The technology skills gap in this part of the world isn’t improving; Deloitte forecasts that Australia alone will require an additional 81,000 tech workers by 2023. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, technology roles remain firmly on the skill shortage list, even despite a recent tightening of immigration laws.

tech skills for contractors

While the skills gap is proving a struggle for businesses operating in the tech space, it does mean contractors have an advantage. Get competent in the most sought-after skills, and you’ll find you’ve got more contracting offers than you know what do with. What are the top skills that will help you get your next contracting job in Australia and New Zealand?

1) Cybersecurity

Cyber attacks are getting more and more sophisticated – so too must the technology designed to stop them. That’s why cybersecurity is proving to be one of Australia and New Zealand’s most in-demand skills, and will remain so for years to come.

Australia and New Zealand’s lack of cybersecurity professionals is becoming pressing.

The situation is pressing – a report by Telstra found that 59 percent of organisations in Australia have detected at least one business-interrupting security breach a month in 2016. This is up from only 24 percent the previous year and shows that businesses on this side of the world simply do not have the cybersecurity professionals they need to keep their data and their systems safe.

There are several elements of cybersecurity that would be useful for contractors to master, but showing you have knowledge of the general premises by undertaking the globally-recognised CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification is a good place to start. Network security, risk management, patching and software management are also all great skills to have.

Going into a business and improving its cyber-resilience will look great on your contractor CV and is definitely an area worth up-skilling in.

2) User experience and user interface designers

Design has become integral to whether a product sells or not – just ask Apple. That’s why UX and UI designers are highly sought after by a broad range of tech companies. Remember UX and UI is more than just being able to code well. A good designer will put themselves in the shoes of their customers and understand their problems. They’ll also have good collaboration skills, because what they design has to fit into the wider business’ goals and marketing.

With design often the difference in what makes software sell, UX and UI skills are highly sought after.

3) Software developers

There’s been a strong demand for software developers in Australia and New Zealand for years, and the number of job adverts mentioning specific languages is growing. With more and more companies exploring products related to virtual and augmented reality, machine learning and autonomous vehicles, there will be a corresponding demand for software developers that can support that. This is why JavaScript is seen as a must-have for many software developers (in particular AngularJS, React.JS and NodeJS).

Likewise Python and C# are high up on the list of required skills, while Ruby is becoming a popular web application framework for a range of businesses, including Groupon and Airbnb.

With mobile becoming not just popular but a way of life for many people now, the ability to transfer these software development skills to a mobile context is also in hot demand, and Australia and New Zealand are no exception.

For contractors, it’s not enough just to have these in-demand skills – you also need potential clients to know you have them. That’s why we’ve developed Talent Engage – an online portal that lets you create a profile detailing all your skills and experience. Future clients can then browse through your portfolio and get in touch with you.

Contact us today to find out more.