Big drop in demand for software developers in South Africa

Software development jobs have seen a substantial drop in labour demand — the largest decrease among all the sectors and roles tracked in CareerJunction’s latest Employment Insights Report.

CareerJunction compared recruitment activity between 2019 and 2023 to see how demand across sectors and for specific roles has changed over time.

Demand for information technology (IT) jobs in general has declined over the past five years.

Until 2022, IT skills were the most sought-after in South Africa. However, it slipped to second place that year, behind business & management.

In 2023, the finance sector overtook IT, which fell to third place.

“Software development jobs have seen the biggest decrease in labour demand,” CareerJunction stated.

“Other IT job roles which are far less in-demand than they were four years ago are Project Administration and Management, Business Analysis, and Database Design / Development / Administration.”

Despite the downturn in IT hiring, demand for Systems and Network Administrators has grown consistently over the past few years.

CareerJunction said there are still plenty of job opportunities across top sectors and roles, including IT and software development. Hiring activity has just dropped compared to 2–3 years ago.

“Software developers have been one of the most in-demand professions globally over the last decade,” it stated.

“Although demand for IT professionals, including software developers, decreased over the last three years, software development skills remain top in-demand.”

In 2023, software developer roles were the second-most in-demand jobs.

The most significant labour demand increases were evident in the building and construction sector.

As a result, CareerJunction said job advertising for building project managers and electricians has increased significantly over the last four years.

“Certain accounting professions such as bookkeeping and financial and project accounting also experienced a significant growth in jobs over the last four years,” the report found.

“On the other hand, job roles in internal auditing and cost and management accounting are far less in demand than they were four years ago.”

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Big drop in demand for software developers in South Africa