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Growth in New Zealand’s IT sector promises good opportunities

A 12% growth was observed last year on New Zealand’s tech sector and that is not expected to slow down soon.

A recruitment firm puts the growth down to digital transformation. The government and large private sector organisations, particularly, are shedding outdated processes and legacy technologies.

As reported, the key issue for a lot of those organisations is having enough people to be able to get in and overhaul what needs to be done.

There is demand for new kinds of developers and Agile project managers.

Examples of such projects are Inland Revenue‘s billion-dollar rewrite of the tax software and the Education Ministry moving schools to cloud computing.

The project nature of the work is reflected in the number of people hired as contractors or as salaried positions being about even.

Permanent rates are increasing but it is not just dollars people are looking for. They are looking for that work-life balance and they are looking for the ability to work from home.

A lot of businesses are becoming much more flexible in the way they approach people and with the offers they make.

Many are offering something out of the norm, such as four-day working weeks where staff get to do 40 hours over four days.

They seem to have good staff retention. It’s a big drawcard, especially for those with young families.

The hourly rate for contractors has increased dramatically over the past three years across most skill sets.

A recent salary survey discovered that the most in-demand skills across Australia and New Zealand were developers, cybersecurity experts, business analysts and data scientists.

The rate for a chief information officer or chief technology officer in Auckland or Wellington is now between NZ$ 180,000 and NZ$ 300,000 a year.

People will charge NZ$ 150 to NZ$ 200 an hour to fill those positions on contract.

Information security skills can attract rates of NZ$ 120 to NZ$ 140 an hour for the top jobs and NZ$ 80 to NZ$ 100 an hour for security analysts.

Business intelligence analysts will pull down a similar amount, and a good application, cloud or infrastructure architect can expect up to NZ$ 140 an hour.

Service desk staff get NZ$ 30 to NZ$ 40 an hour and applications and desktop positions are priced out at NZ$ 45 to NZ$ 55 an hour.

It is a good time to be working in IT.

Because there is a lack of quality IT people in New Zealand, there are people who are not necessarily at intermediate or senior level getting paid what a senior would have been paid a couple of years ago.

There are young people a couple of years out of Uni getting NZ$ 80 to NZ$ 100 an hour.

Wellington is seen as a more affordable place to live and do business, so it has attracted strong growth in start-ups over the past five years.

This has led to high demand for some digital skill sets such as UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) designers.

Auckland has also enjoyed strong growth over the past six months, and there has been a noticeable increase in organisations looking for soft skills, especially advanced communication skills, mentoring and collaboration.

The tendency of IT businesses to cluster in hubs encourages the development of people skills and anti-people skills.

The skills shortage means organisations may need to take a longer-term look, building a more varied team where some of those at a senior level can share the management load and mentor people coming through.

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