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ICT Operations and Support

Overview

This page provides information and data on the ICT Operations and Support sector, which is one component of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. The ICT industry is fairly broad and encompasses a variety of businesses and sub-sectors such as those that provide information technology (IT) products and services, retail IT, helpdesk, telecommunication services and other professional ICT services. ICT Operations and Support includes areas related to processing, manipulating and managing information and providing user support for software, hardware and cloud technologies.

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

  • Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
  • Computer Network Professionals
  • ICT Support Technicians
  • Keyboard Operators
  • ICT Business and Systems Analysts.

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

For information on other ICT sub-sectors, see Digital MediaICT NetworksProgramming Software and Web Development and Telecommunications Technology,

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

After a slight decrease in employment levels between 2001 and 2005, employment in the Computer System Design and Related Services industry group has almost tripled since 2005 to 308,400 in 2021, with a projected increase to 342,000 in 2025.

Employment levels for Keyboard Operators declined substantially between 2001 and 2005, then increased until 2008, before decreasing again between 2008 and 2015. Employment levels have fluctuated slightly since then, with a level of 56,100 reported in 2021. They are projected to increase to 64,600 by 2025.

Employment for Database and Systems Administrators and ICT Security Specialists has slowly increased since 2001 with minor fluctuations to reach 52,400 in 2021. Employment is projected to increase to 2025. Employment for ICT Support Technicians has almost doubled since 2001 reaching 60,900 in 2021, and is also projected to increase to 74,400 by 2025.

Employment for ICT Support and Test Engineers rose steadily between 2001 and 2008, and more than doubled in 2009. Levels have fluctuated since then, with employment levels rising between 2018 and 2021 to 15,900. A slight decrease is projected by 2025.

Within the Computer System Design and Related Services industry groups, Software and Applications Programmers make up the largest proportion of the total workforce (about 23%) and are projected to have strong employment growth to 2025. ICT Managers currently constitute the second largest occupational group, but employment level growth is projected to remain largely stable. Employment levels of ICT Support Technicians, however, are projected to grow about 9% and Computer Network Professionals are expected to grow about 11% to 2025. Projections to 2025 indicate employment levels of ICT Professionals (not further defined) will not grow.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2020 there were 42,720 program enrolments and 13,820 program completions in ICT Operations and Support qualifications. Both enrolments and completions have declined between 2016 and 2020, down from 54,900 enrolments and 16,950 completions in 2016.

The highest numbers of enrolments in 2020 were at the certificate III (12,550) and certificate I (10,180) levels, with fewest enrolments at the certificate IV level (2,630). Most program enrolments were in Information, Digital Media & Technology qualifications (73%), and nearly a quarter were in Information Technology qualifications (24%). There are a wide range of intended occupations from ICT Operations and Support related occupations, with the most common in 2020 being ICT Support Technicians and Keyboard Operators with just over half (52%) of all program enrolments leading to ICT Support Technicians, followed by Keyboard Operators (about 44%).

Private training providers and TAFE institutes delivered approximately equal shares (35% each) of training in ICT Operations and Support related qualifications in 2020. A further 26% of training was delivered in schools; over a third (35%) of this training was in Information, Digital Media & Technology related qualifications. Approximately two-thirds of program enrolments (67%) were government funded, followed by international fee for service arrangements (20%) and domestic fee-for-service arrangements (13%). A quarter of students in this sector were from Queensland, followed by New South Wales (21%), overseas (19%) and Victoria (14%).

Approximately one third of training was delivered in New South Wales (36%), followed by Queensland (26%), Victoria (16%) and Western Australia (11%).

Since peaking in 2012, apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and completions have fluctuated slightly, declining overall to approximately 720 commencements in 2020 and just under 390 completions. In 2020, most apprentices and trainees had an intended occupation of ICT Support Technician. The largest quantity of apprenticeships and traineeships were reported by New South Wales (31%), Queensland (26%), or Victoria (17%).

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

Deloitte Access Economics report ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse forecasts the number of technology workers in Australia will pass 1 million in 2024 and continue to grow to over 1.1 million technology workers in Australia in five years. Nearly half of this growth is forecast to occur in ICT technical and professional roles, while a further 26% of growth is expected to occur in ICT management and operations and support roles.

According to AIIA Survey: Digital State of the Nation 2021 the rise in interest in cyber security skills and Cloud Specific skills is particularly strong in the industry, and reflects the emerging interest in sovereign data capabilities and the continuing migration to Cloud based computing and data storage.

This view is supported by Information and Communications Technology Industry Snapshot, which suggests demand is growing for software engineers and developers and in cloud computing and cyber security. With over half of Australia’s ICT workers employed outside of the ICT industry, demand is also high for occupations that integrate ICT systems and processes with broader business. Skills or labour gaps have been identified by industry in a number of areas including ‘full-stack’ development and UX (user experience).

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

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

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

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit 700 Computer System Design and Related Services Industry, employment projections to May 2025
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 2621 Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
    • 2632 ICT Support and Test Engineers
    • 3131 ICT Support Technicians
    • 5321 Keyboard Operators
    • 2613 Software and Applications Programmers
    • 1351 ICT Managers
    • 2600 ICT Professionals (nfd)
    • 2631 Computer Network Professionals.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ06 - Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit 700 Computer System Design and Related Services Industry, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter.

 

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
    • 2621 Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
    • 2632 ICT Support and Test Engineers
    • 3131 ICT Support Technicians
    • 5321 Keyboard Operators.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 3 digit 700 Computer System Design and Related Services Industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

                                                                                                                                               

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
  • Business & Management
    • ICA50205 - Diploma of Information Technology (Project Management)
    • ICA60311 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology Business Analysis
    • ICA60411 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology Project Management
    • ICT60315 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology Business Analysis
    • ICT60415 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology Project Management
    • ICT80115 - Graduate Certificate in Information Technology and Strategic Management.
  • Information Technology
    • ICA10101 - Certificate I in Information Technology
    • ICA10105 - Certificate I in Information Technology
    • ICA20105 - Certificate II in Information Technology
    • ICA30105 - Certificate III in Information Technology
    • ICA30299 – Certificate III in Information Technology (General)
    • ICA40105 - Certificate IV in Information Technology (General)
    • ICA40111 - Certificate IV in Information Technology
    • ICA40205 - Certificate IV in Information Technology (Support)
    • ICA40211 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Support
    • ICA40599 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Technical Support)
    • ICA40605 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Testing)
    • ICA40611 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Testing
    • ICA50105 - Diploma of Information Technology (General)
    • ICA50111 - Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICA50805 - Diploma of Information Technology (Systems Analysis and Design)
    • ICA60105 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICA60111 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICA70211 - Graduate Certificate in Information Technology Sustainability
    • ICT40115 - Certificate IV in Information Technology
    • ICT40118 - Certificate IV in Information Technology
    • ICT40120 – Certificate IV in Information Technology
    • ICT40215 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Support
    • ICT40615 - Certificate IV in Information Technology Testing
    • ICT50115 - Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT50118 - Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT50120 – Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT50220 – Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT60115 - Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT60120 – Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT60220 – Advanced Diploma of Information Technology
    • ICT80215 - Graduate Certificate in Information Technology Sustainability.
  • Information, Digital Media & Technology
    • ICA10111 - Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICA20111 - Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICA30111 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICT10115 - Certificate I in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICT20115 - Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICT20120 – Certificate II in Applied Digital Technologies
    • ICT30115 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICT30118 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • ICT30120 – Certificate III in Information Technology.
  • Systems Analysis & Administration, Database Design & Development
    • ICA40705 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Systems Analysis and Design)
    • ICA40711 - Certificate IV in Systems Analysis and Design
    • ICA50305 - Diploma of Information Technology (Systems Administration)
    • ICA50311 - Diploma of Information Technology Systems Administration
    • ICA50505 - Diploma of Information Technology (Database Design and Development)
    • ICA50511 - Diploma of Database Design and Development
    • ICA50811 - Diploma of Systems Analysis and Design
    • ICT40715 - Certificate IV in Systems Analysis and Design
    • ICT50315 - Diploma of Information Technology Systems Administration
    • ICT50318 - Diploma of Information Technology Systems Administration
    • ICT50515 - Diploma of Database Design and Development
    • ICT50815 - Diploma of Systems Analysis and Design
    • ICT50818 - Diploma of Systems Analysis and Design.

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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