NZ’s top 5 in-demand tech skills for 2023

NZ’s top 5 in-demand tech skills for 2023

Posted April 28, 2023

​The tech hiring market is changing. With the cost of living reaching new heights and big tech companies making significant layoffs, candidates and employers are starting to adopt a more cautious approach when navigating the hiring market. This has seen the intense salary growth of the past few years and rapid pace of hiring begin to plateau.

As a job seeker in this changing market, it may be time to run a skills update to level up and put the best version of yourself forward to employers. Here are 5 of New Zealand’s most in-demand tech skills which hold the greatest opportunities for 2023:


1. Cybersecurity

Data breaches and cyber hacks are on the up, placing cybersecurity at the top of companies’ priority lists for 2023. However, with a global cybersecurity skills shortage of 3.4 million people, accessing talent with the right skillsets isn’t easy.

In New Zealand, demand for these professionals is clear and only set to increase, with Talent Wellington recruitment expert, Josephine Kempson, highlighting that, “demand for cyber is increasing significantly within New Zealand, and will only grow and grow from here.”

What’s driving this demand?

“Recent cyber-attacks in the public sector in New Zealand, remote/hybrid working becoming the norm, and cybercrime getting more and more sophisticated on the daily. Because of this, there is a strong need for organisations to ensure they are protected against any attacks or breaches and in order to do this, they need talent which isn’t there in the quantity needed.”

This shortage of candidates is driving companies to invest in nurturing and strengthening talent pools, meaning there are growing opportunities for professionals with security skillsets. Talent NZ Country Manager, Kara Smith, explains that, “Due to the forecasted demand and shortfall in these talent pool areas across New Zealand, we are seeing organisations invest in early talent. Organisations have realised they must commit to increasing the available talent pools themselves and therefore grad programs, internships and bootcamps continue to increase.”

So, if you can build a hacker-proof firewall and execute a robust defence-in-depth strategy to protect against those cyber pirates, employers will want you on board in 2023.

2. Cloud Computing

Forecasted global spending on cloud services is estimated to reach over $591 billion in 2023, up 20.7% since last year, meaning the need for professionals with Cloud Computing skillsets is higher than ever.

This demand is placing those with the right skillsets in the driver’s seat and seeing salaries increase despite a slowing market. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, this is a strong growth area, with NZ tech professionals who are skilled in Microsoft Azure growing by 41% since 2022.

Whether SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS is more your speed, harness your skills in this space and you’ll be in a good spot for the year ahead.

3. Business Analysis & Business Intelligence

As companies plan for the year ahead and continue to prioritise data-driven decision-making, Business Intelligence and Business Analysis skills are only growing in demand. According to LinkedIn Talent Insights, tech professionals with Microsoft Power BI skills have grown by 41% since last year in NZ.

Talent NZ Country Manager, Kara Smith, comments on the growth of these skillsets and increasing demand in the NZ tech hiring market, “The market is fiercely competitive for BI developers”, and although the “Business Analysis market has been quieter in the beginning of the year, we are now seeing that increase as organisations kick off programs of work again”.

This demand is ultimately driving salaries up, with Business Intelligence roles in particular, seeing 17% average global salary growth in the past 12 months. So, if you possess a strategic mindset and know your SQL from your HTML, this is a great space to set your sights in 2023.

4. Software Development

Professionals with skills in software development are highly sought after in NZ this year, however, supply of this talent is running low. Talent Wellington Managing Director, Nik King-Turner, observes that, “Mobile developers and developers in general are still hard to find”. Which places you in a good position if you’re a Python professional and live and breathe data. Strong competition for these skillsets has also seen salaries for software roles increase by 15% since 2022. With growing opportunities in this sphere, it’s a great area to upskill in in 2023.

5. Artificial Intelligence

The popularity of ChatGPT has emphasised just how prevalent AI technologies are set to become. Those with skills in AI and Machine Learning are only going to grow in demand as investment in this tech reaches new heights – it’s forecasted that global AI spend will reach $500 billion in 2023.

According to Talent Wellington recruitment expert, Josephine Kempson, “With the emergence of new AI technologies and influx of better data management tools in the market, organisations are now better placed to utilise this improved data to provide better solutions to their customers. These new tools and technologies still need to be driven and maintained, leading a strong increase in demand right across the data space especially here in Wellington. This includes roles from Data Visualisation, through to Data Engineers, Data Platform Leads and Data Architects.”

Alongside this, the benefits of AI adoption are clear. According to the AI Forum of New Zealand, AI is projected to increase New Zealand GDP by up to $54 billion by 2035, while 82% of all business decision-makers in ANZ, according to another study, believe that AI and Machine Learning will be integral to strengthening their tech security framework in the near future.

The robots can’t do everything though. People power is essential. There is immense opportunity in this space, and if you possess the right skills, companies will want you on their teams quick stat.

Interested in uncovering more insights on the New Zealand and global tech hiring market? Check out our More Than Money Salary Guide 2023.

For tech and digital opportunities suited to you, check out our jobs board.

Talent New Zealand announces team expansion

Talent New Zealand announces team expansion

Posted January 11, 2023

Bianca Jones, Country Manager, Talent New Zealand, will be transitioning into a newly created role of Managing Director, Projects New Zealand. In her new role, Bianca will be responsible for implementing new revenue streams across NZ, as well as growing the Talent RISE and Avec brands in market.

Kara Smith, Managing Director, Talent Auckland, will be stepping into to the role of Country Manager, Talent New Zealand. In this role, she will be overseeing all day-to-day operations for both the Auckland and Wellington Talent branches.

Nik King-Turner, Senior Consultant, Talent Wellington, will be transitioning into the role of Managing Director, Talent Wellington. In this new role, he will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations for the Wellington branch.

Bianca, Kara and Nik will work closely with Talent’s Global CEO, Mark Nielsen, and the wider Talent team, focusing on the growth of the New Zealand company.

On the announce, Bianca Jones, Managing Director, Projects New Zealand, said, “It is an absolute privilege to watch Kara and Nik transition to the next phase of their careers. They are both incredibly passionate about what they do and work hard every day to make Talent Aotearoa an awe-inspiring business. I am confident under their leadership the recruitment business will continue to grow and thrive. As I pivot into a new phase of my career, I look forward to working closely with them both as we tackle some exciting and ambitious growth initiatives in 2023 and beyond.”

On the transition, Kara Smith, Country Manager, Talent New Zealand commented, “I’m thrilled to be taking my next step with Talent! I’m very passionate about creating safe and inspiring spaces where our diverse team can be challenged, achieve their dreams and of course have loads of fun along the way. In this role I have the privilege of building on our amazing foundation and helping to take our Aotearoa business to the next level – harnessing success for our colleagues, clients, contractors and community.”

Nik King-Turner, Managing Director, Wellington, said, “I am super excited to be leading the Wellington team. We have an awesome group of people with amazing skills and potential. Our business has a great platform to launch from with amazing clients and contractors. I am really looking forward to watching it grow and being part of the team’s successes and triumphs.”

Leading the way with Jean Yang

Leading the way with Jean Yang

Posted March 11, 2021

1. Tell us about your career and how you got started? 

When I left law and business school, I wanted to do something entrepreneurial with law and technology.  There was no clear role or path to that at the time. I started in tech, then worked as a lawyer in a law firm, then found my way building a legal-AI startup which we successfully exited.

Today, I’m a co-founder and VP of Onit’s AI Center of Excellence. We are growing our global team and are working with some great clients to transform how they deliver legal services.  I love that we are about transforming a conservative but really important industry, and get to innovate everyday. It’s easy to connect obvious dotted lines in my career when I look back. The reality is that I was figuring it out as I went, but I made sure to refine a strong sense of what I wanted.

I started my career like many of us do: being a sponge in the environments we find ourselves in. However, my career truly started transforming when I began to do something about my frustrations (for me it was trying to automate the parts of my job I didn’t like).

2. What are the best leadership qualities you look for in other leaders? 

There are some essential qualities you have to nail as a leader. These are often talked about.

In my world, I also have a special appreciation for leaders who have an amazing ability to see things from other perspectives, and thrive on it. They seek thought diversity in their teams even if it makes them uncomfortable. They want to be challenged. They are adaptive enough to hear or speak different “languages”. They are mindful of blind spots and are inclusive. These leaders make better decisions, are effective across the business, and can lead change on interesting multi-disciplinary problems.

3. What are the daily ways you keep your team on track with the mission and vision of the organisation? 

In fast paced environments like a startup, it’s so easy to find yourself just being really busy without staying laser focused on your vision and strategy. A few things we try to do:

  • Measurement & transparency: We are really honest with ourselves about what we should measure. Then it’s about being disciplined in assessing our progress against our objectives and transparent with sharing it.
  • We involve everyone in the bigger picture and help them understand why their part is important. An easy example would be bringing back the client stories so everyone can see the impact and have a share in the success.
  • We encourage and cherish people who ask the right questions: Does this really matter? Does this actually solve the problem? Have we defined the goal well or at all? How does this align to our strategic objectives?

4. Is there anything you do in your personal time that helps you be a leader in your career? 

I perform the best when I’m happy and having fun. I keep up with sleep, hobbies, loved ones, and my health so that I’m able to give my team the best version of me each day. Part of that is making sure that I’m not leading a life that is inauthentic and destroying my soul.

I also keep working on myself.  On top of coaching your team, don’t forget to hold yourself to as high (if not higher) of a standard.

5. Are there any great resources you would suggest for new leaders? 

Your peers. They say your most important team isn’t necessarily your immediate team. Perhaps you should connect with leaders in other functions of the business or even other industries?

As a female founder in New Zealand, I often felt lonely with certain challenges I was facing. I wished I asked my friends for introductions earlier, for example to other women who had exited a start-up, raised capital etc. They are out there, but you may need to take the first step in creating that circle of camaraderie and support.