COMPILING A PRIORITIZED LIST OF ICT SKILLS: A NAMIBIAN CONTEXT
The introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in organisations has increased the need for information technology (IT) skills. Over the years, ICTs have played a significant role in improving work processes of organisations, and this can be attributed to the skills of ICT professionals. Studies have examined ICT skills demand in different contexts. For example, Aylaw et al.  conducted a study which aimed at identifying skill demands in Botswana. Similarly, Bracey  also conducted a study that evaluates Information Technology (IT) job adverts with IT employers in Texas, USA. Koong et al.  and Liu, et al.  also conducted a study to evaluate IT skills demand. These studies have presented a background to IT skill demands in different contexts. However, these studies have not prioritised ICT skills in the context in which they have been studied. Further, these studies have not prioritised identified skill demands within the various contexts. This study therefore serves as one of the few studies that identifies the IT skills demand in the Namibian context and further prioritizes these skills within the Namibian IT recruitment experts.
The School of Computing at the University of Namibia is currently revising its curriculum in order to meet the needs of the industry. It is therefore important to understand the ICT skills which are relevant to the Namibian context. It is important to understand which ICT skills are prioritized in high demand within the Namibian context in order to incorporate these ICT skills in the current curriculum context with respect to ICT skills demand. The purpose of this study was to:
• Identify the current ICT skills demand within the Namibian context.
• Compile a prioritized list of ICT skills within the Namibian context based on the reviews from experts in industry and academia
The researchers conducted a document search on available sources containing job adverts which were posted between the period of 1 October, 2016 and 30 March, 2017. These sources include the top three newspaper in the Namibia: The Namibian, Republiken and New Era, other sources include websites where job adverts were posted from 1 September, 2016 and 30 March, 2017, these websites include: web search using google search engine using keywords: “ICT job adverts in Namibia 2016 or 2017” “Computer job adverts in Namibia, 2016 or 2017”. The researchers further compiled a list of identified ICT skills in the first phase of the study. Although 300 questionnaires were distributed, only 268 questionnaires were returned. The study adopted a mixed method approach, in which qualitative and quantitative methods were used at different phases for data collection. Content analysis was applied in the first phase while descriptive statistics was applied in the second phase. Overall, interpretivism was used for analysis of the data collected.
The first phase of the study identified different skills identified through newspaper adverts and websites. Experts were asked to include important ICT skills not indicated in phase 1. The findings revealed other important skills such as cloud computing, big data, data science, information security, digital forensics, digital library and high performance computing. The prioritized list of ICT skills demand indicated that cloud computing, software developer, mobile applications developer, and data science seem to be one of the most sought after skills by academics and industries