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ICT Trends: do I want to work for you?

Garry Robertson, Senior Lecturer at Wintec. 27 February 2012, 3:57 pm
ICT Trends: do I want to work for you?

Last week Ben Smith, NZCS Projects and Engagement Coordinator, wrote about ICT-Connect. This project is about connecting ICT professionals with secondary schools to introduce them to our sector.

One of the outcomes of this inspiring initiative is to help increase the number of tertiary students graduating with ICT qualifications (and to arrest the current decline! Newsline June 2011) in order to address the huge demand for well paid professionals in the ICT industry.

A recent opinion piece about interview questions suggests another potential partnership; connecting ICT professionals with undergraduates engaged in tertiary ICT study.

This is an opportunity to promote jobs available in NZ cities/regions and to provide advice on interview tips/techniques, especially to those students in their final year of study.

According to the Forbes.com article there are only three true/key generic job interview questions to be asked of a potential employee;

  • Can you do the job? 
  • Will you love the job? 
  • Can we tolerate working with you? 

These three points appear, at first glance, as being an over simplification, but are actually quite all encompassing. The first question, for example, deals with technical competence without overstating this requirement. The second point refers to the excitement associated with doing a job that you love, a strong motivating factor for maximising performance and output. The final point deals with the all-important soft skills, a person's EQ [emotional intelligence quotient].

Tertiary institutions go to great lengths to convince their technically focused ICT students that these are among the primary key attributes that employers are looking for.

Judging by the supportive feedback to one reader's comments, the flip side of the coin is just as important;

  • Will you allow me to do my job? (Trust in letting someone do their job, once hired)
  • Will you love that I love doing my job? (Respect that there is more to a job than a pay cheque)
  • Can I tolerate working for you? (Corporate culture affects both parties).

Of course, these criteria are not peculiar to the field of ICT, but appeared to be worthwhile sharing with this forum and I'd be interested in your views.

Recruiting employees is an expensive exercise. Developing a partnership between ICT professionals and tertiary ICT students, prior to graduating, could potentially enhance the recruitment process for both ICT businesses and graduates alike.


Current Seek ICT Job Advert Trends


Job adverts for the whole of NZ are up 76% on the same month in 2010; i.e. the number of ICT jobs advertised for Auckland on Seek for February 2012 is almost identical to the number of jobs [1561] advertised for the whole of NZ in February, 2010.

Mobile Applications - What are the trends here in NZ?

Juha Saarinen, in his recent Newsline article, stated that the App Economy has gone from zero to employment hero in five years, or so, and he continues to find the whole App Economy vs Outsourced Jobs issue fascinating.  People like Dave Frampton, Majic Jungle Software, and Karl von Randow, Cactusab, appear to be doing very well out of the App Economy.  So what is the overall picture here in NZ? Is the potential for job creation the same as the USA is currently enjoying?

A very recent search on Seek ICT job adverts, using mobile applications as the filter, resulted in 120 adverts.  One advertisement, for example, reads;

"Junior Mobile Developer, someone either straight out of university, or with 1 or 2 years relevant commercial experience. Good knowledge of iOS, PHP and ideally Android, is specified, although all other mobile applications platforms iPhone/iPad, Blackberry and/or WinPhone7 will be acceptable."


Comparison of NZ Mobile App Jobs Advertised on Seek in Feb 2012



Distribution of Mobile App Adverts by Location



Should tertiary institutes be acknowledging the App Economy by way of offering courses and qualifications centered on App development and/or are they already on the front foot?  What programming languages are they offering - popular commercial languages that support the development of mobile apps?

Java & PHP Developers in Demand [Feb 2012]


How agile are Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) in their response to the rapid developments in ICT?

A short questionnaire has been sent to all ITPs this month. It hypothesizes that the development of mobile apps is a global economic phenomenon in terms of the growing contribution to ICT-based economies/job markets.

The key question in this survey;

"are ITPs/your institutes responding to this growing demand by providing education/training opportunities within the range ofICT qualifications that you offer?"

Three of the larger ITPs have already responded. Catch you next month when I report back on the findings.

More information

Garry also produces a monthly report containing statistics and facts related to ICT enrolments and job trends which can be accessed on the CITRENZ site.

Garry Roberton is a Senior Lecturer with the School of IT at Wintec and Executive Board Member and Fellow of CITRENZ.


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