A major skills shift is underway across the Australian economy with 53 per cent of our total IT workforce now coming from outside the technology sector, according to new research.
A report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics – in conjunction with the Australian Computer Society and LinkedIn – found that across an ICT workforce of 628,000, workers were coming from industries such as professional services, public administration and financial services.
ACS president, Anthony Wong, said there’s a significant and rapid skills transformation happening in the economy. Governments, employers and the education and training sector will need to work collaboratively and reassess their current approaches to training and recruitment.
“A clear message from the report is that our economy now needs ICT specialists with creativity, entrepreneurship and strategic business skills whilst non-ICT workers increasingly require a base level of digital competency,” he said.
Harnessing digital skills will be key to growth with 2.5 million Australians in non-ICT roles indicating that digital literacy is an increasingly important part of their job.
For ICT specialists, six out of the top 10 skills now sought after by employers are non-technical skills in the areas of project management, sales and customer service, the report said.
The report forecasted strong growth in the digital economy to $139 billion by 2020, an increase of 75 per cent since 2014. ICT employment is expected to grow at 2 per cent annually to 695,000 workers by 2020.
Meanwhile, tertiary graduates represent a mere 1 per cent of Australia’s total ICT workforce each year, suggesting that the greatest resource for developing digital skills demanded by Australian businesses now and in the future is the current workforce.
“Developing the digital skills of both existing ICT workers and the broader Australian workforce will be an important factor in ensuring that there is adequate supply of ICT skills to support the growing digital economy,” the report said.
The report can be found here.
Follow Byron Connolly on Twitter:@ByronConnolly
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.