Sunday, 20 March 2016 18:14

Boost for ICT employment led by increased demand for security specialists Featured

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Boost for ICT employment led by increased demand for security specialists Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

IT Security Specialists are in particularly high demand due to the unprecedented uptake of cloud computing over the last 12 months, according to the latest employment index from Seek which reveals that Australia’s ICT sector experienced 10% job ad growth year on year to February.

The March report from Seek shows that the 10% growth in the ICT sector in February was over 4% higher than the national average for the month, while in cloud computing the unprecedented uptake for security specialists saw a 57% jump in job listings year on year. – followed by technical writers at 47% growth and Product Managers and Developers, up 42%.

According to Seek, the ICT) industry remains strong nationwide, and the growth in job ads in the sector reflects the overall health of the employment market nationwide – with all Eastern States experiencing double digit growth in ICT job ads year on year.

Employment Managing Director, Michael Ilczynski Ilczynski said that, at a state level, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland, ACT and New South Wales all experienced double digit growth in ICT job ads.

“New South Wales which has the largest number of opportunities advertised increased by 10% year on year. There are now over 7,500 ICT jobs advertised through New South Wales, which is fantastic for those looking for work in that industry.

“Given the challenging employment market in Western Australia it is not surprising to see ICT roles declined year on year.

“We are not surprised to see that given the tough environment Western Australian businesses are facing as a result of the pull-back in mining investment that job opportunities in IT have gone down.

“It’s likely that businesses don’t have the resources to go ahead with new IT infrastructures or projects, which is having a direct reflection on their hiring needs.”

Ilczynski said that at a national level there has been extremely strong year on year growth in demand for IT Security professionals (57%), Technical Writers – those who produce easily accessible and digestible content for printed and online documents, such as user guides, manuals, intranet and website pages– (47%) and Product Managers and Developers (42%).

Ilczynski cites a report by Mark Nielsen, APAC CEO of global IT recruitment specialist Talent International, that the increase in IT security job listings can be attributed to sophisticated artificial intelligence and the unprecedented uptake of cloud computing over the past 12 months by Australian businesses, fuelling a demand for specialists to keep networks secure.

“With businesses expanding their offerings to meet customer web and mobility requirements, coupled with the advancement in devices with artificial intelligence capabilities, it is now more important than ever to be able to anticipate the level of sophistication possible when it comes to cybercrimes. There has been a significant increase in the way governments, businesses and people rely on technology and mobility as well as the rapid expansion of cloud computing, and as a result, IT security is one of the fastest growing areas we are seeing in the industry today],” Nielsen says.

The latest data from SEEK across all industry sectors shows the number of new job ads increased 5.7% from February 2015 year on year to February 2016.

According to Seek, buoying this increase are the eastern states, which show strong year on year growth.

The two largest employing states New South Wales and Victoria are up 11.6% and 6.8%, while Seek says Queensland has shown promising signs of recovering from the mining down turn with new job ads up 3.9% over the 12 months and South Australia up 7.7%. Tasmania and ACT also posted strong year on year growth, up 10.7% and 26.3% respectively.

Ilczynski said “It is encouraging to see strong year on year growth across almost all states and territories in Australia and also that the growth is driven through a wide variety of industries. 24 out of 28 industries on SEEK experienced increases in job advertising over the past 12 months.”

Seek’s State by State employment breakdown reveals that new jobs advertised remained relatively stable month to month dipping just 0.8% from January to February 2016.

According to Ilczynski, this slight loss in national momentum is primarily driven by the further downturn in advertising in Western Australia, where job ads fell 5.6% month on month in February 2016 to be 20.1% lower than a year ago.

“The decline in job advertising in Western Australia is across multiple industries and we are seeing a rise in applications for each job advertised in the State. This gives us an indication that the unemployment rate for the State is not likely to improve in the short-term.”

Seek reports that month on month advertising dipped in four other states and territories in February, including slight decreases in New South Wales (down 0.5%) and Victoria (down 0.7%).

Advertising also fell in Queensland by 2.2%, while increases were seen in South Australia (up 2.4%), Tasmania (up 1.1%) and Northern Territory (up 0.7%).

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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