The ICT sector is looking fruitful in 2017 for those with the right skills, but the talent gap is still causing huge problems within the industry.
We’ve been talking about the ICT skills gap for a while now, and for good reason. The demand for ICT professionals is continuing to soar while the talent is only starting to catch up with the skills needed.
According to the latest salary and employment trends survey from Abrivia Recruitment and Trinity College Dublin, 80pc of ICT employers looking for new staff found their ICT roles the most difficult to fill.
Cloud and distributed computing topped the list of most in-demand ICT skills, with front- and back-end development following closely behind.
Due to the increasing worries about malware, hacking and targeted data attacks, cybersecurity roles will also be in high demand in 2017. Fiona Donegan, director of Abrivia’s technology division, said: “We have witnessed significant headcount growth for mainly hands-on technical security analysts across, chiefly, the banking and insurance sectors.”
High demand equals higher pay cheques
While the talent gap in the ICT sector is a worry for employers at the moment, it’s good news for those who already have the skills that are sought after.
The survey found that 87pc of ICT employers plan to make new hires in 2017, and more than half of them plan to pay bonuses this year.
Almost 70pc of employers also expect to give pay rises of 3pc or more in 2017 to their ICT employees.
Movement within the ICT sector
The survey also confirmed the global nature of tech professionals, with 39pc of employers surveyed employing a non-Irish applicant based outside Ireland last year.
However, visas were a problem for 36pc of employers when it came to recruiting overseas talent, with India, the USA and China the most affected.
The difference between rent in Dublin and elsewhere is causing issues when it comes to ICT employees moving around the country.
While the Dublin employees willing to accept a pay decrease to move outside of the county would only take one of between 1pc and 3pc, those outside of Dublin said they would need an increase of more than 20pc to move to the city.
What will 2017 look like?
After a year of rapid growth in 2016, the technical skills gap is continuing to drive up salaries.
However, companies who were previously hesitant to look for overseas talent due to visa issues are now more inclined to do so. Aside from the need to find the talent, 64pc of those looking to employ overseas talent said their wage demands were lower than those in Ireland.
ICT employers are looking to ramp up their efforts to find the right talent, with 66pc willing to provide sponsorship for difficult-to-fill roles, up from 52pc last year.
As well as this, more than one third of employers said they will need a bigger office space in 2017 to accommodate the new hires.
The survey looked at 7,400 companies and 40,000 employees across multiple industry sectors.
While there’s no doubt that the ICT sector is in an exciting state of growth, workers in the industry are still facing changes. Salary increases are good, but with the ease of mobility and remote work within tech, companies could seek talent abroad with lower salary demands.
In addition, Ireland has an impressive pool of tech talent, but it’s still a far cry from the demand that needs to be imminently addressed.
With free ICT courses to help close the tech skills gap, now will be the time to get a handle on the possibility of outsourcing to solve our tech talent problem.
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