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Jobs, jobs, jobs: The most in demand tech skills in SA for 2022

Find out what the top five in demand positions in the technology sector are and what they involve. Picture: Nenad Stojkovic/

Find out what the top five in demand positions in the technology sector are and what they involve. Picture: Nenad Stojkovic/

Published May 27, 2022


Johannesburg - The South African arm of the recruitment group Michael Page released its Salary Guide and Hiring Insights report for 2022 in early February, and it has been followed by the 2022 South Africa report by tech recruitment platform OfferZen.

The surveys are in general agreement that the top in demand positions in the technology sector involve:

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– Cloud computing

– Artificial intelligence and machine learning

– Data scientist

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– Software development

– Cybersecurity

Cloud computing topping the ranks should be unsurprising, as the pandemic forced all kinds of businesses to interact with both staff and customers digitally. Cloud services are especially relevant to the many businesses who do not have the experience or infrastructure for these new digital services and rely on third parties to implement, host, and deliver solutions to the customer.

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Machine learning and data analytics often go hand-in-hand, and their rise in demand are due to very related factors. As we conduct more of our lives online, there is more and more data to collect and analyse (which powers much of the online economy via advertising), whether that is by humans or AI systems. These areas are unlikely to fall from relevancy any time soon.

Interest in cybersecurity understandably follows increased demand for digital services. With more business being conducted online, the surface area for potential cyber attacks has increased. It’s likely this demand will continue to grow, especially considering the spate of South African data leaks over the last year, often due to breaches in third-party database providers. While the specifics of the trade will necessarily adapt over time, cyber security professionals are likely to always be in demand.

All of these roles encompass lots of different specific skills, especially something as general as software development. However, the reports also give insight into the demand of specific programming skills across front-end, back-end, and full stack roles.

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JavaScript is the most used programming language across the board, though it is narrowly beaten out by plain Java in back-end roles. Demonstrating its increased popularity with both beginners and professionals, spurred on partly by the rise of machine learning, Python came out as the language developers most desired to use going forward across all roles.

The rankings of the most popular cloud services put Amazon’s AWS far ahead, with Microsoft Azure second and Google’s Cloud Platform as the top of the stragglers. This trend seems pretty robust, considering Amazon’s (now somewhat infamous) investment plans for South Africa.

When it comes to most used frameworks, Node.js is used widely across roles but comes in second to React for frontend and ASP.NET for backend and full stack work. Surprisingly for backend work, React comes out as the fourth most popular, just behind Spring Boot. Despite the reported desire from developers to use more Python, Django sits at the bottom of both the most used and most desired frameworks lists.

Surveyed developers were most excited about the future in areas of AI and cloud technology, though crypto has also jumped up the ranks compared to previous years. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue as optimism and hype surrounding blockchain technology seem to be dwindling.

IOL Tech

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