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 forecast in the next four years alone there would be a shortage of about 100,000 technology professionals.
Griffith University Head of School of Information and Communication Technology Professor Paulo De Souza said tech jobs had bucked the COVID-19 downturn and he only expected the industry to continue trending upward.
“Computer science and IT systems is the place to be because these are the professions of the future, there is no question about that,” Professor De Souza said.
“We have seen the ICT job market is resilient in a crisis.”
Figures from the 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 Ms Bretherton 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,” Ms Bretherton said.
“Back in March you can see that the tech sector was impacted (by COVID-19), as was the rest of the economy, but what we’re seeing now is a significant rebound.”
Professor De Souza said more people were expected to continue working from home in the future, increasing the demand for heightened cyber security, cloud services and virtual collaboration software.
“This brings a need for more ICT professionals, particularly in two areas,” he said.
“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 definitely be cyber security.
“As we keep working remotely…. there are opportunities for more and more cyber-attacks.
“We need professionals who can understand the risks associated to 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.
More information on Griffith’s Information Technology courses is available here.