IT skills in demand due to skills shortages: Hays

IT skills most needed within the mining and business sectors

IT skills have been identified as being the most sought after skill by prospective employers worldwide, according to recruitment firm Hays.

Hays director of IT, Peter Noblet, told Computerworld Australia that IT skills are in demand within the Australia mining and resources industry due to the global growth of the mining and resources sector, and technology skills are also in demand within the business sector.

“We’re still seeing shortages in certain Microsoft skills set such as SharePoint, for example. We see shortages in areas of business intelligence, we still see shortages in SAP and we see shortages in areas of project management,” he said.

“Another area is the telecommunications space, with strong technical skills [shortages] within RF, within wireless and certainly within the new generation telco networks.”

Noblet said that people starting out in the IT industry will be sought out to fill skills shortages, and most technical skills can be overcome, as they are either learned on the job or advanced via additional training to “overcome the skills gap”.

“We’ve seen IT development, we’ve seen a bit of a rise recently and I think this will continue in employers recruiting graduate and intermediate levels to tackle those skills shortages and training their people up,” he said.

“But a lot of the technology skills can be learned on the job and in fact, it is the softer skills (personality and communicative traits) that are more difficult to train people in.”

Despite the demand for some skills hitting a critical level, Noblet said that salaries have remained largely unchanged, doing little to incentivise future employees.

“Funnily enough, there still isn’t a massive upwards pressure of salaries,” he said.

Hays collated a list of skills shortages and separated them into soft and hard skills categories, with soft skills found to be particularly lacking in the IT industry and the most difficult to train staff in.

On the soft skills shortage list, language skills are highly valued — English being important, and for English speakers, being bi-lingual or multi-lingual is beneficial. Other important language skills on the list include people and communications skills, team management and leadership skills and organisational skills to work efficiently.

On the hard skills shortage list, financial and budgetary awareness, IT skills in JAVA, .NET and C++; knowledge in Green energy, procurement and negotiation skills, research and development skills and healthcare skills make up the list.

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