While digital skills are becoming increasingly important, employees must not forget the importance of multi-disciplinary skills if they want to find a job in tech, according to a new report from the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and Deloitte.
The latest Australia’s Digital Pulse reinforces the much-publicised fact that a major skills shift is underway in our economy, with Australians needing adequate ICT competencies levels to do their jobs. For 2.5 million Australians in non-ICT roles digital literacy skills are becoming an increasingly important aspect of their roles, while Australia’s ICT workforce itself is expected to increase to around 695,000 workers by 2020.
However, six out of the top 10 most sought-after skills for ICT specialists are non-technical, including project management, sales, and customer service skills. The report also highlighted a strong demand for employees with a mix of technical and business-related skills, demonstrating the increasing integration of ICT in core business functions and the importance for ICT workers to consider broader business skills as an important part of Australia’s technology driven future.
With the report forecasting Australia’s digital economy to grow to $139 billion, around 7 percent of Australia’s GDP, by 2020, a multi-disciplined approach to training and education is key.
This reflects findings in previous studies: a survey of female startup founders conducted by Terem Technologies last year found that though many may lack technical expertise, 41 percent have a strong business background, holding a degree in business, commerce, or economics.
Scott Middleton, CEO of Terem Technologies, said that while the survey results paint a “very mixed picture” for women entering the tech startup space, the fact that many founders are succeeding without established STEM skills is promising.
The Digital Pulse report has also predicted that 97 percent of growth in this sector is expected to take place outside of the traditional information, media and telecommunications industries as more begin to see the benefits of embracing digital disruption.
Earlier this year the 2016 Innovation Barometer report found Australians are more optimistic about innovation, the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ than most.
More than 60 percent of executives and 69 percent of informed citizens in Australia – those who have attained a university qualification and regularly follow business news publications – stated they believe innovation will create new types of jobs, compared to just 48 percent of executives and public respondents globally. Over 50 percent of Australian executives also said they were also confident innovation will improve the quality of existing jobs.
According to the Digital Pulse report NSW employs the highest number of ICT workers with 234,924, despite the state’s tech employment growth being under the national average by 0.2 percent. Victoria follows with 183,247 workers, and Queensland with 95,402.
ACS NSW chair Richard Baecher said, “NSW needs to ensure that its education system, policy settings and business practices are all working towards equipping the country’s workers with the required technological skills.”