Recent ICT Enrolment and Job Trends|
by Garry Roberton, Programme Manager, Wintec
The ratio between availability of ICT graduates versus industry demand significantly impacts the ICT sector and New Zealand as a whole. The trend of both has caused considerable concern in recent years and resulting in a significant international skills shortage.
This week Garry Roberton (Programme Manager IT at Wintec) provides some background and a brief update on recent ICT enrolment and job trends.
Tertiary ICT Enrolments
Enrolments in tertiary ICT diploma and degree qualifications in NZ over the last decade have tracked the global trend, peaking in 2002 before gradually declining to a 2007 trough with numbers almost 50% below peak enrolments.
You may be familiar with the main reason given for the decline; the Dotcom crash from 2000 to 2002. Enrolments in 2009, although increasing, are still 25% below the 2003 enrolments. A more worrying current trend is the decline in ICT degree completions, for which there doesn't appear to be any one rational explanation.
Over the same period the ICT job market experienced strong growth, peaking in September 2007, just before the global recession impacted on the job market. Prior to this businesses worldwide were experiencing a critical shortage of suitably qualified people to fill the growing vacancies in all areas of the ICT job market.
The impact of the recession on the number of jobs being advertised on the Seek ICT web site, here in NZ, is illustrated in the following chart and shows a drop of 64% between September 2007 and September 2009:
So you might think that the gap between the number of ICT jobs and suitably qualified personnel would disappear and the ICT skills crisis was over .... wrong. The current upswing in the New Zealand ICT job market, combined with global commentary, suggests that this is not the case and that the skills gap is, once again, growing:
Extracts from the May report from Absolute IT regarding employer intentions highlights current shortages (increasingly very difficult to find) for Solution and Application Architects, Business Analysts and Software Developers.
It also states that nearly 70% of Auckland employers are planning to recruit in the next year (main reason - new projects (34%)); 73% of Wellington employers are planning to recruit in the next year (main reason - replacement of staff (27.7%)); and Recruiting activity in Hamilton, Christchurch and other North and South Island regions mirrors the positive recruitment activity occurring in the larger centres.
ICT job adverts by programming languages
The chart that follows illustrates the results of a search on the Seek ICT web site, filtered by some of the more popular languages currently being used by the industry.
For those interested in a global perspective the TIOBE web site publishes monthly updates of the dominant programming languages currently being used. According to this company Java is the number one programming language in terms of popularity.
The Lua scripting language is becoming more and more popular due to a number of major advantages including; small footprint, fast performance, many popular iPhone apps., including Angry Birds, are written in Lua and Apple have allowed Lua to run on iOS systems. At the same time traditional web scripting languages appear to be losing market share; i.e. PHP, Ruby and Python are declining in popularity.
Garry also produces a monthly report containing statistics and facts related to ICT enrolments and job trends which can be accessed on the CITRENZ site.
Garry Roberton is Programme Manager with the School of IT at Wintec and Executive Board Member of CITRENZ.
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Contributed content is the opinion of the author only, and not necessarily the view of IITP.