30 September 2021
New South Wales continues to be the leading state for Australian tech workers, according to the findings of the 2021 ACS Digital Pulse report, with the state’s ICT workforce passing the 300,000 mark despite the Covid pandemic.
Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics for ACS, Digital Pulse tracks the key trends in Australia’s technology workforce and the sector’s potential over the next five years. Key findings in this year’s report for New South Wales include:
- 2021 saw a substantial jump in the state’s ICT workforce with an 8.5% increase.
- NSW’s IT sector workforce is forecast to grow 4.8% per annum over the next five years, slightly below the national predicted increase of 5.4%.
- This growth though is lower than Victoria’s (5.8%) and Queensland’s (5.9%), indicating the gap between the states could narrow over coming years.
- 314,083 people currently work in the state’s tech sector, up 24,730 from last year.
The report can be downloaded from the ACS website at www.acs.org.au. National findings of the report included:
- Over the next five years, the technology workforce is forecast to exceed 1.1m Australians, growing more than four times faster than the broader labour force numbers.
- Young Australians are recognising the value of digital skills with IT being the fastest growing field of education for domestic enrolments with over 41,000 in 2019.
- Nevertheless, current trends indicate an impending gap between the need for extra 60,000 technology workers each year and just 7,000 domestic IT degree graduates. Boosting reskilling and restarting skilled migration will be essential to meet Australia’s ICT needs.
- The Australian ICT sector’s gender imbalance threatens to hold the economy back, as achieving parity in the industry would boost employment by 5,000 new workers a year in the first 20 years.
- The top software programming skills demanded by employers include SQL (requested in 14% of job postings), Java (10%) and DevOps (9%).
ACS President, Ian Oppermann, said of the NSW results: “Despite the effects of the COVID, the New South Wales IT workforce saw an impressive jump in 2020, recording an 8.5% increase.
“New South Wales’ growth, while reassuring may not be as strong as other states over the next five years, with Deloitte predicting the state will trail Victoria and Queensland in creating ICT jobs which underscores the importance of strong policies to boost the sector within the state.
“This is why ACS is pleased to see the lead being taken by the NSW Government on applications like the Service NSW app which has proven so effective in helping the state manage the COVID outbreak and help provide a roadmap out of the current lockdowns.
“The last two years have illustrated the importance of data, analytics and technology in government and industry which highlights the importance of having a robust ICT workforce.”
The ICT sector growth will provide challenges to the national economy, however. The report identifies a looming gap between the 60,000 new technology workers needed per year and the current numbers of domestic IT degree completions. The future of the Australian technology workforce will greatly rely on reskilling from other industries. Meanwhile, the lack of female participation could cost the economy $11bn over the next two decades unless we accelerate towards gender parity across the technology workforce.
This year’s Digital Pulse identifies five areas where Australia could address its ICT weaknesses:
- Promote ICT education
- Deepen digital skills across industries
- Boost female participation in ICT
- Re-energise digital transformation programs
- Identify IT contractors’ capabilities
Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy
M – 0417 173 740
E – [email protected]
ACS is the professional association for Australia's technology sector. More than 48,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. ACS strives technology professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on technology and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.