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    HomeEcosystem NewsSOUTHERN AFRICATech Dream Goes Haywire: Salaries Crash, Software Developers Seek Emigration from South...

    Tech Dream Goes Haywire: Salaries Crash, Software Developers Seek Emigration from South Africa

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    The information technology (IT) sector in South Africa experienced a slowdown in hiring during the first quarter of 2024, impacting job prospects for software developers, particularly those at the junior level.

    According to CareerJunction’s Employment Insights report, IT hiring activity decreased by 15% in the first three months of 2024 compared to the previous quarter. This decline was the most significant across various sectors, driven primarily by reduced demand for software developers. Year-over-year, the sector’s hiring activity dropped by 26%.

    Despite the slowdown in hiring, jobseeker engagement in the IT sector reached its highest level in nine quarters, increasing by 24% year-over-year. This suggests a growing competition for available positions.

    OfferZen’s 2024 South African State of the Developer Nation report corroborates this trend, noting a threefold increase in tech job applications over the past year. Co-founder Philip Joubert acknowledged that securing interviews and passing them has become more challenging for developers.

    “It’s now significantly harder to get interviews and the interviews are harder to pass,” said Joubert. However, he expressed optimism for the market’s recovery, citing a decrease in tech layoffs and an increase in available tech roles.

    OfferZen’s data also reveals that junior developers have been disproportionately affected by the downturn. Many have faced longer unemployment periods after retrenchments and experienced slower salary growth compared to their senior counterparts.

    The report also highlights a broader trend of decelerating salary growth for software developers across all experience levels, further impacting their buying power in the current economic climate.

    Interestingly, despite the slowdown in domestic hiring, the study reveals that 79.5% of South African respondents are willing to work abroad, primarily for financial and economic reasons. While career considerations also play a role, better quality of life ranks lower among their motivations compared to employment opportunities, financial gains, and education.

    The IT (particularly software developers) hiring landscape in South Africa in early 2024 presents a mixed picture. While jobseeker engagement remains high, the decrease in hiring activity has intensified competition, especially for junior developers. However, signs of recovery in the market and the willingness of IT professionals to seek opportunities abroad offer a glimmer of hope for the sector’s future.

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