Your country needs you (and your technology advice)

presenting at a school

We live on a small isthmus in the South Pacific and face an ever-increasing risk of attack. This creeping threat has already seen us lose many of our best and brightest graduates. Our future depends on these people yet they’re plucked off by the faceless and uncaring. But there’s something you can do to help, and all it will take is some time.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record…

We are a small technology market with 62,000ish people in New Zealand. This small village of folk is spread around technology users, vendors (systems integrators, OEM’s and distributors) and software product shops. The last of these three is where I believe our future lies. Why? Software product companies positively grow the economy in a high value-added sense and don’t compete with other outsourcing countries of the world – we cannot compete on hourly rates with India or the Philippines. We should be adding ‘thinking’ IP driven industries and people to the New Zealand economy. Another way to consider this is leverage. Building something once and selling it thousands of times over, not selling a finite resource- time. Going back to my introduction and the risks we face: NZ technologists are sought after by international employers. We’re versatile, smart, capable, and can-do etc. Proof of this is that there are literally loads of us overseas – I’ve heard as many as 1 million. We’re the second most displaced nation on the planet after Ireland. Like our obesity stats, this is not one to be proud of.

The other reality to bear in mind is that any ‘professional’ industry has only two feeders:

  1. Graduates
  2. Immigrants

We need more of both, but today’s rant is focused on Graduates. By now you’ll have heard me say (enough?) that our ICT grads dropped by 45% between 2005-2010. This period directly aligns with when demand increased at its highest ever rate in NZ.

Whilst this number is creeping slowly back up, it’s insufficient to meet the voracious demands of the industry.
We’re a founding and platinum level Sponsor of the ICT Connect program. An initiative formed by the IITP. In simple terms, the program is geared towards informing high-school aged kids about the career opportunities within tech. We’re not just an industry of geeks, half of the work is now business facing and ICT pays exceptionally well, along with providing valuable sought after career challenges.

In Auckland, despite being our largest city with 91 high schools, we only have 28 registered speakers. We need more. If you’re passionate about our industry, can speak English and want to help, sign-up today! The pay is terrible, conditions average, but you’ll be helping support and develop NZ’s most important growth market! Click here for more information.