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Information technology

Your chance to combine a unique lifestyle with a career in an industry that’s making people around the world sit up and take notice.

Big business, competing globally

New Zealand's tech sector is diverse and advanced. It's a breeding ground for innovation and competes successfully on the world stage. The industry is a major and growing business for New Zealand, accounting for 8% of our GDP and employing 5% of the workforce.

It’s a very outwardly oriented industry that competes successfully around the world. Exports have been steadily growing to reach $7.4 bn in 2019, making tech the country’s third-largest export sector.

IT jobs: Eagle Technology
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Lindsey Crummet

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New Zealand's ICT companies have earned an international reputation for being flexible, resilient, adaptable and entrepreneurial. Many high-profile projects have come out of our ICT industry.

  • The world's most advanced, safest wireless charging system comes from PowerbyProxi, an offshoot of Auckland University. The business is now part-funded by Korean giant Samsung and in 2014 signed a licensing deal with US Fortune 500 company Texas Instruments (TI).
  • A robotic exoskeleton that allows paralysed people to stand and walk, developed by New Zealand's Rex Bionics, is used in rehab clinics and research hospitals in the US, Europe and Asia. 
  • Accounting software developed by cloud accounting business Xero helped the company top Forbes' list of 'Most Innovative Growth Companies' in 2014. 
  • A security solution from Gallagher was named 'Best Perimeter Protection Product/System' in the US Government Security News 'Homeland Security Awards' in 2014.
  • Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, shot at 48 frames per second has pioneered HFR (High Frame Rate) film production. 

Several global industry leaders have chosen New Zealand as a base for their ICT operations, including the global IT services provider Fujitsu.

IT people needed

New Zealand’s tech sector is made up of over 20,000 firms, most of them small businesses. Combined they employ over 114,000 people. According to a recent industry study, employers anticipate they will need 4-5,000 new digital technology professionals per year into the near future.

Employers have increasingly relied on attracting people from overseas to access the digital skills they need. For example, 3,683 immigrants were granted visas for IT occupations in 2019, accounting for over 80% of new digital technology jobs created. In the years 2014-19, 27,057 visas were granted for people entering New Zealand to work in ICT occupations.

The relative shortage of digital skills means that these roles continue to be some of New Zealand’s highest paid jobs. In addition, ICT employees receive generally excellent benefits with most receiving bonuses and having the option to work remotely and flexibly.

“We've spent the last few years hiring experienced specialists from around the world and 90% of our employees are on temporary visas (working towards residency). We did this because we couldn't find the skilled people we needed in New Zealand, and would like to continue offering exceptional people the chance to move to New Zealand."

Respondent to 2020 Digital Skills Survey:
Head of HR, New Zealand software company

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What jobs and where

A recent industry survey suggested the highest demand will be for software developers, followed by data analytics and cybersecurity skills.

The shift from traditional on-premise computing to cloud based computing
is driving demand for skills related to cloud-native environments such as Azure and AWS, both of which are also in strong demand.

Some specialist skills are especially sought after. These feature on official Skill Shortages lists which are updated regularly. If your job is on one of these skills shortages lists, it is good news for you. That is because it means the Government accepts employers need to recruit from overseas because there aren’t enough New Zealanders qualified for the role.

If your job is not on a shortage list, don’t be disheartened. There are other work and visa options.

IT jobs on the Skills Shortage lists include:

  • Analyst Programmer
  • Computer Network and Systems Engineer
  • Database Administrator
  • Developer Programmer
  • ICT Business Analyst
  • ICT Customer Support Officers
  • ICT Project Manager
  • ICT Quality Assurance Engineer
  • ICT Security Specialist
  • ICT Support Engineer
  • ICT Systems Test Engineer
  • Multimedia Specialist
  • Network Administrator
  • Organisation and Methods Analyst
  • Software and Applications Programmers
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Tester
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Analyst
  • Telecommunications Engineer
  • Telecommunications Network Engineer
  • Test Engineers
  • Web Developer

In terms of location, just over half of New Zealand’s tech sector jobs are in Auckland, 14% each in Wellington and Canterbury/Christchurch with the remainder (nearly 24,000 workers) spread throughout regional New Zealand.

Skill shortage skill checker | Immigration New Zealand

Job sites to explore

 
  • Workhere - a site specifically designed to connect NZ employers with talent based offshore
  • Seek- NZ's largest general job website
  • Trade Me - NZ’s most popular website with a large job section
  • New Kiwis - a recruitment services linking NZ employers with skilled migrants, offshore and onshore
  • More job websites

Visa options

There are various types of visas that you may be eligible to apply for:

  • if you’re aged 18-30, or in some cases 35, Working Holiday visas can give you 12 months or longer in New Zealand
  • Work visas are for a temporary stay in New Zealand, but some can lead to residence
  • a Resident visa, such as the Skilled Migrant Category, lets you stay indefinitely and access more state-funded public services. You may be able to apply for a Skilled Migrant Category visa if you find a job in advance, have the right qualifications and have at least three years’ post-graduate work experience.

Visas to work

Skilled Migrant Category visa.

 

Qualification checking

You may need to have your qualifications assessed to get a job and visa. Check with the IT industry body, or find more details on the Immigration New Zealand website

IT Professionals New Zealand

Occupational registration | Immigration NZ

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