Labour market year to March 2013
Youth (people aged 15–24) account for more than one-third of total unemployment in New Zealand.
NZ Herald: Sexy new jobs in IT, Fitness
Data architects, iOS developers, social media experts, digital marketing specialists and Zumba
instructors are all on the list of most-wanted jobs.
NZ – Stuff.co.nz: The hottest careers for 2014
The biggest increase in demand is predicted to be for database and systems administrators, with
employment growing at an annual average of 3.6 per cent between 2011 and 2016, and at 3 per
cent annually between 2016 and 2021.
UK – Computing.co.uk: Are educators ready for Michael Gove's new computing curriculum?
From September, schools will be teaching basic coding for five-year-olds, while secondary school
students will be required to study several programming languages.
UK – IT ProPortal: Closing the digital skills gap: How to grow a new generation of IT professionals
A recent push to overhaul the ICT curriculum in favour of teaching more practical digital skills, such
as coding, has in the eyes of Michael Gove, UK’s education secretary, "set schools free."
UK – Microscope.co.uk: BETT: IT firms have a role to play in boosting teacher skills
The demand for IT professionals in education was expected to go up by 15% in the next 8 years,
according to the UK Council of Professors and Heads of Computing, but the numbers of students that
had chosen the ICT world as a career had fallen by 50% since 2001.
USA – CNN Fortune: Tech job forecast for 2014: Hot, and getting hotter
Dice Holdings, which runs tech job site Dice.com, reports that 55% more employers — a record high
— say they're ready to hire large numbers of techies, up from 42% in the second half of 2013.
USA – Dice.com: January 2014: Recruiting Technology Talent in the Midwest Gets Tough
A recent hiring survey from Dice found that five of the top 12 most challenging cities to recruit tech
talent in are located in the Midwest.