Demand for IT skills soars as businesses adapt to crisis
TECH workers are in demand as companies scramble to set up remote teams and adapt to increasingly digital business models.
New LinkedIn data revealed hiring rates in the software and IT sector were up 17.3 per cent year on year between February 10 and March 19.
The professional networking platform's senior director of Asia Pacific Talent Solutions Adam Gregory said these jobs could often be done remotely so were less likely to be affected by office shutdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Additionally with the increased volume of Australian professionals working from home, a lot of businesses are finding that they require additional IT support to keep their systems running efficiently and also requiring staff to support services such as video conferencing to help drive collaboration between teams," he said.
Job site Adzuna revealed there were more than 4600 IT jobs available across Australia, with the biggest employers being Datacom, Harbour IT, IBM, The Victorian Government and Macquarie Group.
More than 800 IT, computer and software roles were advertised for government departments alone.
Cloud computing company ServiceNow was hiring 69 more workers - mostly software engineers - in anticipation of a growing appetite for digital transformation.
Vice president and managing director for Australia and New Zealand David Oakley said there had been an unprecedented digital shift for consumers and employees in the last few months.
"Businesses that have established technology foundations are looking to innovate faster to meet demand," he said.
"In more traditional industries, organisations are looking at digital workflows in two ways: the first, to reinvent the way products and services are delivered, digitally; and two, to help to make work better for employees who are adjusting to new ways of working."
Recruitment firm Robert Walters reported strong demand for tech workers in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in particular.
Robert Walters NSW director Andrew Hanson said in his state this was led by service desk and IT support roles.
"Networking and security were in demand pre-COVID-19 and continue to be with new vulnerabilities being opened up due to the vast majority of people now working from home," he said.
Meanwhile, Queensland managing director Sinead Hourigan said a lot of organisations were bringing forward much-needed IT infrastructure projects to support remote workforces in her state, and Victoria director James Dalrymple said increased network demand in his state meant there was also demand in the telecommunication industry for technical network and cybersecurity roles.
Queensland University of Technology's Dr Char-lee Moyle - an innovation metrics mid-career research fellow who was helping to guide government policy during the pandemic - said now was the time for Australians to focus on digital and entrepreneurial skills.
"There are plenty of jobs to go around in the digital world," Dr Moyle said.
"People are going to have to slightly shift their skillset.
"We need to upskill people in entrepreneurial and digital skills."
Although sparked by difficult events, she predicted Australia's unfolding "fundamental transformation" would ultimately make the country stronger.
"At the end of this, things are going to be very different," she said.
"Traditional sectors like tourism will return but we will have a stronger economy because of the digital economy we are developing."
Originally published as Demand for IT skills soars as businesses adapt to crisis