Census Data Shows IT Employment Booming

Big jump in IT Security and IT Management roles, decline in software Multimedia Specialists and Analyst Programmers

SYDNEY: Monday, November 13, 2017 - Employment data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) via the 2016 Census shows that the number of people working in the IT industry in Australia has grown by 20 per cent in the five years since the previous national population survey.

When looking back over the past two Census returns, IT employment has grown by 45 per cent over the 10 years from 2006 to 2016.

In 2006, 184,041 Census respondents indicated they worked in the IT industry. That figure grew to 222,644 in 2011 and reached 266,631 in the 2016 data.

When broken down into job categories within the IT profession, there has been significant growth in “ICT Security Specialist” roles (up by 130 per cent over 10 years and 50 per cent from 2011-16) as well as “ICT Managers” (89 per cent and 109 per cent) and “ICT Project Managers” (22 per cent and 94 per cent).

Meanwhile, there have also been some significant changes in the roles ABS grouped under the “Total Developers” block of categories which panned out to an overall increase of 24 per cent in the last five years (34,880 to 43,221).

Within this group of categories there has been a 6 per cent drop in “Multimedia Specialists” plus a 3 per cent drop in “Analyst Programmers” but this is balanced by over 8,000 new roles in the “Web Developer” and “Developer Programmer” categories.

According to ITPA President, Robert Hudson, it is no great surprise that there has been significant growth and upheaval in the 2016 Census data for IT professionals.

“Our industry has had a massive impact on the world in the last 10 years and it is changing almost daily, so it is only natural that this transformation is reflected in jobs data,” Hudson said. “From the ABS data we can see that there are jobs being created in areas such as cyber security, managers of IT environments and in managing IT projects.

“Organisations of all shapes, industries and sizes are prioritising investment in technology that is in alignment with their business objectives. The IT professionals they employ are more critical than ever to enabling business success and efficient, quality service delivery.

“Growth in security and IT management are indicators of both the growing importance and complexity of the IT function. IT professionals have quickly graduated from being a mere provider of support systems to being critical to competitive advantage and risk management.

“IT is firmly on the agenda in Australian boardrooms and suitably skilled IT professionals are in demand.”

Hudson said that there are important lessons in the Census data for people who are working in the IT industry and strong indicators on how they can remain relevant through continual education.

“IT is a great catalyst for change across the full range of industry verticals that make up our economy but those who work in the industry also have to ensure they acquire the skills that are in demand today,” Hudson said. “They too have to be prepared to continue evolving with the industry.

“This is one of the key motivating factors in why we have developed our Certified Practicing Member (CPM) program which serves to verify the fact that IT professionals are undergoing training every year to continue developing their skills in line with new technologies and industry demand.

“For example, a recent Government report estimated Australia would need another 11,000 cyber security specialists over the next decade.

“This clearly illustrates what a great career opportunity Cyber Security presents – particularly to System Administrators who already have some experience in keeping IT systems secure.

“It also serves to demonstrate how important it is for Government, educational institutions and the industry to work together on making sure these skills are being included in graduate and post graduate study curricula at our leading tertiary IT faculties.

“If we can’t fill these jobs with local graduates, then we are going to continue seeing people being brought in from overseas on temporary skilled worker visas to make up the short-fall. We need to ensure that there are development pathways to create these competencies domestically.”

More details of the IT industry employment growth trends extracted by ITPA from the 2016 Census data are available on request from Gerard Norsa. For additional comment on changing employment trends and jobs growth in the industry, contact Robert Hudson.

For more information or comment, contact:

Robert Hudson, President, ITPA - president@itpa.org.au - 0408 860 595


The Information Technology Professionals Association (ITPA) was formed in 2016 as an evolution of the System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU), which was founded in 1993. Since launching, ITPA has grown to now include over 17,000 members. Led and populated by IT professionals who are currently working in the industry, ITPA aims to be a trusted source of advice, knowledge and information about the IT industry for enterprise, government, media and society. It is in tune with the latest industry developments, focused on growing career opportunities for Australian IT professionals and willing to challenge government policy that inhibits the growth of the Australian IT Industry.