The top IT jobs in demand in Australia

From cloud engineers to cybersecurity specialists, data from recruitment organisations tells what the top jobs for IT professionals in Australia are in 2021.

Talent compass pointing to the most highly skilled jobs hiring
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Data gathered from some of the top recruitment companies in Australia have revealed the IT jobs that organisations will be looking to hire in 2021.

If there was any question as to the importance of IT and digital skills before 2020, that has certainly been put to rest following the coronavirus pandemic that forced organisations and professionals across the world to work remotely and start, continue, or improve their use of technologies.

“We should reflect on what we observed our workforces do during COVID-19, and how quickly they were able to learn new digital capabilities. That should be a lesson that we carry with us,” Aaron McEwan, a Gartner vice president for HR research and advisory, told Computerworld Australia.

Recruiters are seeking these ICT candidates in Australia

Globally, recruitment firm Hays found the top ICT/IT areas in demand for 2021 are cybersecurity, cloud solutions, data science, devops, software development, and change management. In Australia, Hays found that the most in demand IT professionals include:

  • cloud engineer
  • security-awareness consultant
  • full-stack developer

But there are also the IT professionals and skills required across other areas. For example, in defence, Hays found there will be need for systems engineers; in education, high school teachers for technology, mathematics, and science will be in demand; in life sciences, business insights and analytics professionals will also be required.

LinkedIn’s yearly Emerging Jobs report shows these ICT-related jobs on the rise for 2021:

  • back-end developer
  • web developer
  • head of engineering
  • data manager

Skills required for those areas are Node.js, Amazon Web Services (AWS), data management, engineering management, and JavaScript.

Cybersecurity roles are also on the rise; the top roles in demand are:

  • cybersecurity analyst
  • cybersecurity specialist

The skills required for those roles are security information and event management (SIEM), information security, cybersecurity, network security, and machine learning.

LinkedIn, which offers paid and free training, concluded that a lifelong learning mindset is crucial for professionals looking to develop themselves and adapt to the workforce of the future. Workers who are equipped with digital skills, even at a basic level, will have an edge in finding employment opportunities.

What’s driving the demand for the top IT skills in Australia

Robert Beckley, regional director of Hays Information Technology in Australia, told Computerworld Australia the reasons for some of the skills in demand across ICT jobs in Australia.

Cloud engineers in both AWS and Azure. Demand for cloud specialists has increased because of COVID-19 and the growth of virtual working models that require scalable, secure, reliable, and cost-effective off-premises technologies.

Security-awareness consultants who can effectively educate employees about online dangers when working remotely.

Full-stack developers with React, microservices, and cloud (AWS or Azure) experience. Demand is due to increased traffic to businesses’ customer-facing systems.

Cybersecurity professionals. Due to a rapid rise in cybercrime, there has been a sharp increase in cybersecurity spending as cybersecurity has become a top priority among business leaders. Many security issues have also arisen from hybrid working, with many professionals having to work remotely for extended periods. Cybersecurity will account for many of the fastest-growing jobs for tech professionals in 2021, including security operations; governance, risk, and compliance; identity and privileged access management; and cloud security and architecture.

Data analysts and data scientists will be high on the list of the hottest tech jobs over the coming 12 months as analysing and interpreting complex data helps organisations make informed and timely decisions. To achieve this, data scientists draw upon skills and knowledge such as a strong understanding of machine learning algorithms, the creation of data models, and the ability to pick out business issues and suggest suitable solutions.

Software developers are essential to creating new products, tools, and services to help organisations successfully transition and adapt to radically shifting markets. Demand will include not only back-end developers who can build the heavier tech, but also the front-end developers—including user experience (UX)—who make sure any product that is built is easy to use and navigate from both a design and build perspective.

Change-management professionals. Many organisations have had to adopt new technology, and as the pandemic has accelerated many technological trends, it is critical this change is managed successfully. Whether organisations are building their own systems, buying them, or doing a blend of both, people experienced with agile methodology are going to be essential. Change facilitators and change managers are the people who are making all this possible; they are the ones moving everything from analogue to digital right now. Or in some cases, they are working with third parties to bring their products and services into organisations.

The changing Australian IT job landscape

When it comes to job advertisements, the numbers can go up as fast as they will go down.

Jobs portal Seek has reported an 8% increase in ICT job advertisements in February 2021. This comes after Seek’s A-Z report, which showed a 20% decline in ICT job ads in January 2021 compared to January 2020.

As previously reported, the number have fluctuated a lot. From March to April 2020, Seek registered a 35.5% decline in job ads for the IT industry. In May, IT job ads saw a 1% increase, followed by a peak in June when there was a 16% increase in IT job ads. From there, the increases slowed but remained positive: In July there was a 7% increase followed by a 4% increase in ads in August and a 2% rise in September.

Seek also revealed the top five most advertised ICT roles in January 2021: developer/programmer, business/systems analyst, software engineer, help desk and IT support staff, and programme and project manager.

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Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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