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Information and Communications Technology

Overview

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry can be seen as comprising of three main areas:

  • Information technology – This sector covers all areas related to processing, manipulating and managing information.
  • Telecommunications technology – This sector covers cabling, wireless, switching, transmission, radio frequency, and optical communications media and internet protocol networks.
  • Digital media – This sector covers design and production of multimedia and games for various platforms.

Please visit the following pages for data specific to the following Information and Communications Technology sectors:

The training packages covering the Information and Communications Technology industry are:

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Industry cluster snapshot

Employment and training snapshot

People employed in jobs in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) work across all industries so it is difficult to capture total employment by industry.

As such, the employment data in the chart should be considered as indicative only. Further information on people employed in Information and Communications Technology by occupation can be found in the individual sector pages.

The chart shows that the largest sector by far is Computer System Design and Related Services. This sector has been growing particularly since 2008 and is projected to expand further up until 2022. The other large sector is Telecommunications. This sector has seen relatively stable employment numbers over the period shown in the chart. Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals and Data Processing Services has being declining as a sector of employment and is expected to decline further up to 2022.

The report Australia’s Digital Pulse (produced by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australian Computer Society) estimated the size of the ICT workforce, including those outside of ICT-related industries, to be about 640,000. They also forecast this workforce to rise to about 722,000 by 2022. According to their calculations, the strongest areas of growth are expected to be in ICT management and operations, and ICT industry administration and logistics support (with estimated annual growth rates of 2.4% and 2.3% respectively).

Program enrolments across the two ICT training packages have remained very stable at a little under 100,000 over the period 2014–2016. Program completions, however, have declined somewhat falling from about 26,700 in 2015 to 22,500 in 2016.

Industry insights

Priority skills infographic<br />
Infographic title: Priority skills: 2017 skills forecast,,<br />
Infographic data,,<br />
Title: Top priority skills,,	Digital and digital literacy skills, Skills for working in virtual teams, Customer (client) centric skills, Strategic shaping and thinking,,<br />
Title: Top generic skills,, Technology, Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems, Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self management, Communication/Virtual collaboration/Social intelligence,,<br />
Infographic title: Skills and occupations in demand: job vacancies,,<br />
Title: Top generic skills in demand,, Communication skills, Writing, Teamwork/Collaboration, Planning, Problem solving,,<br />
Title: Top 5 occupations in demand,, Computer Network Professionals, Software and Application Programmers, ICT Business and Systems Analysts, Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists, ICT Support and Test Engineers,,<br />
Title: Top 5 locations,, New South Wales, Victoria, ACT,  Queensland, Western Australia,,<br />
Title: Top employers,, IBM, Telstra, NEC Australia, SAP AG, NBN Co,,<br />
Infographic source, Priority skills source: Information and Communications Technology IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017, Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool

 

Industry insights on skills needs

The Information and Communications Technology Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017 identifies a number of factors which provide challenges and opportunities to the ICT industry and workforce. These include:

  • Employers are less likely to use the VET system and are using unaccredited and vendor training. Employers that do use nationally accredited training prefer specific units of competency or skill sets rather than full qualifications.
  • Instead of requiring qualifications, employers are only looking for registrations and competencies to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Employers are filling most vacancies, with practical skills and experience being one of the most important employment criteria.
  • Emerging technologies continually change and shape the sector, including data analytics, cyber security, Internet of Things, cloud computing, application development and automation, blockchain, and augmented or virtual reality. Keeping up with the pace of current and emerging digital technology requires a skilled workforce that can adapt to change and stay at the forefront of knowledge. Creating an ICT workforce with highly relevant skills in light of rapid digital change will require true lifelong learning, with ICT practitioners continually updating their skills in emerging fields and refining their existing skills.
  • More economic and social activity relies on online connectivity and Australian businesses are increasingly relying on this connectivity as a core part of their operations.
  • There has been a proliferation of start-ups in the industry in recent years, which leverage off new technologies and new business models.
  • Changes in workplace roles, including changes to organisational strategy and increasing risk management.
  • Supporting the increasing automation of roles in a range of industries.

To address some of the challenges and opportunities, the Information and Communications Technology Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017 recommends prioritising the following skills needs:

  • Improving digital literacy skills. High level technical and computational thinking skills and knowledge is required to understand and work with current and emerging technologies such as data analytics, cyber security, Internet of Things, cloud computing, application development, and automation.
  • Skills for working in virtual teams is required so the workforce has the ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.
  • Customer (client) centric skills.
  • Strategic thinking, which involves the generation and application of unique business insights and opportunities intended to create a competitive advantage for a firm or business.

The report Australia’s Digital Pulse (produced by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australian Computer Society) found, based on an analysis of LinkedIn data that skills in high demand include:

  • technical skills including in IT Infrastructure, web programming, and cloud computing
  • business skills including project management, customer service, and strategic planning.

Their analysis of LinkedIn found that the three ICT related occupations with the most job advertisements in 2016 involved a combination of ICT skills and broader business skills. These three occupations were Project Manager, Business Analyst, and Business Development Manager. There were also occupations needing technical expertise in the top 10 including, for example, .NET Developer and Solution Architect.

Further analysis found that the top skills possessed by ICT workers who moved jobs in 2016 were: process and project management; management consulting, business strategy and analysis; and IT infrastructure systems management. Other top skills included a mixture of specific technical skills (e.g. web programming) and broader skills (e.g. customer service).

The report forecasts that an additional 81,000 ICT workers will be required between 2016 and 2022. Future potential sources of workers are:

  • People who transfer from other non-ICT occupations into ICT roles. Their analysis of LinkedIn data indicates that more than 40% of ICT workers had a previous non-ICT role.
  • Graduates from ICT courses. They estimate that there will need to be an increase in the numbers of qualifications held by ICT workers up until the end of their forecast period, 2022. This includes an increase in the number of workers with VET-related qualifications.
  • Skilled migration, which helps to fill immediate demand for skills. Skilled migrants can also help train local workers in these areas of skill needs.

Malicious cyber activities are a growing challenge for organisations worldwide and Cyber Security is one of the most rapidly growing industries both domestically and internationally.

The Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan by the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) reports that a serious skills shortage is limiting the growth of the Australian Cyber Security sector. The Competitiveness Plan estimates that the domestic Cyber Security sector will need to employ at least 11,000 additional workers over the next decade. The top requested work areas in Australian Cyber Security job advertisements over the past year according to the Competitiveness Plan are:

  • Securely Provision
  • Operate and Maintain
  • Oversee and Govern
  • Protect and Defend
  • Collect and Operate
  • Investigate

The Cyber Security Cross Sector Project Public Paper by PwC’s Skills for Australia also reports an acute demand for Cyber Security Professionals across industry.  The paper highlights the following industry trends that are shaping the skills needs of the future Cyber Security workforce:

  • A critical shortage of skilled Cyber Security Professionals both in Australia and internationally.
  • Industry’s increased dependence on digital technology, the internet of things and protection of digital assets is driving demand for cyber security skills in the workplace.
  • The fast pace of digital and technological change and rapid evolution of cyber-attacks is exposing an increasing number of organisations to cyber threats.

The paper identifies the most in demand cyber security skills as:

  • Detecting and responding to threats or intrusions as soon as they occur.
  • Identifying and securing potential vulnerabilities.
  • Assessing risks, hazards and vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks in a network or business environment.
  • Implementation of preventative measures against cyber-attacks.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Australian Digital and Telecommunications Industry Association

Australian Industry Group

Australian Information Industry Association

Business Council of Australia

 

Government

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Innovation and Science Australia

National Broadband Network

National Innovation and Science Agenda

Safe Work Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Computer Society

Australian Services Union (Information Technology & Business Equipment)

Communications Workers Union Australia

Information Technology Professionals Association

 

Relevant research

Australia’s Digital Pulse – Produced by Deloitte Access Economics for the Australian Computer Society

Cyber Security Cross Sector Project Public Paper - PwC’s Skills for Australia – Skills Service Organisation

Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan - Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber)

Information and Communications Technology Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2017 – PwC's Skills for Australia – Skills Service Organisation

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC, selected industry sub-divisions, employment projections to May 2022
    • 57 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting
    • 58 Telecommunications Services
    • 59 Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals and Data Processing Services
    • 70 Computer System Design and Related Services.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 2 January 2018 < http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 digit, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter
    • 57 Internet Publishing and Broadcasting
    • 58 Telecommunications Services
    • 59 Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals and Data Processing Services
    • 70 Computer System Design and Related Service.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Activity, 2016 Program Enrolments by ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package and ICT10 Integrated Telecommunications Training Package.

Priority skills data has been extracted from Information and Communications Technology Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work. Each IRC has prioritised and ranked the generic skills.

Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass labour insights job vacancy data tool. Burning Glass Technologies: Labor insight – real-time labor market information tool. <http://www.burning-glass.com> 2017.

  • Job advertisements from all of Australia from January 2014 to August 2017 are included in the analysis. Data shown is the top five advertised VET-related occupations (excluding the occupation families of Sales Workers and Managers) by ANZSIC 3 digit industry and the top five locations and employers according to job advertisements.
    • 700 Computer System Design and Related Services
    • 591 Internet Service Providers and Web Search Portals
    • 592 Data Processing, Web Hosting and Electronic Information Storage
    • 580 Telecommunications Services

Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass labour insights job vacancy data tool. Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for occupations in the industry.

Updated: 11 Oct 2018
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