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Programming, Software and Web Development

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Programming, Software and Web Development sector, which is one component of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry. Those in the Programming, Software and Web Development sector design and create software and websites, and adapt or customise existing software products.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required in the Programming, Software and Web Development sector for occupations such as:

  • Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers
  • Software and Applications Programmers
  • ICT Support Technicians.

Nationally recognised training for Programming, Software and Web Development is delivered under the ICT – Information and Communications Technology Training Package.

For information on other ICT sub-sectors, see Digital Media, ICT Operations and Support, ICT Networks and Telecommunications Technology,

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels for the Internet Service Providers and Web Search Portals industry group was fairly stable between 2001 and 2013. Levels fluctuated in the following years, reaching and 7,700 in 2020 before declining to 1,700 in 2021. Employment levels are projected to rise significantly to 7,800 by 2025. 

Employment levels for Data Processing, Web Hosting and Electronic Information Storage Services gradually declined between 2001 and 2008 before a steep decline in 2009. While employment levels have fluctuated between 2010 and 2020, the overall trend has been downward. In 2021, the employment level reached 3.8 and is projected to decline slightly by 2025.

For occupations related to Programming Software and Web Development, employment levels have increased since 2001 in the occupations of Software and Applications Programmers and ICT Support Technicians. For Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers, employment levels were flat between 2001 and 2007, before increasing to their highest level in 2021 with 19,600. Employment projections are expected to increase for Software and Applications Programmers and ICT Support Technicians to 2025, with Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers projected to decrease by 44% to 11,000.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Programming, Software and Web Development-related qualifications have declined since 2016 to 4,530 in 2020. Program completions in this sector have fluctuated between 2016 and 2020, with small rises in 2017 (approximately 1,500) and 2019 (nearly 1,340), before declining to 1,260 in 2020. All enrolments in ICT Programming Software and Web Development related qualifications were either at the diploma and higher qualifications level (2,350) or the certificate IV level (2,180).

During 2020, the nearly half (47%) of all program enrolments were in Website Development and Technologies-related qualifications, with the intended occupations of Web Administrator or Web Developer. Programming or Software Development qualifications were all intended for the occupation of Developer Programmer.

Overall, nearly two-thirds (63%) of program enrolments in Programming and Software and Web Development related qualifications delivered by TAFE institutes and over a third (36%) were delivered by private training providers. Funding for subjects was most often from Commonwealth and state sources (61%) followed by international fee-for-service arrangements (30%) or domestic fee-for-service arrangements (9%).

Students in this sector were most often from New South Wales (31%) or overseas (28%). In 2021, New South Wales delivered the highest proportion of training, followed by Queensland (approximately 16%) and Western Australia (almost 12%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements have steadily declined from 2012, with insufficient commencements in 2020 to allow analysis. However, there was a small rebound in 2021. There were insufficient completions in 2019 and 2020 to allow analysis.

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

The Information and Communications Technology IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast notes automation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), among other developments, as drivers for an increase in the use of computer systems within processes and industries that previously did not include them. This means a rise in demand for application development, which in turn drives demand for workers in this sector.

According to ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse: Future directions for Australia's technology workforce, skills in software programming were the most common technical skills requested of ICT workers in 2020. The report also forecasts the number of technology workers in Australia will pass 1 million in 2024 and continue to grow to over 1.1 million workers in Australia in five years. The specific occupations forecasted to experience the largest increase in employment in the ICT industry include software and applications programmers, and graphic and web designers.

The report predicts Australia to require an Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialist workforce of between 32,000 and 161,000 by 2030. This includes professionals in computer vision, robotics, data science, human language technologies, and other related fields which will require extensive ICT programming skills.

The Information and Communications Technology IRC’s 2018 Skills Forecast reported that in the next ten years, it is anticipated that the impact of computerisation, robotics and automation will be felt in all aspects of human activity. Advances mean that activities previously considered outside the scope of programming are increasingly being undertaken by computers. The move towards automation will require specialists in computing, systems and diagnosis, and skilled workers to service and maintain the technology.

Digital Economy Strategy 2030  reports technology solutions and uptake across all Australian sectors will unlock productivity gains and create new products, markets and industries, and will grow Australia’s jobs opportunities. For example, the mining sector is adopting automation, software, robotics and data analytics to improve supply chain efficiencies and enhance safety. Augmented reality is predicted to be used by 2030 in electrical trades and businesses for learning and training. Augmented reality devices may be used to show wiring layouts and potential hazards. Case studies show large construction projects are using augmented reality software to walk through building sites.

For further 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 industry, employment projections to May 2025
    • 591 Internet Service Providers and Web Search Portals
    • 592 Data Processing, Web Hosting and Electronic Information Storage Services.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 2613 Software and Applications Programmers
    • 2612 Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers
    • 3131 ICT Support Technicians.

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 Industry, 2001 to 2021, May Quarter
    • 591 Internet Service Providers and Web Search Portals
    • 592 Data Processing, Web Hosting and Electronic Information Storage Services.

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
    • 2613 Software and Applications Programmers
    • 2612 Multimedia Specialists and Web Developers
    • 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.
  • Programming
    • ICA40505 - Certificate IV in Information Technology (Programming)
    • ICA40511 - Certificate IV in Programming
    • ICT40515 - Certificate IV in Programming
    • ICT40518 - Certificate IV in Programming.
  • Software Development
    • ICA50299 – Diploma of Information Technology (Software Development)
    • ICA50705 - Diploma of Information Technology (Software Development)
    • ICA50711 - Diploma of Software Development
    • ICT50715 - Diploma of Software Development
    • ICT50718 - Diploma of Software Development.
  • Website and Development and Technologies
    • ICA40305 - Certificate IV in Information Technology (Websites)
    • ICA40311 - Certificate IV in Web-Based Technologies
    • ICA50605 - Diploma of Information Technology (Website Development)
    • ICA50611 - Diploma of Website Development
    • ICT40315 - Certificate IV in Web-Based Technologies
    • ICT50615 - Diploma of Website Development.

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.
Updated: 26 Oct 2021
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