ICT Trends Article October 2014 - Tomorrow's Innovators

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    ICT Trends Tomorrows Innovators

    Nationwide Coding Programme

    The continuing demand for qualified and/or experienced coders is evidenced here in NZ by the number of online job vacancies posted throughout the year. The Seek ICT job website features comparatively high numbers of adverts for programmers, software developers, and testers with 667, 458 and 165 jobs advertised respectively during the month of October (refer table 1). Meeting this ongoing need requires a greater uptake of the STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, particularly computer programming, by computer-literate students.

    Code Club Aotearoa, a nationwide programme offering free volunteer-led classes to give every NZ child the chance to learn to code, was launched at the recent ITx2014 conference following a keynote delivered by Mona Akmal, head of product at Code.org, USA. The mission of Code Clubs worldwide is to give every child in the world the chance to learn to code by providing project materials and a volunteering framework that supports the running of after-school coding clubs.

    Encouraging all children at primary and intermediate schools to learn the basics of programming by participating in free fun code club activities/projects could be just the catalyst needed to help boost ICT enrolments/graduate numbers.

    ICT Grad School Initiative

    The ICT Grad School initiative is a joint-agency project formed by TEC and MBIE to establish three ICT Graduate Schools in each of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, based on the governments allocation of $28.6 million over the next four years.

    An invitation to submit EoIs (Expressions of Interest) to establish and operate an ICT Graduate School/s closes on Friday the 31st of October.

    The intent is to bring industry and education providers together to develop innovative solutions for providing industry-focused education, and research and development. The objectives are to produce highly-skilled graduates with work-relevant skills, provide more direct pathways from education into employment, and to help grow New Zealands ICT talent and knowledge.

    This initiative provides another great opportunity to help address the increasing demand for relevantly qualified and highly skilled ICT professionals.

    In-Demand Programming Languages

    Table 1 lists the TIOBE index top ten programming languages in descending order for October, together with a snapshot of Seek ICT job adverts in October for each language. Ruby/Ruby on Rails, sixteenth on the index, has 42 jobs currently advertised on Seek ICT while PHP is the third most in-demand programming language with 91 jobs advertised.

    Table 1 Current NZ Industry Demand Programming Languages in the TIOBE Top 10

    TIOBE Index Order of Popularity

    TIOBE Index Top 10 Programming Language

    *Seek ICT Job Adverts for October

    1 C 23

    2 Java 241

    3 Objective-C 20

    4 C++ 54

    5 C# 273

    6 Basic

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    Job Adverts

    The number of Seek ICT Job adverts for October is down marginally by 2.4 per cent on last month, but is 6 per cent ahead of this time last year (Fig.1).

    Fig.1 Seek ICT Job Adverts Monthly Trends 2010 2014 (October)

    The number of Trademe IT job adverts for October is 2 per cent down on last months figure of 1254, the same decrease as for the August September period, but is up by 4 per cent on last years October advert figure (Fig.2).

    This months Trademe IT total represents an overall increase of almost 56.5 per cent since the beginning the year, slightly down on Septembers figure of 60 per cent.

    Fig.2 Seek ICT & Trademe IT Job Advert Trends to October 2014

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    Figure 3 illustrates a slight fall overall in Seek ICT job adverts for this month with Wellington down 6

    per cent although Wellington leads the increase in adverts for the year to October at 81 per cent,

    followed by Auckland with 51 per cent, and Canterbury with 35 per cent. The increase for all NZ for

    the year to October is 54 per cent (Refer to figure 4 for specific numbers).

    Fig.3 Seek ICT Job Advert Trends Monthly Change for October 2014

    Figure 4 provides a detailed record of the Seek ICT job advert trends by region for the year to

    October 2014.

    Fig.4 Seek ICT Job Advert Monthly Trends to October 2014

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    Conclusion

    Code Club Aotearoa and the ICT Grad School are two great initiatives that could potentially help boost the ICT talent pipeline leading from education into the NZ ICT industry and businesses desperate for highly-skilled graduates with work-relevant skills.

    The success of these initiatives depends on the level of support provided. For the coding club this means;

    Volunteers,

    Venues; o primary and intermediate schools o public libraries and/or community centres o IT companies

    The ICT Grad School initiative will require strong collaboration between industry and ICT education providers in order to achieve;

    Increased on-the-job training incorporating industry relevant research

    Increased soft skill and technical abilities in graduates

    Student preparation for successful careers

    Hopefully, these initiatives will help give a boost to the future supply of relevantly qualified and highly skilled ICT professionals who will become our next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

    News Bytes: A to Z

    NZ AbsoluteIT Recruitment Specialists: For the best IT Jobs you need to upskill

    Irrespective of how long you have been working in your current IT job, its important to continually develop your professional skill set, in depth and in breadth.

    NZ NZ Business Herald: Growth sparks Auckland job surge

    Employment growth was strongest in skilled sectors such as trades, with high demand for builders, electricians and plumbers, "but there's a chronic skills shortage in IT.

    NZ Stuff.co.nz Business Day: Tech work experience scheme inundated

    Technology industry body NZ Tech and recruitment company Ice Professionals established the scheme, Ice Tech 360, primarily to help graduates with degrees in fields such as business and social studies get a "foot in the door" with technology-focused employers.

    NZ Stuff.co.nz Business Day: Great news for job hunters

    While job listings were up, the average number of people applying for jobs had dipped making it tougher for advertisers to find staff, especially in hard-to-fill sectors like IT, where application rates went down 20 per cent on the previous quarter.

    NZ Stuff.co.nz: Xero will hire 500 more staff, Rod Drury

    Xero's workforce has now topped 1000 and Drury said that while the rate of increase in its staff numbers would slow in percentage terms, he expected the Wellington-based firm would take on at least another 500 employees over the coming 12 months.

    NZ NZ Herald World News: She is Google's secret weapon

    Tabriz heads a team of 30 experts in the United States and Europe. She mentors under-16s at a yearly computer science conference in Las Vegas.

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    UK Computer Weekly: Solving the graduate STEM skill shortage: What can we learn from the financial sector?

    In order to introduce more and better skilled graduates to a STEM career, especially women, it is not just government and the education sector that will play a big part; the wider STEM sector has a major role to play as well.

    USA Computerworld: One in three jobs will be taken by software or robots by 2025

    Smart machines are an emerging "super class" of technologies that perform a wide variety of work, both the physical and the intellectual kind.

    USA InfoWorld: Bridging the IT skills gap

    Despite a nearly 7 percent national unemployment rate, the unemployment rate in IT hovers just below 3 percent, according to a Dice report.

    USA Tech Pro Research: 45% report IT budget increases for 2015

    Many respondents reported that IT is seen as equal to or more important than other business units within their company, and that IT budgets for 2015 will be the same, or higher, than in 2014 for eight out of ten organizations.

    Zambia IT Web Training and E-Learning: The skills shortage rolls on

    Shortages of skills to deal with new technologies is much easier to deal with than an endemic shortage, across almost all technologies and skill levels, which is hampering growth and will continue to do so until a solution is found.