September 26, 2020

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Boom predicted ahead for Australian ICT job market

IT experts speaking on a Griffith University panel believe tech employment opportunities are set to boom, with 1.4 million extra jobs to be created by 2034.

Data shared at The Job Market for ICT Professionals post-COVID-19 webinar forecast in the next four years alone there would be a shortage of about 100,000 technology professionals.

The Griffith University Head of School of Information and Communication Technology stated that tech jobs had bucked the COVID-19 downturn and he only expected the industry to continue trending upward.

Computer science and IT systems are the places to be because these are the professions of the future, there is no question about that. Experts have seen the ICT job market is resilient in a crisis.

Figures from the ACS Digital Pulse 2019 report were used by panel member Holly Bretherton from Australian Computer Society Queensland to illustrate the likely tech job explosion.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, unemployment rates in May 2020 hit 7.1%, but one expert said the Labour Market Information Portal found technology professionals were the most in-demand, with 5600 online advertisements placed in the same month – more than those for medical practitioners and nurses (5100) and carers and aides (3300).

Technology is on track to drive $65 billion worth of economic growth by 2024. Earlier, in March 2020, the tech sector was impacted (by COVID-19), as was the rest of the economy, but what seeing a significant rebound is being observed,

More people were expected to continue working from home in the future, increasing the demand for heightened cybersecurity, cloud services and virtual collaboration software. This brings a need for more ICT professionals, particularly in two areas.

People with skills in data analytics are in really high demand, as data becomes pervasive and readily available. That requires not just being a programmer but understanding what analytics is and how you can take advantage of that.

The other area will be cybersecurity.

The expert noted, “As we keep working remotely…. there are opportunities for more and more cyber-attacks. We need professionals who can understand the risks associated with working remotely, how you can protect the data and how you can assist in driving policy development to ensure Australian information and data is kept secure.”

Many who have left ICT to pursue other careers are seeing now as the opportunity to return to the industry, refreshing and adding to their skills with courses like Griffith’s new Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security and Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics and Cyber Security.

According to another article, the Australian federal government will invest $1.35 billion into cybersecurity over the next ten years as part of a new program that promises to create 500 jobs.

The nation’s Prime Minister announced the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, as Australia continues to face growing cyber threats.

The Federal Government’s top priority is protecting the nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines this.

The PM stated, “My Government’s record investment in our nation’s cybersecurity will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe.”

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the Australian government revealed it was being targeted by a “state-based cyber actor”, believed to be China.

It also follows a review from the Department of Defence which questioned Australia’s ability to fend off aggressive cyber-attacks.

The CESAR package will see $31 million put towards helping the Australian Signal Directorate (ASD) fight offshore cybercrime, $35 million towards a new cyber threat-sharing platform and $12 million go to enabling the ASD and Australian telecoms to block known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed.

Additionally, over $118 million is to be invested in expanding data science and intelligence capabilities, and more than $62 million will help the ASD prepare for cyber threats on a national scale.