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The 8 most in-demand IT jobs in South Africa right now

Xpatweb has released its 2020/21 Critical Skills Survey Report, which details the eight most sought-after jobs in the IT sector right now. The survey is conducted annually across a wide range of multi-national and corporate companies in South Africa to determine and assess the pressure points that human resource and global mobility practitioners face in sourcing critically skilled individuals when seeking to fill posts locally.
Photo by Pakata Goh on Unsplash

"The demand for ICT jobs remains steady with 13% of respondents indicating in the 2020/21 survey that they struggle to source skilled professionals in this field to drive their operational demand in order to transition into the digital economy," said Xpatweb in the report.

"As big data, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things rapidly shape the way of doing business, which often makes the difference between those competitors that survive the transition from the third industrial revolution into the 4IR and those that ultimately fail, sourcing these skills is a priority that cuts across all sectors.

Of the organisations surveyed, 98% indicated that they agreed that critical ICT skills were essential to their ongoing operational success," Xpatweb stated.

The eight most-sought after professions:

  • IT application developers
  • Data analysts
  • Data scientists
  • Software developers
  • Software engineers
  • IT program managers
  • Digital skills
  • Network architects

Xpatweb explained that some businesses were so desperate for ICT skills that 17% indicated they were seeking qualified yet still inexperienced professionals, while another 17% were seeking those with one to three years of experience and 38% wanted to recruit staff with three to five years of experience. A total of 28% of respondents required ICT professionals with more than five years of experience.

The importance of qualified professionals


Highlighting the skills shortage impact on their businesses, 94% of organisations reported that qualified data scientists are an occupation that was critical to their ongoing operational success. A further 94% of organisations reported a similar need for qualified software developers, while 89% of organisations were in need to recruit data analysts to ensure their ongoing operational success.

According to a 2019 survey by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA), South Africa has a chronic shortage of ICT professionals. The survey listed the top ten hard to fill occupational vacancies in firms in the media, information, and communication technology sector:

  1. Software developer (1,131 vacant posts)
  2. Computer network and systems engineer (352)
  3. ICT systems analyst (316)
  4. Programmer analyst (165)
  5. ICT security specialist (150)
  6. Business analyst (126)
  7. Multimedia designer (121)
  8. Advertising specialist (106)
  9. Database designer and administrator (91)
  10. Telecoms network engineer (91)

Moreover, according to IITPSA’s survey, the demographic of the average ICT professional has remained the same over the past 12 years.
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