About once a quarter, recruitment platform CareerJunction releases new stats and information about the job market in South Africa. And, despite the ongoing pandemic, the current outlook seems to be a positive one. According to the latest data, demand for labour increased by 5% in the month on May alone, and overall job search activity has also seen an increase. The most in-demand job right now? Software development is still number one - it was the most sought-after role last quarter, as well - followed by department management and sales consulting. With this information in mind, we're taking a look at why software developers are still the most sought-after professionals in South Africa right now...
Why developers have the most in-demand job right now
For the last few months, demand for software development skills has been on the rise. In fact, since January 2021, demand for software developers has increased by 38%. This information is based on data gathered from the CareerJunction website, where over 3 000 top local recruiters promote jobs to job seekers. Local tech talent marketplace OfferZen also reported that software development skills are particularly sought-after at the moment.
Now, we're asking a simple question: why?
1). The acceleration of remote work
The term 'working from home' rolled off our tongues last year when COVID had us all finding ways to be productive from our dining room tables. This, however, required some clever software development tools, from virtual meeting platforms to team management systems and more. Now, even as lockdown restrictions ease, people are still loathe to go back to the office full time. This means that companies are having to come up with digital solutions to keep business running as normal, even when teams are working remotely. And, as developers create technology to meet the challenge, we're all asking - will we ever return to our pre-COVID working lives?
2). The rise in e-commerce
E-commerce is booming right now. Yes, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and initial lockdown restrictions but, perhaps, also simply due to changing shopping habits. A report by the South African Council of Shopping Centres last year found that 32% of respondents were regular online shoppers. And total growth for online retail in South Africa came to 66% in 2020. In just two years, retail sales went from R14.1 billion in 2018 to R30.2 billion in 2020.
Looking outward, global e-commerce sales are expected to increase by 14% in 2021 as industries from fashion to entertainment jump on board. Software developers and programmers are helping to build streamlined, successful e-commerce sites and applications. And, they're in demand because of it.
3). Business digitisation
In its report, OfferZen found that the acceleration of digitisation has led to developers now being more in demand than ever before in SA. It points out that South African companies are equipping themselves with digital tools to survive and thrive in the new digital business landscape.
“This past year, although a tough one, has highlighted the robustness of companies that were able to take their operations online, empower remote work, and, ultimately, adopt tech to power their processes, services and products,” says Malan Joubert, co-founder and CEO of OfferZen. Joubert says that adopting digital tools and enabling teams to work remotely is making businesses anti-fragile. And software developers are helping them in their fight to stay relevant and competitive in this digital age.
We'll see what the next few months have in store. But, for now, it seems like a good time to be operating in the software development world. If you need help digitising your business strategies or building a custom e-commerce site, we'd love to partner with you. Our dedicated team of software developers love a challenge!