Thousands of jobs must be filled in South Africa's IT sector, according to a new skills survey.
The 2021 ICT Skills Survey assessed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on working conditions and skills supply and demand in SA. It found nearly 10 000 hard-to-fill positions in the ICT sector.
It attributed an ongoing skills gap in the ICT sector to insufficient numbers coming through the skills pipeline.
The survey, by Wits University's Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) in partnership with the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA), said South African ICT employers and practitioners had adapted well to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.
Employees have adapted to working from home, and many companies reported an improvement in productivity, saying this model would likely remain in place in the long term.
The report found that the top occupations with hard-to-fill vacancies in the Media Information and Communication Technologies sector include:
- software developers (over 2 400)
- computer network technicians (over 1 900)
- developer programmers (over 800)
- ICT communications assistants (over 750)
- computer network and systems engineers (over 700)
- ICT security specialists (over 700)
- ICT systems analysts (nearly 700)
- web technicians (over 500)
- systems administrators (over 400)
- programmer analysts (nearly 400).
Other hard-to-fill vacancies included advertising specialists, telecommunications network engineers, and database designers and administrators. The programming languages most in demand were .NET, C#, C++, Java and VB, with a decline in demand for people to maintain legacy systems, such as COBOL developers.