Jobs in South Africa
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  • The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on most businesses, but those in the tech sector are booming.
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT), financial services, and FinTech companies are scaling up operations while other businesses transition to digital.
  • This has created a surge in demand for IT workers.
  • Some of the positions in most-demand are in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analysis, and cybersecurity.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

South Africa's technology sector is booming as more businesses move to digital in a trend which has been hastened by the Covid-19 pandemic. This promises high-paying job opportunities, but only for those with the right skills and experience.

While few industries have been left unscathed by the pandemic, tech companies, from e-commerce companies to cybersecurity firms, have rocketed. The Covid-19 pandemic, with its lockdowns and work-from-home instructions, has catapulted digital systems to the fore and forced brick and mortar businesses to revaluate.

These businesses have rushed to set-up digital systems, whether for online sales or to accommodate remote work, while others already in the tech space scale their operations. This has created great demand for IT workers, especially among Information and Communications Technology (ICT), financial services, and FinTech companies, according to leading recruitment company, Michael Page.

"MNCs [multinational corporations] in ICT and FinTech, and some companies like TakeALot.com and Jumia in the retail sector look at technology as an enabler of their business, and it is such companies that will remain desirable employers to top IT talent," says Robyn Stainbank, a senior consultant for technology for Michael Page in Africa.

A career in the technology sector, as well as being in demand, is lucrative, according to Michael Page's latest Market Overview and Hiring Insights Guide for 2022.

According to the report published earlier in November, yearly average salaries range from R350,000 (around R29,000 a month) for a network engineer in a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) up to R3 million (R250,000 a month) for a Chief Information Officer (CIO) of an MNC.

Cloud computing, which allows the remote delivery and hosting of data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software, is in especially high demand, according to Michael Page.

Employees best equipped to capitalise on this demand and find a job in cloud computing field should have skills and experience in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, DevOps, Docker, and Kubernetes.

"DevOps is a hybrid role that combines software development, operations, and quality assurance. Similar IT roles that can combine IT with other crucial skills for the business are in demand," says Stainbank.

Positions in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, software development, data science, and cybersecurity are also in high demand.

"Companies are moving beyond just reporting on data and management information to also using data for insights, which is essentially the commercialisation of that data," notes Michael Page's latest Market Overview and Hiring Insights Guide.

"Companies are developing their capabilities to make more data-driven decisions, and hence the demand for talent with data-related expertise."

Cybersecurity, ensuring that internet-connected systems are safe and secure, is also near the top of the agenda for companies that have needed to cater to remote work. And while employees begin trickling back into offices, hybrid work models are likely to become part of the new normal, coinciding with cyber criminals upping the ante.

"With more and more people working from home, cloud networks are becoming security targets. Cybersecurity is an issue of critical importance and companies are prioritising hiring talent with the expertise of putting safeguarding measures in place," explains Michael Page.

Stainbank adds that to fully meet the current and future demand in this sector, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education needs to be prioritised in South Africa.

"Increased effort needs to be undertaken to modernise and develop sustainable education programmes with an emphasis on innovation, science, and technology," says Stainbank.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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