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​Phil Gamble, Director at VANRATH speaks about Northern Ireland’s IT industry

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 2 years ago

Phil Gamble, Director at VANRATH speaks about Northern Ireland’s IT industry.

Phil Gamble gives IT job professionals the answers to some key questions in the IT industry job market.

What skills are most in demand in the IT job market currently?

The last few years have been extremely busy right across the IT market in Belfast and Northern Ireland. The post-pandemic workplace continues to shift and the skill sets required continues to change.

Demand at present is particularly strong in Java , .Net, Javascript, Devops and software developers in test.

We are seeing increased demand for skills like microservices, machine learning, AI and cloud development in forward thinking organisations.

The financial technology and cyber security space continue to grow and scale with no signs of slowing down. Other domains like Insuretech and product-based software houses all continue to grow and expand. There is also a lot of current growth in the software consultancy space with clients adapting interview processes and working patterns in line with the challenges in the market.

What trends do you forecast for the IT industry in Northern Ireland?

NI is one the fastest growing tech sectors in the UK and voted one of the world’s top 15 Digital economies of the future.

We have seen a lot of UK companies hire talent in N.Ireland over the past year. Recent additions in the fintech space include Moody’s analytics who made their first Belfast hire in the past few weeks.

We are seeing a lot more companies cross-training and upskilling candidates with hard-to-fill roles. Several of our clients offer candidates the opportunity to move into newer languages and technologies with limited experience. Cross train to Golang and Java roles from other OO backgrounds has been very successful.

It’s very much a candidate-driven market at present. Candidates with in-demand skills are deciding the environment they want to work in. In a recent VANRATH survey, we found 38% of candidates wanted flexibility over and above base salary. Many clients have taken this on board by offering hybrid and remote roles and other great benefits such as compressed work hours and 4-day weeks. This has helped unearth hard-to-find candidates.

Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis have had an impact on salaries with the average base salary increase to move being in the 15-20% category.


What tips would you give an IT job seeker?

Tech interviews can be a minefield and often harder than the jobs themselves but as companies need to do their due diligence tech home challenges and tech tests are set to remain.

1.     Preparation: Preparation is always key. Employers are impressed by demonstrable skills.Practice demos like codiliy or hackerrank, familiarise yourself with your CV - dust down your github….are you proud of the stuff you have on their?…if not take it off. 

2.     Do your homework:It’s important that candidates express an interest in continually learning and staying up-to-date with the latest news and technology. Read reviews & whitepapers, sign up to newsletters, download product demos... do what you need to impress the client.

3.     Work with an experienced recruiter: An experienced recruiter will want to find you the most suitable role that meets your career and salary expectations, so be as transparent as you can about what you want.

If you are a candidate or a company and you need help to grow your career or team please get in touch with a member of our IT recruitment team.

To read more insights on the local IT industry, please visit VANRATH’s Knowledge Centre where we post regularly. If you’re interested in a career change, you can also browse through our latest jobs listed on our live jobs page .