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Overview

This page provides information and data on the ICT Networks sector, which is one component of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. The ICT Networks sector encompasses a variety of businesses that implement, administer, support and provide security for information technology (IT) networks and servers.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the ICT Networks sector for occupations such as:

  • Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
  • Computer Network Professionals
  • ICT Support Technicians.

Nationally recognised training for ICT Networks is delivered under the ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package.

For information on other ICT sub-sectors, see Digital Media, ICT Operations and SupportProgramming Software and Web Development and Telecommunications Technology.

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels have increased since 2001 for the three occupations: Computer Network Professionals, Database and Systems Administrators and ICT Security Specialists, and ICT Support Technicians. Growth in employment levels has been substantial in each (ranging from 83% to 89%) between 2001 and 2021, although growth levels have fluctuated in some years. The employment level for Database and Systems Administrators and ICT Security Specialists increased in 2021 to 52,400 and is projected to reach 58,200 by 2025. Computer Network Professionals are projected to grow the most, from 36,400 in 2021 to 53,400 by 2025. The employment level of ICT Support Technicians is projected to increase to 74,400 by 2025.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments have fluctuated between 2016 and 2020, peaking in 2019 at approximately 8,530 before a decline in 2020 to nearly 7,900. Completions have followed a similar pattern, with small decreases in 2016 and 2017, followed by increases in 2018 and 2019, before falling to approximately 2,240 in 2020.

Program enrolments in 2020 for this sector were predominantly at diploma level or higher (5,380) followed by certificate IV level (2,520), with most of the enrolments being in the networking qualification cluster (5,080). The most common intended occupations for this sector were Computer Network Professional (2,870) and Network Administrator (2,210).

Overall, the largest share of training was delivered by private training providers (60%), followed by TAFE institutes (35%). Overall, international fee for service funded just over half (53%) of ICT Operations related subjects, followed by government funding (42%). Training by universities and schools was almost completely government funded, whereas private training providers were mostly funded by international fee for service (86%).

Over half  of program enrolments in 2020 were for students located overseas (56%), followed by students in NSW (16%) and Victoria (8%). Over half of all training was delivered in New South Wales (55%), followed by Victoria (15%), and Queensland and Western Australia (10% each).

Apprentice and trainee commencements have steadily decreased from a high of around 380 in 2011 to 90 in 2019, but increased to 130 in 2020. Completions have continued to decrease from a high of 220 in 2013, falling to approximately 70 in 2020. In 2020, the majority of apprentices and trainees had an intended occupation of Network Administrator, with a small amount (4%) having the intended occupation of ICT Support Technician. New South Wales had the highest proportion of apprentices in training in 2020 (27%), followed by Queensland (20%), Western Australia (18%) and Victoria (16%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse: Future directions for Australia's technology workforce reports that cities can cope with increasing density and optimise the use of resources by creating Smart Cities. Some of the key occupations required to implement smart cities in Australia will include:

  • Robotics specialists and industrial network engineers to plan and install sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices across a region
  • Cyber security professionals at all levels and cloud architects to safely store data and protect citizens’ privacy.

According to Australia’s Cyber Security Competitiveness Plan 2020 Update , Australians spent approximately $5.6 billion on cyber security in 2020 from both local and international providers, a figure that is expected to increase to $7.6 billion by 2024. Over the next decade, the Australian cyber security sector will become larger, more diverse and more sophisticated.

In Case for Change: ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package, this forecast is supported by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s Jobs Hub portal where ICT occupations, including software and applications programmers, computer network professionals, database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists, are currently among the highest number of jobs advertised online across Australia.

The report also finds developments in applied emerging technologies and broader applications of ICT have also increased demand for employees with updated ICT skills and knowledge. Research indicates some of the top ICT occupations with the greatest projected employment growth include ICT support and test engineers, computer network professionals, and ICT network and support professionals.

The Information and Communications Technology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast discusses 5G wireless communications, a technology which is set to increase network capacity, as well as the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout. Professionals in the ICT Networks sector will need skills in not only installation and commission, but also in ongoing maintenance, operations and diagnostics as the network technologies become widespread.

Newly awarded construction contracts to upgrade large parts of the National Broadband Network (NBN) from Fibre to the Node (FTTN) to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), are expected to create up to 10,000 jobs during the peak design and construction period. These new contracts, with a total value of approximately $1.1 billion, include a range of roles in the Information Communication Technology Networks industry as more fibre optic cables are installed.

For further industry insights on skills needs and job vacancy data, see the Information and Communications Technology industry cluster page.

Links and resources

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

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Information and Communications Technology Industry Reference Committee

 

Relevant research

ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse: Future directions for Australia's technology workforce - Deloitte Access Economics

Australia’s Cyber Security Competitiveness Plan 2020 Update: Driving Growth and Global Competitiveness - AustCyber

Case for Change: ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package: Project 21A | In-demand Technologies, Project 21B | Refresh Training in ICT - PwC’s Skills for Australia

NBN Co awards $1.1 billion in construction contracts to advance FTTN to FTTP network evolution – NBN co.

 

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

 

Employee associations

Australian Computer Society

Australian Services Union (Information Technology & Business Equipment)

Communications Workers Union Australia

Information Technology Professionals Association

 

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 2631 Computer Network Professionals
    • 2621 Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
    • 3131 ICT Support Technicians.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021,  https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSCO, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter
    • 2631 Computer Network Professionals
    • 2621 Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
    • 3131 ICT Support Technicians.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET students and courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package
  • Computer Systems Technology
    • ICA41011 - Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology
    • ICA60511 - Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Technology
    • ICT41015 - Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology
    • ICT60515 - Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Technology.
  • Network Security
    • ICA60205 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology (Network Security)
    • ICA60208 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology (Network Security)
    • ICA60211 - Advanced Diploma of Network Security
    • ICT40713 - Certificate IV in Telecommunications Network Design
    • ICT60215 - Advanced Diploma of Network Security.
  • Networking
    • ICA30399 – Certificate III in Information Technology (Network Administration)
    • ICA40399 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Network Management)
    • ICA40405 - Certificate IV in Information Technology (Networking)
    • ICA40411 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking
    • ICA50405 - Diploma of Information Technology (Networking)
    • ICA50411 - Diploma of Information Technology Networking
    • ICA50499 – Diploma of Information Technology (Network Engineering)
    • ICT40415 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking
    • ICT40418 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Networking
    • ICT50415 - Diploma of Information Technology Networking
    • ICT50418 - Diploma of Information Technology Networking.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

 

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

ICT Information and Communications Technology Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions 
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 26 Oct 2021
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