There has been a steady investment in the Northern Ireland tech scene over the past year with market-leading and new technology companies hungry to attract and retain the best talent available.

Although this throws up challenges, it’s also driving a more diverse technology environment. Alongside core software development companies, we’re seeing specific financial and fin-tech, security and data-driven organisations choosing Belfast as a destination for their EMEA HQ and development centres.

To a large extent, this has been driven by the availability of strong talent coming from the various schools and universities here, as well as more experienced individuals who are keen to continue to develop their skills and contribute to growth.

Most in-demand IT & tech jobs in Northern Ireland

I’ve been involved in IT recruitment for the best part of 20 years, so it’s fair to say that I’ve seen some significant changes in the industry over that time.

Most notable is the constantly evolving nature of tech and what is marketable at any given time. In my current role, I cover all levels of opportunity across IT Infrastructure including Service Desk, Service Management, IT Management, PMO, Project Management, DevOps, IT Security and IT Architecture.

Alongside this, I also work across software development and QA in all its forms. I’m more than happy to talk to organisations – regardless of size – or individuals concerning the market or skills required.

With this in mind, here are the most in-demand IT jobs in Northern Ireland at the moment.

1.    Cyber Security Analyst – various high-profile data breaches have contributed to the increased awareness of cybersecurity to ensure systems are robust and safe. As a result, security analysts across all levels are in growing demand. This is further reinforced with the positioning of Belfast as a cybersecurity hub for several organisations.

2.    Full Stack Developer – candidates with a broad understanding of the entire product development lifecycle are highly valued.

3.    Software Engineers (Java, C#, C++ or Python) – demand for software engineers continues to outstrip supply. In terms of software development, CI/CD tools are also in high demand and a lot of companies are now looking for their engineers to own their code. This is welcomed as developers will develop, deploy and maintain their own code.

4.    Systems Engineer (Cloud) – cloud-based systems have been replacing standalone server applications over the past few years. Candidates with experience of Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are sought after.

5.    DevOps Engineer – traditional software developers who transition to DevOps are now being highly compensated.

6.    IT Support – technical support is still a large part of Belfast’s technical workforce, but the role is undergoing change. The support function has become more modernised, specifically in terms of a digital transformation. Infrastructure focused opportunities remain challenging as the requirement to support experience with relevant up to date certifications continues.

7.    Mobile developer (Android / iOS) – very marketable skills focused on the set of processes and procedures involved in writing software for small, wireless computing devices. Key skills include Swift, Objective C, XML and Android Studio.

8.    Data Scientist (AI) – in order to produce the newest technologies, the most innovative companies are focused on harnessing the power of AI and deep learning.

9.    QA Engineer – involved in tasks that include software design, writing source code, control of source code, reviewing code, configuration management, change management, program testing, integration of software, and release management process.

Even at a senior or management level, there is still an expectation that individuals remain close to technology and are prepared to be hands-on if required.

In general, base salaries aside, in the ongoing war for talent the most successful companies are offering exposure to cutting edge technology along with the right mix of flexibility, in terms of work-life balance, and benefits to attract the right calibre of applicants.

Often this is delivered within purpose-built offices in easy to get to city centre locations.

All of the above helps to indicate that the technical jobs scene in Belfast is more buoyant than ever before and with some effort and guidance the right opportunity is not too far away.

Interested in learning more about job opportunities in Northern Ireland?

If you’re considering your next career move, or you are contemplating adding to your team please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ve been working as Cp NI’s Head of Technology recruitment for over two years and would be delighted to see if I can help. Myles.mckeown@cpljobs.com or 02890725633.