South Africa’s 2017 tech market trends

Posted on January 20, 2017 12:01 am

The tech Industry in South Africa is undisputed one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. The way technology careers and jobs are evolving in Africa’s most developed economy, is the talk of the IT sector. The present and future of digital employment is predicted to be a bright one, and is set to change existing roles and create new ones all over South Africa. Whether you’re new to the workforce, contemplating a career change, or returning after a break, technology industry and employment trends is a fantastic way for South Africans to ensure they’re making informed tech career decisions. Armed with this information, South Africans can now identify which tech sectors that are expected to provide stability, get an understanding of how competitive a particular tech industry is likely to be, and determine whether or not they should up their skills or focus on study before applying for tech jobs. Of course, it is impossible to get any foolproof predictions around tech industry.As far as the tech job predictions and market trends in South Africa are concerned, a recent study shows that in spite of South Africa’s chaotic economic conditions, the employment opportunities in tech industry have shown growth.According to the data in my possession, South African tech employment has shown 3.8% growth over the year and vacancies for IT jobs grew by 18.4 % in 2016. Geographically, the Cape Town recorded the largest growth in vacancies, going up by 33.2%. However, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth recorded a decrease in demand.Supporting this, the tech jobs adverts on seek in South Africa have increased by 21.4% over the year with contracting job vacancies increasing by 1.3%  and permanent job vacancies increasing by 27.6%. Role wise tech jobs for security jobs have increased by 19.7% in South Africa, reflecting the emphasis on protection of technology infrastructure, data and business intellectual property in general.

Overall, the engineering software has shown a strong increase in South Africa by 87%, while, in contrast, engineering hardware showed a decline by 7%.The study data that I have analysed shows the slow movement towards permanent hires with Johannesburg going from 10% to 15% in the last quarter of 2016. The time to fill tech roles has increased for permanent hires in Durban and contract hires in Port Elizabeth, but has remained stable in other cities.The permanent tech roles in South Africa according to the study includes help desk officer, software developer, systems analysts, computer systems engineer and project manager.In terms of contracting roles the jobs include help desk officer, project manager, software developer, systems analyst, computer systems engineer, technology consultant, software tester, network engineer, computer programmer and network administrator. Since the year 2010, technology has been responsible for creating more than one million jobs in South Africa.Given the upcoming job predictions and trends in the South African labour market, it is predicted that more than 40% Australian industries will see major job increases by 2020.Technology is a major field that will be marketable in the South African market for 2017 due to South Africa’s business sector’s increased reliance on technology and digitalisation of many sectors. The study has predicted 18% of growth in the demand for tech professions this year in which 25%, the highest growth, is projected for tech network professionals.As per the inputs from recruitment experts, the high demand in the South African market is expected for security experts, data specialists and online marketing professionals in the upcoming years.In my view, this should come as no surprise as data analysis and network systems have become the foundation for South African businesses. Emerging technologies like Internet of Things, big data analytics and data will become even more crucial to South African enterprises.This year will see a dramatic increase in freelance across South Africa from design to software development to data analytics.With the sophisticated and highly advanced programs, software and databases, it is necessary for South African tech job seekers to stay updated and well versed in current technologies while mastering the skills required for South Africa’s changing tech job roles.

Contador Harrison