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Jobs data shows digital rising in South Africa

Recent research into digital jobs in South Africa by Adzuna shows that the average salary on digital vacancies has grown from around R330,000 in 2017 to R420,562 in February 2018, indicating that the industry is coming of age.

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While many may argue that South Africa is not on international digital industry pacing, others will firmly show, giving evidence, that this is not the case. For example, the latter will cite numerous large-scale digital companies that have sold to even bigger international players in recent years, as well as an increasingly growing entrepreneurial tech sector, plus the fact that companies are spending more on digital marketing than ever before.

And as the industry moves ahead strongly, a factor of this growth is whether or not the country can produce the skills required for new vacancies that firms have to push their new initiatives. More importantly, are these skills local or foreign? Digital training firm Webgrowth attests to that, with CEO Neil Pursey commenting that around 56% of all students are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Recent research into digital jobs in South Africa by online job aggregator Adzuna shows that the average salary on digital vacancies has grown from around R330,000 in 2017 to R420,562 in February 2018. While it dipped in March 2018 to R393,153, it gained back to R410,509 in mid-April 2018. The results are deemed quite accurate, since logic dictates that digital jobs are almost all advertised online and not offline.

Such large growth is often indicative of an industry that is coming of age, where skills are more readily available and more qualified individuals exist with better qualifications and experience.

However, the average salary in Gauteng has crept up faster to R456,023, much higher that the Western Cape, where R352,400 was recorded, supporting the old argument that Joburg whips Cape Town on the payscales.

Partly, this could be due to the high amount of senior roles at high salaries now available in the north of South Africa. A full sixth (17%) of the digital opportunities listed were in the range of R700,000 and above on an annual salary basis. Job adverts for example for “Head of Digital” and “Senior Digital Consultant” have not been as forthcoming in 2014 as they are now. Again, the percentage was 20% in Gauteng, while only 13% of vacancies were in the highest salary bracket in the Cape.

Many digital “gurus” apparently feel that despite salaries, the Cape is the place to be, with more digital company activity down south. The numbers felt differently, and Gauteng led with almost 1,250 job opportunities, while the Western Cape trailed with 892 and KZN slumped in at 152. The other provinces do not feature in the numbers much at all.

This effectively translates into Gauteng hosting over 50% of the countries digital jobs. It also demonstrates how Gauteng together with the Western Cape and KZN claim over 97% of the country’s digital vacancies. Of all the job ads, the most prominent positions were either in digital marketing (just over 20%) or fitted somehow into the digital media space (around 15%).

For those now despondent that perhaps they are not earning what they should be, or living and working where they should be, consolation lies in the fact that the digital industry generally earns above the national average salary, by around 20%.

Digital skills have grown phenomenally in South Africa, for many reasons. More companies are spending more each year on advertising and other digital exploits, pushing the requirements for skills higher, while more experienced and better qualified job seekers are coming to the fore, having trained at institutions such as Webgrowth. South Africa’s digital future is bright!

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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