Top 5 tech careers South African CEOs are looking for

With the 2021 school year in the books, many of the nearly 900 000 matriculants who completed their national exam are wondering what to study next year, and whether traditional university is the right path for them.

Thanks to rapid digitisation, tech-based careers offer the students of today lucrative opportunities for tomorrow

Riaz Moola, CEO at HyperionDev, lists his top five tech careers for matriculants to consider pursuing studying for in 2022:

  1. Java developer

A Java developer uses the Java language to create high-functioning web applications, software and programs. This was rated as the number one job of 2021 by the global recruitment website Glassdoor.

“Java is still one of the most popular programming languages in the world, reflecting both the growing demand for experienced Java programmers and the ubiquity of companies using Java for all kinds of tech applications,” asserts Moola.

Typical responsibilities: designing, implementing, and maintaining Java applications that are often high-volume and low-latency, required for mission-critical systems, delivering high-availability and performance, contributing in all phases of the development lifecycle, writing well-designed, efficient, and testable code.

Average annual salary according to Payscale: R375 315

  1. Software engineer

Software engineers are generalised developers, making all kinds of software to suit business’s needs.

“They have always enjoyed incredible pay, boundless career opportunities and solid job security,” states Moola. “Software engineers are highly agile, thanks to their transferable skills and deep knowledge of one or more programming languages.”

Typical responsibilities: analyse user requirements, write and test code, refine and rewrite as necessary and communicate with any programmers involved in the project. They will research, design and write new software programs (e.g., business applications or computer games) and computer operating systems, evaluate the software and systems that make computers and hardware work and develop existing programs by analysing and identifying areas for modification.

Average annual salary according to Payscale: R371 699

  1. Data Scientist/Data Engineer

There are more similarities than differences between data scientists and data engineers. A data scientist uses data analysis tools to manage, analyse, understand, and draw conclusions from complex data. Data engineers, on the other hand, are responsible for the setting up, maintenance and management of data systems.

“Data is the internet’s new gold rush, which is why companies want to understand their core data and key customer insights to unlock more efficient systems and bigger profits,” says Moola. “Data scientists and data engineers are the answer to that better business.”

Average annual salary according to Payscale: from R428 554 to R449 030

  1. Enterprise Architect

The career of an enterprise architect is one of the best tech jobs in the world because of its combination of staggeringly high pay and huge job opportunities and security.

“Enterprise architects typically occupy more senior positions and are responsible for making sure that a company’s business strategy uses the right technology systems to achieve its goals,” comments Moola who says that this highly technical role makes it a prized career.

Typical responsibilities: upkeep and maintenance of an organisation’s IT networks and services, overseeing, improving and upgrading enterprise services, software and hardware.

Average annual salary according to Payscale: R867 986

  1. Full-stack web developer

Full-stack developers have officially passed their single-stream counterparts (front-end and back-end developers) to claim the fifth most desirable tech job in the world. The role takes into consideration user experience and function, a certain level of both graphic design and computer programming is necessary. 

“Full-stack developers work in both front-end and back-end development, building the visuals of websites and applications, as well as the nitty-gritty coding that allows them to work as intended,” explains Moola. “Full-stack developers are highly prized because of this dual specialisation and multi-role capability, making them highly in demand, both locally and internationally.”

Typical responsibilities: code, design and website layout according to a company’s specifications.

Average annual salary according to SalaryExpert: R730 841

Today, students can take advantage of online coding bootcamps which can be viewed as alternative credentials

“Coding bootcamps are a fast-paced career accelerator that can quickly land participants a job as a software engineer or data scientist, rather than a traditional university degree which takes years to complete,” explains Moola.

HyperionDev, WeThinkCode and CodeSpace are among the growing number of bootcamps that are structured to make these career paths accessible.

“We believe coding should be accessible to everyone, everywhere,” he adds. “That’s why we’ve partnered with financial services institutions so that students can finance their coding bootcamp and start their coding journey as soon as possible.”

Read more: SAVCA findings: How Venture Capital can solve unemployment

Featured image: Headway/Unsplash

Lindsey Schutters


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