According to the report, new software developer graduates are in high demand with a shortage of software developers in New Zealand, and continuing growth in job vacancies.
The number of developers has grown steadily over recent years, but demand is expected to continue increasing in the fast-developing ICT industry.
Income and employment prospects
In 2014, the estimated average income for business and systems analysts and programmes (of which software developers are a subset) was $79,200.
However, income for programmers varies widely – depending on their responsibilities, the type of programming work they do, and geographic location.
Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in the field of computer science earned $41,000 one year after their study ended. After five years, income had increased to $62,000.
There has been steady growth in the number of software developers employed in recent years. There is also strong projected employment growth of around 4.8% per year from 2013-18 and 4.3% per year to 2023.
A number of specific occupations for software developers appear on Immigration New Zealand’s long term skill shortage list, which means the government is “actively encouraging” skilled people in these jobs from overseas to work in New Zealand.
These in-demand software occupations include analyst programmer, software engineer, and software tester.
One year after completion of a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, 60% of graduates were employed and 27% were in further study - this compares with 54% and 40%, respectively, for all Bachelors’ degrees.
The number of online job vacancies for software developers decreased by 3.3% from June 2013 to June 2014. This compares with an overall increase of 16.5% for all skilled vacancies over the same period.
Once a software developer has learnt the required fundamental skills, they may progress to become senior programmers, software architects, or chief information officers.