Quarter of a million Australians now work in IT: Census

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Quarter of a million Australians now work in IT: Census

The number of people working in the IT industry has grown by 20 percent in the past five years, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Employment data from the 2016 Census indicated that 266,631 respondents were listed as working in the IT industry, up from 222,644 in 2011 and 184,041 in 2006.

Within those roles, there was a large jump in IT security and IT management roles, while there were fewer software multimedia specialists and “analyst programmers”.

“Our industry has had a massive impact on the world in the last 10 years and it is changing almost daily, so it is only natural that this transformation is reflected in jobs data,” said Robert Hudson, president of the Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA).

“From the ABS data we can see that there are jobs being created in areas such as cybersecurity, managers of IT environments and in managing IT projects.”

Census data showed that ICT security specialist roles were up 50 percent from 2011, while ICT manager roles were up 89 percent from 2011.

ICT project manager roles also grew 22 percent within the same period.

“Growth in security and IT management are indicators of both the growing importance and complexity of the IT function,” Hudson said.

“IT professionals have quickly graduated from being a mere provider of support systems to being critical to competitive advantage and risk management.”

There was also a 24 percent increase in roles under the “total developers” block, up to 43,221 from 34,880 in 2011.

Such roles included the addition of 8000 new roles in “web developer” and “developer programmer” categories, although “multimedia specialist” and “analyst programmer” roles have taken a slight dip since 2011, at 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Hudson also cited a government report from earlier this year detailing how Australia would need another 11,000 cybersecurity specialists in the next ten years.

“This clearly illustrates what a great career opportunity cybersecurity presents, particularly to system administrators who already have some experience in keeping IT systems secure,” he said.

“It also serves to demonstrate how important it is for government, educational institutions and the industry to work together on making sure these skills are being included in graduate and postgraduate study curricula at our leading tertiary IT faculties."

He added that more people from overseas would be brought in on temporary skilled worker visas if there was a shortage of local graduates.

“We need to ensure that there are development pathways to create these competencies domestically.”

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