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Report: IT sector relies too heavily on uni degrees and needs to loosen up, says ACS

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ICT vacancies have increased by 14% between 2016 and 2021 and are 15% faster than the overall labor market since the start of the pandemic, the recently published report shows. ACS Guide to IT Professions 2022 found, but many employers limit themselves by requiring ICT professionals to have a university qualification.

According to the report, which is based on a lightcast analysis of millions of job openings between 2016 and 2021 – but this is much higher than comparable economies such as the UK (90%) and US (86%).

“While ICT professions around the world have traditionally required higher levels of education, requirements in Australia are noticeably stricter than requirements for similar job opportunities in the UK and US,” notes the report in rekindling a long-dormant debate over dominance of the university sector on ICT qualifications.

“Since skills and responsibilities are similar in all of these occupations, regardless of geographic location and in light of global labor shortages, the analysis suggests that by relaxation of training requirementsemployers of ICT professions could open up to a much larger potential workforce.”

Australian ICT jobs were also more likely to require three or more years of experience than other professions, with just 21% classified as ‘entry level’ – much lower than the UK market, where entry level ICT jobs comprise just under 35% of all advertised roles.

The analysis examines demand in areas such as cybersecurity – in which job openings nearly doubled between 2016 and 2021, with more than twice as many cybersecurity roles in the ACT as nationally.

The ACP Guide to IT Professions 2022.

The state governments of Victoria and NSW, as well as the Australian government, placed the most cybersecurity jobs, while Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, CBA, Accenture, PwC, Amazon, Macquarie Group and the ANZ Banking Group rounded out the top 10 cybersecurity employers in 2021.

“For students seeking careers in technology, the guide is designed to serve as an indication of industry demand and to guide them toward productive careers,” said ACS President Dr. Nick Tate.

“For established professionals, it can serve as a guide to wages and skills, showing them the opportunities available and the most in-demand skills. And for employers, it is intended to aid in understanding the market, benchmarking wages and understanding hiring.”

Mapping the ICT skills shortage in Australia

The report contains detailed profiles of 28 different IT professions – including the most in-demand skills and certificationssalary expectations and changes in job demand between 2016 and 2021.

For example, while demand for web administrators fell by 21.1% during that time, 4,776 Business Intelligence Analyst positions were advertised in 2021, an increase of 8.5% during the analysis period.

Candidates for those roles can expect an average salary of $116,000 this year if they can bring skills such as Microsoft Power BI, DevOps, Python, Confluence and Atlassian Jira.

The fastest-growing career area was Software Developer/Engineer, which saw a 21.5% increase in job openings during the analysis period and an average salary of $112,000 – following on from new census figures that found programmers represent the largest tranche of ICT roles.

The most in-demand IT job certifications include ITIL certification, CISSP, Salesforce certification, Cisco CCNP, Cisco CCNA, CISM, TOGAF Certificationand Cisco CCIE qualifications.

But even if employers in high-demand areas like cybersecurity wind back their expectations around certifications, applicants should not expect to land their dream job simply by providing a laundry list of technical skills: employers continue to value soft skills such as business analysis, communication, teamwork and collaboration, problem solving and stakeholder management.

“Employers demand much more than just technical skills,” says Dr. Tate, “and IT professionals need to develop additional professional skills to succeed.”

Ultimately, said Chris Vein, CEO of ACS, establishing a detailed map of industry demand will be key to helping universities, training organizations and employers develop a more unified approach to addressing Australia’s chronic skills shortage. .

“We need to make sure our skills pipelines steer people on the right path,” he said.

“If we can ensure that Australian IT professionals learn the skills that are most needed, then we can ensure that Australian IT professionals envy the world, provide high-paying jobs for our IT professionals, and value businesses needed to keep Australia. moving forward.”

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