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Australia’s digital future – are we doi ng we enough?

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12 Jul

Australia’s digital future – are we doi ng we enough?

launch-admin Jul 12, 2017 0 996



The ACS has launched its 2017 Digital Pulse report. Key findings include:

§  ICT is a key driver of Australia’s economic future. Currently a digital boom is occurring with 40,000 ICT jobs created in just the last two years, and ICT services exports up 12% to $2.8b.

§  New economic modelling shows that adoption of digital technologies has lifted Australia’s GDP by 6.6% over the previous decade – with each Australian being $4,663 a year better off (in 2016 dollars).

§  However, 81,000 new ICT professionals are needed by 2022 to fuel future technology-led growth. Without skilled ICT labour our nation will stagnate.

§  Diversity is still an issue – women represent only 28% of the ICT workforce (compared to 44% across all professional industries) and older workers (55+) only represent 12% of Australia’s ICT workforce.

§  LinkedIn data reveals technical skills are in high demand – how will Australia meet this need to reap the advantages of a digital future?


Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, 24 May 2017The ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, today launched its 2017 “Australia’s Digital Pulse” Report – revealing that a ‘digital boom’ is underway with 40,000 technology jobs created over just the last two years (2015-16)[1].


Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the report shows this strong growth in the ICT workforce is expected to continue, with an additional 81,000 jobs needed by 2022[2] to fuel future technology-led growth.


Meeting this need will be a critical priority for Australia.


ACS President, Anthony Wong, said: “Technology skills are fast becoming the engine room of the Australian economy. To fast-track our nation’s digital transformation, and ensure the ICT skills base is there to meet demand, we need a clear strategy and dedicated investment focus in this area.”


LinkedIn Director of Public Policy for Asia Pacific, Nick O’Donnell, said Australia’s skills shift is accelerating and expanding across every industry.


“We are seeing significant hiring of tech talent by non-tech companies. Half of the top 20 industries hiring ICT workers in 2016 were non-tech, the most active industries being financial services, which jumped from twelfth position in 2015 to up to fourth in 2016.


“LinkedIn’s data also shows that the top skills demanded by employers hiring new ICT workers includes a balance of technical skills and broader business skills. Business skills such as Relationship Management, Business Strategy and Strategic Planning in combination with technical skills are highly sought after to drive digitisation of business processes,” Mr O’Donnell said.



Addressing Australia’s skilled ICT shortfall, ACS President Anthony Wong, said: “The ACS is actively championing the uptake of coding in schools, better support for teachers in the delivery of emerging technology areas, the establishment of multidisciplinary degrees, and relevant training programs to help to build a pipeline of workers with valuable ICT skills. In a skills shortage environment, skilled migration is an important lever for developing competitive advantage for the nation. However it needs to be targeted, and needs to address the genuine skills gaps in the domestic market, while ensuring migrant workers are not exploited.”


Deloitte Access Economics partner, John O’Mahony, said: “Australian employers are placing a high value on ICT skills against the backdrop of digital technologies being increasingly fundamental to a thriving economy. As business disruption becomes more widespread, businesses need a strong ICT core to manage change – making ICT workers and ICT skills the bread and butter behind that change.”


The report further highlights a ‘to-do’ list for government that includes multiplying digital precincts, prioritising cyber, transitioning education and getting more people to study ICT, supporting Aussie start-ups, the next steps for the NBN and wireless technology, and focusing on efforts towards open data, digitising government, and copyright reform.


Australia’s Digital Pulse is a unique and comprehensive analysis of the ICT sector and the digital economy for Australia.


Australia’s Digital Pulse 2017 will be launched during CeBIT, on Wednesday 24 May at 5:00pm-7:00pm. Speakers will include the Hon Angus Taylor MP Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation (by video), John O’Mahony Partner Deloitte Access Economics, Nick O’Donnell Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, LinkedIn Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, Anthony Wong ACS President, and Michelle Price Chief Operations Officer Australian Cyber Security Growth Network.


– ENDS –



Media Contacts

Louise Proctor, Launch Group, 0452 574 244, louise@launchgroup.com.au

Christine Kardashian, Launch Group, 0416 005 705, Christine@launchgroup.com.au


About the ACS

The ACS is the professional association for Australia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.








The following statistics are presented according to subject matter areas.


The Digital Economy


The economic contribution to Australia of the digitally-enabled economy is on track to meet the forecast $139b growth target by 2020.

§  New economic modelling shows that adoption of digital technologies has lifted Australia’s GDP by 6.6% over the previous decade – each Australian being $4,663 a year better off (in 2016 dollars).

§  The economic contribution of the digital-enabled economy in Australia is forecast to increase to $139 billion by 2020, representing 7.3% of Australia’s GDP (DAE 2016a). Nearly 90% of this contribution is expected to come from the use of internet and digital technologies outside of the Information, Media and Telecommunications industry.

§  Trade in ICT continues to grow, with Australia’s ICT services exports increasing by 12% to $2.8 billion in 2015-16.

§  The ICT input share of Australia’s goods exports increased from 4% in 2013 to 7% in 2016 – reflecting the greater uptake of new technologies across key industries of economic importance in Australia, such as agriculture and manufacturing.

§  The average cost of a cyber crime attack to an Australian business is around $419,000.

§  Economic modelling suggests that greater investment in cyber security by Australian businesses could result in an uplift of 5.5% in business investment, an increase in wages by 2%, and an additional 60,000 people employed by 2030.


Australia’s ICT Workforce


Forecast ICT employment

§  81,000 new ICT jobs needed by 2022 to fuel future technology-led growth.

§  ICT workers to increase from around 640,800 in 2016 to around 721,900 in 2022, at an average annual growth rate of 2.0%

§  This represents a higher growth rate than that expected for the overall Australian workforce over the same period, forecast to be 1.4% per annum


National ICT workforce of 640,846 in 2016

§  1.9% increase on the 628,810 ICT workers in 2015

§  40,000 ICT jobs created in Australia in just the last two years

§  ICT proportion of total workforce is 5.4%

§  52% of the current ICT workforce is employed outside ICT-related industries such as in professional services, public administration and financial services

§  ICT workers by selected industries

ú  309,313 – ICT related

ú  75,806 – Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

ú  46,262 – Public Administration & Safety

ú  44,425 – Financial & Insurance Services

ú  25,145 – Retail Trade

ú  24,807 – Education & Training






Labour Market for Global ICT Talent


Linkedin data on Top 10 skills possessed by ICT workers moving to Australia

§  Project Management; SQL; Business Analysis; Requirements Analysis; Customer Service; Java; Team Leadership; Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC); Agile Methodologies; JavaScript


Linkedin data on Top 10 skills possessed by ICT workers leaving Australia

§  Project Management; Customer Service; Business Analysis; Marketing; Strategy; Social Media; Business Development; Change Management; Business Strategy; Business Process Improvement.


Australia’s Intensive Users of ICT Workforce

§  The broader ICT workforce is forecast to grow from around 2,548,900 workers in 2016 to 2,785,600 in 2022 (average annual growth rate of 1.5% and equivalent to a projected gain of 236,700 jobs over this period)


Diversity in ICT

§  Women continue to represent only 28% of the ICT workforce (compared to 44% across all professional industries).

§  Older workers (55+) only represent 12% of Australia’s ICT workforce (compared to 16% of workers across all professional industries)


ICT Skills In Demand


ICT employment growth forecast strongest in the largest two ICT occupation groupings (2016-2022)

§  ICT Management and Operations (2.4% average annual growth between 2016-22).

§  ICT Technical and Professional (1.9% average annual growth between 2016-22).


Top 10 in-demand ICT job occupations

§  2016 LinkedIn data shows the top 3 (out of 10) ‘in-demand’ ICT occupations with the most job advertisements were roles that connect technical ICT functions to broader business requirements. These include: project Manager; Business Analyst; and Business Development Manager.

§  ICT workers with specific technical skills are still in high demand – NET developer, Software Engineer, Solution Architect, Java Developer, Front End Developer.


LinkedIn data on the top 20 skills required by ICT workers in 2016 are technical and non-technical

§  6 out of top 10, and 9 out of top 20 are non-technical

ú  The top 9 being:

1.     Project & Process Management (number 1 skill)

2.     Management Consulting & Business Strategy (number 2)

3.     Business Development & Relationship Management (number 3)

4.     Customer Service (number 4)

5.     Strategic Planning (number 5)

6.     Sales (number 6)

7.     Purchasing and Contract Negotiation (number 7)

8.     Social Media Marketing (number 8)

9.     Employee Training & Development (number 9).




ICT Education


ICT student trends

§  Domestic undergraduate enrolments have risen from around 19,000 at the start of this decade to 25,700 in 2015.

§  Domestic undergraduate completions of ICT degrees increasing from around 3,000 to almost 4,000 over the same period.

§  Postgraduate enrolments and completions by domestic students have also increased marginally, but these also continue to remain below the peaks seen in the early 2000s.


Total qualifications held by ICT workers in 2016

§  Forecast to increase from 1,000,200 in 2016 to 1,148,100 in 2022, representing an average annual growth rate of 2.3%


Fields of study for ICT workers in 2016

§  The qualifications demanded of ICT workers are becoming increasingly broadened, beyond ICT-specific fields of study.

§  2016 LinkedIn data shows that whilst Computing Science and Information Science and Technology are the most common study areas, 5 of the top 10 study areas for ICT workers are non-ICT, suggesting business related degrees can be pathways into the ICT workforce

§  Accounting; Business; Business Management & Admin; Marketing; Project Management

[1] Australia’s 2017 Digital Pulse, page 2
[2] Australia’s 2017 Digital Pulse, page 29