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New Zealand really is awesome. We’re the first country in the world to see the sun, we don’t have any snakes and we live amongst the filming landscape for the Lord of Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit. While these are all great reasons to live here, the even better news for tech professionals is New Zealand is a great place to find your dream IT job.
New Zealand offers tech professionals a great lifestyle
Tech professionals in New Zealand are some of the happiest in the world, according to our latest Job Seeker Insight report, with 85% believing their current workplace is a good place to be and 91% considering their work / life balance to be either average or above.
“New Zealand is known as a lifestyle destination, but this really reflects the great reality of working in the New Zealand tech sector,” says Absolute IT Director, Grant Burley.
Our latest Employer Insight Report also shows most tech employers have liberated their staff from the restraints of traditional working routines, with 86% currently supporting flexible working hours or remote access and 51% supporting both.
“Employers know that giving their staff the flexibility to work around things like childcare and sports commitments results in happier staff, a more positive work environment and increased productivity”, says Burley.
We have also seen a significant decrease in the number of tech professionals considering heading overseas for a better lifestyle and / or to develop their tech career. Down 10% on last year’s figures, only 24% are considering leaving New Zealand.
These figures are reflected in recent Statistics New Zealand reports that show New Zealand recently had its second-highest net gain of migrants since 2003 (more arrivals than departures). This figure is primarily due to a decrease in kiwi’s choosing to live in Australia.
IT Career Opportunities Galore in New Zealand
With our current tech skill shortage in New Zealand, it’s no surprise that 70% of New Zealand tech employer’s state access to suitably qualified staff as the top business challenge for their region and 29% are finding it harder to attract the tech talent they need, compared with this time last year.
“While this isn’t great news for employers, it highlights the number of job opportunities New Zealand can offer tech professionals,” says Burley.
Employers in the New Zealand tech sector also have plans for growth in 2015, with 80% planning to recruit additional staff / contractors this year, 41% due to new projects.
Private sector employers are planning to recruit the most staff / contractors this year, with 91% planning to recruit, compared with a smaller 78% of public sector employers.
If you’re thinking of moving into contracting, there has been a 3% increase in employers planning to recruit contractors this year, up to 40%. Employers in the public sector are planning to recruit the highest number of contractors at 56%, compared with 39% in the private sector.
For those career planning, the top 10 skills employers plan to recruit, in order of popularity are; Business Analyst, Project Manager, Software Development, Network and Infrastructure, Architect, Helpdesk / Support, Data / Database, Business Intelligence, Web Design / Development and Production and Operations.
Money, Money, Money – Kiwi IT workers earning more
New Zealand tech professionals are earning record highs (when compared with national figures). The median base salary for tech professionals increased by 3% last year to $82,500 and 66% (up 16% on last years figures) now receive additional benefits such as additional annual leave, health care and mobile allowances as part of their salary package.
80% of tech professionals received a pay increase last year and only 6% of tech employers have ruled out giving their staff / contractors a pay increase in 2015, leaving 94% either planning to give a pay increase or currently undecided.
For those living outside New Zealand, it is important to understand the cost of living when comparing pay rates. If you’re interested to know more about what everyday items cost, the New Zealand government’s Statistics Department has a publication called New Zealand in Profile which lists the prices of some common purchase items in 2014.