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Jobs SA companies need most – and what they pay

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According to the latest findings from online job aggregator Adzuna, STEM skills are still high in demand in the South African job market and still offer job seekers some of the best opportunities as far as job stability and average salaries are concerned. 

To get an idea of the current rareness of job skills and demand for high-paying skills from employers, Adzuna analysed a sample of the job titles currently being advertised online. The results indicated that there is a high demand for developer and financial management skills in the job market.

Even though the rareness factor of IT skills across some positions has dipped, the demand for technical skills is still high and the supply of experienced skills is still scarce. According to the latest findings, surveyors and mechanical engineers are currently earning the highest salaries in the country, with java developers takin home 3% less in annual earnings than they did in 2019. 

Job Skill / TitleAverage Salary 2019Average Salary 2020Pay Increase Per YearPercentage Increase Per Year
surveyorR 623,665R 583,242-R 40,423-7
mechanical engineerR 572,578R 579,950R 7,3721
java developerR 582,218R 569,669-R 12,549-2
software engineerR 562,339R 561,925-R 4140
engineerR 590,053R 561,064-R 28,989-5
IT managerR 533,876R 546,876R 13,0002
technologistR 549,318R 544,017-R 5,301-1
pharmacistR 606,851R 543,187-R 63,664-12
financial managerR 529,870R 533,347R 3,4771
analystR 548,159R 518,638-R 29,521-6

When looking at the “rareness” factor, Adzuna found that the titles with the highest demand and lowest supply of skills in the country could be found in the financial sector with the demand for financial managers and accountants far outstripping supply. 

To understand which jobs were highest in demand at the start of 2020, Adzuna compared the number of live vacancies with the number of unique searches for each skill. Jesse Green, country manager for Adzuna SA says that up to 65% of the rarest skills within the country still fall under the tech industry umbrella but also noted that most online job ads are within the tech sector. Other industries that have a greater demand than skill supply include managerial and financial fields. 

Green goes on to explain that: “Although the data only analyses online job ads, we were able to draw a conclusive inference that South African companies are having a hard time finding and retaining rare tech and financial management skills. By looking at the supply and demand for job skills, we have a better overall understanding of which jobs are the highest in demand and, in turn, offer the most rewarding salaries.” 

Job Skill / TitleRareness Factor January 2019Rareness Factor January 2020Rareness Factor Change Since 2019
financial manager67.5283.0-215.5
accountant28.769.6-41.0
recruiter28.157.6-29.4
php developer153.056.896.2
java developer38.145.47.3

The list below gives some insight into the rarest skills according to Adzuna’s research.

1. Financial Manager

Rareness factor: 283

For every 283 job adverts on Adzuna, there was one job seeker. Although this is not the highest-paid position in the country, it is by far one of the rarest skills within the SA job market. 

Average salary: R533,347

2. Accountant

Rareness factor: 69.6

The rareness factor for accountants increased year-on-year (much the same as that of financial management skills), seeing just one applicant for every 69 jobs posted online. Accounting skills dropped out of the race for a spot in the top 10 highest paid jobs in the country with an average annual salary of R430,564 on offer. 

Average salary: R430,563

3. Recruiter

Rareness factor: 57.6

There was only one job seeker with applicable skills for every 57 recruitment jobs posted online at the start of 2020. Like financial management and accounting, recruitment is one of the only top three rareness factor subclasses that saw an increase in demand and decrease in the supply of skills even though it isn’t one of the top 10 highest paying jobs. 

Average salary: R410,926

4. PHP Developer

Rareness factor: 56.8

For every 56.8 adverts for PHP developers online, there is only one job seeker. Like most other tech skills, PHP development isn’t as rare as it was at the start of 2019 and also didn’t retain a spot in the top 10 highest paid skills in the country. 

Average salary: R434,652

5. Java Developer

Rareness factor: 45.4

Even though job seekers with java development skills took a pay cut in 2020 compared to the previous year’s statistics, there is still only one applicant per 45 java development jobs posted online. Along with job security and a less competitive job market, job seekers looking to work as java developers can also expect to take home very rewarding paychecks of up to R569,669 per year. 

Average salary: R569,669

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TikTok takes on COVID-19

The fastest growing social media platform in the world has also become an epicenter of public education about the coronavirus, attracting more than 30-billion views, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The young have been getting a bad rap for wanting to party on while COVID-19 sends the world into lockdown. But a different movie is playing itself out on the social platform that is growing fastest among teenagers: TikTok.

Awareness campaigns by TikTok itself, collaboration with the International Red Cross, and spontaneous videos made by TikTok creators have combined into a barrage of information, education, awareness and social consciousness around the coronavirus.

Both globally and in South Africa, TikTok’s COVID-19 campaigns have gone viral.

The local #HayiCorona challenge, designed to remind people not to touch their face and wash hands regularly, has passed 1.5-million views. The TikTok collaboration with the International Red Cross, the #WashingHands challenge, has passed 12.6-million views.

One of the best-known participants in these challenges is the past year’s icon of South African talent, the Ndlovu Youth Choir, took up the global challenge with a 20-second hand-washing video. It put together a performance that brings tremendous energy to what can be a clichéd message, and ends with a punt for the Department of Health’s WhatsApp information service. The video can be viewed below.

@ndlovuyouthchoir

Our community has limited access to running water. Follow these instructions on how to safely wash your hands using a bucket. ##coronavirus##washinghands

♬ original sound – ndlovuyouthchoir

“On a global scale, TikTok also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that, while creators are still having fun and expressing themselves on the platform, they stay informed with COVID-19 information coming from a reliable source,” a TikTok spokesperson told us. “Through the partnership, the WHO has created an informational page on TikTok that offers information to curb the spread of the coronavirus as well as dispelling myths.”

The page can be viewed at https://vm.tiktok.com/GHTEGf

TikTok has hosted a number of livestreams with WHO experts, attracting users from more than 70 countries, tuning in for live question and answer sessions. It has also introduced labels on coronavirus-related videos, to point users to trusted information. Resources are also offered directly in the app and in a dedicated COVID-19 section of TikTok’s Safety Center, at https://www.tiktok.com/safety/resources/covid-19.

If users simply want to explore videos on the topic, they can search via the #coronavirus hashtag, or click on https://vm.tiktok.com/swKbn4. The hashtag has had an astonishing 33.8-billion views, indicating the scale of activity and interest around the topic on the platform.

Read more on the next page about how South Africans have embraced the campaign.

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On World Backup Day: backup, backup, backup

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It was World Backup Day yesterday, 31 March, at a time when business continuity is threatened as never before. That makes calls for protecting email and defending against ransomware all the more urgent.

The global coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief many organisations’ lack of business continuity plans and policies. With more than two billion people around the globe in forced lockdown in wide-ranging government efforts to stem the tide of infections, an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.

This interruption to the normal way of work is precisely what an effective and resilient business continuity strategy should plan for, says Heino Gevers, cybersecurity specialist at Mimecast

“Companies need uninterrupted access to critical business applications during times of disruption, including safe and secure web and email access for workers that are now operating outside the normal perimeters of the organisation,” he says. “In addition, comprehensive backup and archiving solutions should be ready to restore access to critical business applications should there be any unplanned downtime to ensure continuity until the crisis passes.”

According to Gevers, the current global crisis is likely to push business continuity up the list of priorities for many organisations that have been disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus.

“Organisations are facing new challenges to their productivity; for example in terms of technical support. If a remote user is infected with malware or ransomware, how does the IT team restore that device or do any remediation without being able to physically access it?”

Gevers advises that organisations implement tools that enhances the data protection capabilities of commonly-used tools such as Office365 and can leverage archived data to provide quick recovery of email data in the event of accidental loss, malicious attacks or technical failure. 

“As adoption of cloud-based business applications grow in the wake of forced lockdowns around the globe, companies need to ensure they have the tools to recover in any situation,” he says. “This includes a data management strategy that combines archiving, backup and data protection capabilities to allow for quick restoration of critical systems and applications in the event of disruption.”

Jasmit Sagoo, head of technology at Veritas for the United Kingdom and Ireland, warns that this is a golden age for cybercriminals looking for ransomware opportunities.

“As the global cost of ransomware continues to grow, this World Backup Day, Veritas is saying: ‘don’t pay up, back up!’,” he says. “Ransomware is said to generate an estimated annual revenue of $1 billion a year, and companies who are not consistent in backing up their data are allowing criminals to line their pockets.

“Ransomware attacks exist only because some businesses can’t survive unless the hackers give them back their data.  So, the key to survival is removing that reliance and being able to regain access to data, without engaging with the cybercriminals.  The best way to do that is with a sound backup strategy.

“Sagoo advises organisations to create isolated, offline backup copies of their data to keep it out of reach of any attackers.  They then need to proactively monitor and restrict backup credentials, while running backups frequently to shrink the risk of potential data loss. Businesses should also test and retest their ransomware defences regularly.

“Ransomware strikes without warning and it doesn’t discriminate between its targets – it can happen to any organisation, large or small. Despite their best efforts, most companies will fall to at least one attack. What distinguishes one victim from another is the ability to bounce back, which ultimately depends on its backup strategy.

“When ransomware hits, organisations that aren’t prepared often feel helpless to do anything other than to submit to their attacker’s demands.   That’s why we’re urging all businesses to use World Backup Day as a catalyst to get ahead of the situation and get their data protected.”

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