The most in demand IT skills

Published on the 30/01/2020 | Written by Heather Wright

Top tech skills business are hiring

Spoiler alert: It’s not AI or blockchain…

If you’re considering brushing off that CV, or just upskilling, take note: The ‘sexiest’ trends may not offer the best job options, at least not in the near future.

The latest job reports from both Hays and Robert Half show its demand for cloud technologies that is highest across both New Zealand and Australia.

The Hays Jobs Report shows DevOps engineers with cloud integration and development skills gained in agile development environments are in hot demand, with cross functional digital skills sought after.

There’s a preference to have permanent employees, rather than contractors, as companies look to hold on to IP and build a strong team culture.

.Net and J2EE software developers are also proving popular – and if you have .Net combined with skills and experience in modern JavaScript libraries such as React or Angular7 plus, and CI and CD technologies, you could be in the money with salary increases likely as supply and demand pressure intensifies, Hays says.

UX and CX designers, senior business analysts and change managers also top the list for most in-demand IT roles in New Zealand.

Across the ditch in Australia, cloud is also a key focus according to both Hays and Robert Half.

A Robert Half survey of 150 Australian CIOs shows cloud technologies (AWS/Azure) and database management (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server) are leading the way as ‘high to urgent demand’ skills, closely followed by DevOps, business intelligence and reporting services (Power BI, SSAS, SSIS) and CRM technologies.

Hays has cloud engineers and cloud architects topping the list, along with project managers, network engineers, security governance, risk and compliance (GRC) specialists and end user support professionals.

On the ‘digital technology’ front, full stack .Net and Java developers remain in high demand in startups, SMEs and large enterprises alike, while the ongoing expansion of cloud and the migration from on-premise data centres to public cloud solutions is driving demand for cloud engineers/architects. And while AWS and Azure remain the most commonly used technologies, Google Cloud Platform is becoming more popular too, Hays says.

Also flagged as key skills in demand for the first half of this year are data engineers and data scientists along with engineering skills in the Facebook-created mobile application development framework React.js/React Native.

“React Native is becoming more popular as it offers high performance benefits,” the Australian report notes.

Artificial intelligence does get a mention, with Hays noting growth continues to climb in the AI, machine learning and robotic process automation spaces.

While cyber security and data security might be key concerns for most businesses, the Hays New Zealand report notes that the strict vetting requirements and relatively small pool of professionals specialising in the field means companies are increasingly looking to develop internal talent, encouraging existing staff to upskill to take on the cyber security challenge. Meanwhile in Australia, the focus has moved from general cyber security to GRC as cyber security gains the attention of the c-suite.

Whatever the role and the technical skills, Hays says employers are also putting an increasing focus on soft skills too.

Nick Deligiannis, Hays Australia and New Zealand managing director says he’s seeing ‘vacancy activity’ across many sectors for skilled professionals, including IT.

“But there are wider macro issues at play that will dictate the success of a jobseeker this year,” Deligiannis says.

“The key trends are for skilled professionals who, regardless of their role or industry, possess strong interpersonal and creative skills. Employers also want people who can make data-based decisions, adapt well to change and who are continuous learners.”

Adds Adam Shapley, Hays New Zealand managing director: “In response to rapid technological change, soft, social and emotional skills also continue to grow in importance and are becoming prerequisites across all job functions.”

Hays says as well as highlighting those interpersonal skills, digital technology candidates can get a leg up by contributing to open source projects, with Github a popular option, while upskilling in AWS, React.js and DevOps tools and practices including Docker, Ansible and Elasticsearch are ‘good places to start [upskilling] as demand for these technologies will only continue to increase’.

The company says it’s also seeing a preference from companies to have permanent employees, rather than contractors, as they look to hold on to IP and build a strong team culture.

That push isn’t being welcomed by many candidates, however, with Hays noting they prefer higher hourly rates and the greater flexibility associated with contract roles.

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