Wednesday, 18 May 2016 12:07

Victoria leads employment demand for ICT professionals Featured

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Victoria leads employment demand for ICT professionals Image courtesy of ponsulak, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Demand for ICT professionals in Victoria is strong with the state’s employers projected to seek to fill ICT roles over the next few years at an annual rate of 2.7% – well above the national average of just 2%. Cyber security skills are in high demand across a number of the state's business and industry sectors.

The forecast demand for ICT professionals covers the period between this year and 2020 which continues the strong ICT growth Victoria has seen in previous years.

This latest forecast from the Victorian branch of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and Deloitte Access Economics shows ICT skills development as an essential component of growth for new jobs in the state, particularly in cyber security. The forecasts also feature new data from LinkedIn, highlighting a major skills shift is underway in Australia’s economy.

According to the ACS and Deloitte in their Digital Pulse report, the forecast of 2.7% indicates the strong position Victoria holds and its capabilities in the digital economy.

Nationally, the report says that Australia’s digital economy will grow to $139 billion — or 7% of GDP — by 2020.

The ACS Victoria branch also unveiled its Cyber Security Position Paper ahead of the Federal election on July 2, with the organisation calling for additional government and industry investment to position Melbourne as the global hub of “significant cyber security expertise” – creating jobs, new businesses and value in the local and national economy.

LinkedIn statistics included in the ACS/Deloitte report used real-time data about labour market pressures and developments to highlight that cyber security is a big IT need for Australia’s workforce.

ACS Victoria Branch chair, Craig Horne, said, “Given the importance of cyber security to businesses and organisations, it is vital that companies engaging cyber security professionals and companies can have confidence that their skills, services and products will be effective and relevant to the fast evolving cyber security threat.

“The wider ICT industry underpins innovation and competitiveness across Victoria's economy and accounts for approximately 31% of Australia's ICT workforce.

“It’s important that ICT workers in our state have a skills mix that includes both technical and ‘soft’ skills in order to fuel our economy. The strong demand for ICT professionals who have more generalist skills opens up huge opportunities for the wider workforce in the region.”

ACS Digital Pulse findings for Victoria also show that:

•  The largest growth area is projected to be ICT technical and professional (3.5% annually), followed by ICT sales (2.9% annually) and ICT management and operations (2.5% annually)

•  By state, Victoria reported the highest number of ICT workers in a number of industries including manufacturing, transport, postal and warehousing, and education and training.

ACS national findings show:

•    ICT workforce to grow 2% annually from 628,000 in 2015 to 695,000 in 2020

•    Six out of the top 10 skills now sought after for ICT specialists are non-technical skills such as project management, sales and customer service skills.

•    A total of 2.5 million Australians in non-ICT roles have reported digital literacy skills are an increasingly important part of their jobs

•    Strong growth in Australia’s digital economy to $139 billion by 2020, an increase of 75% since 2014.

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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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