Xero, DiUS weigh in on AWS skills shortage in Australia

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Xero, DiUS weigh in on AWS skills shortage in Australia

The number of AWS job postings in Australia has increased 153 percent over three years to March 2017, according to job search site Indeed, with demand for skilled AWS professionals up 37 percent on this time last year.

Indeed Australia found local AWS job postings were disproportionately high compared to the number of job seekers searching for them, reporting jobs were being posted between 6 to 12 times the volume of seekers looking at them.

Melbourne specialist AWS recruiter Cloud Talent Group founder Carmen Parnos said more and more jobs were only being offered to prospective staff with vendor-approved certifications.

“There already was a shortage of right-skilled technology professionals to fill the rising number of AWS roles available in the ANZ market,” Parnos said. “This has been compounded by employers increasingly preferring or requiring a minimum of associate-level AWS certification.

“I have one customer at the moment who is looking to put on 50 cloud engineers with a mix of AWS skills and certification preferences for different practices within the cloud business. There is a massive demand for certified AWS engineers, but opportunities for the un-certified are fewer and far between.”

Small business accounting software developer Xero is one firm feeling the pinch, with product general manager Mark Rees saying the shortage across ANZ was evident whenever they looked to put on new staff.

“It is really hard to find people that are really properly skilled on AWS because we don’t need people to help us with basic things but rather we need advanced skill sets,” Rees said.

“We are a global business servicing more than a million customers, so any cloud, programming, design or delivery challenges we have are difficult challenges, not basic ones. We have always found it really hard to find right-skilled people to hire and we’ve also found it quite hard to find external consultants at the right level to work on AWS with us.”

Sydney software house DiUS also expects a broad skill set from its employees, with clients and technologies in use rotating on a 3-month basis. 

“People who want to work here have to be really up for that. It means they have to learn about new technologies, industries and niches on a regular basis. That is part of what we do.”

“Increasing the number of AWS certified professionals we have is good for our business and our position as an AWS partner,” said Yim, “And it helps the team member because it upskills them and can raise their profile. It’s about people’s passion and trying to find alignment. We don’t force it.”

Trent Rosenthal, chief executive of Bespoke Training Services, an AWS authorised training partner for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, said that as the use of the AWS platform had increased over the past several years, the demand for skilled staff was on the rise.

“Increasingly employers need and expect a certain level of AWS skills and experience, even basic certification, and the bar will only get higher as the market continues to mature and the technology continues to evolve.”

He added that proper certification rounded out a broad set of IT skills that made job seekers more attractive to employers.

“The industry has matured to where employers really are expecting a core set of skills, a confident understanding of the AWS platform and the ability to effectively leverage its solutions and services,” he said.

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