The Issue with the IT Skills Shortage in Australia
Since 2015 reports have revealed that Australia has an IT skills shortage. Back in 2015 Australia needed 100,000 IT professionals, by 2018 that number jumped to 200,000 and in 2021 an extra 60,000 are being required each year.
Let’s take a closer look as to what this means for those looking to get into IT, and those needing to upskill to meet the increasing demand for skills.
Increased digitisation, a move to cloud infrastructure, cyber security, and the high value of data analysis and AI all means that IT specific skill sets have continued to increase in demand. Recruiters and companies have have often struggled to find candidates that possess all of the skills for roles. Even when they do find suitable candidates the quality & quantity of applicants is often not comparable to those found in other sectors. In particular data scientists are often in shorter supply, as well as suitably skilled and experienced front-end developers. Australia does have a good reputation for advanced science and research in the IT arena but the quantity of these professionals is simply not sufficient.
How can Australia meet these demands?
A few suggestions have been made including:
- The development of a more flexible skills migration scheme
- coordinated training and upskilling of workers
- placing a greater focus on developing science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects in the younger generation
In recent developments government updated the priority migration skilled occupation list – to cover a skills shortage made worse by COVID-19 – to include more IT jobs.
Where the issue lies with the old and new
Rapid changes in the technologies being used by businesses has meant that workers with older skill sets focused on desktop support or hardware administration for example, just aren’t really in demand anymore.
Australia needs new and upskilled talent fast, and now that the barriers to entry have been reduced, if you are skilled in the right areas, a wealth of opportunity awaits.
The rate of development within IT is not going to stop anytime soon so it is critical that IT professionals stay up to date with in-demand skills, to avoid falling behind as things continue to evolve. This makes this industry challenging at times but ever so rewarding both financially and in terms of personal & career growth going forward into the future.
We offer two IT specific courses at Mindroom Innovation: