The advent of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) saw a temporary spike in IT graduates looking for secure government jobs, according to the Department of Human Services' deputy secretary of ICT infrastructure John Wadeson.
John Wadeson(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
Speaking at an SAS Forum panel discussion moderated by ABC TV's Q&A host Tony Jones in Sydney this morning, Wadeson said Centrelink (now part of the Department of Human Services) usually takes on 150 IT graduates every year.
"Two years ago when we went to the market I think we got 70. Last year, after the GFC, we were getting 200," he said. "All of a sudden a job in the government looked better."
Wadeson said that due to a lack of IT graduates coming out of Australian universities, he didn't expect the surge to last.
"I think this is a temporary reprieve. We talk to universities all the time and some places saying now they will only run information technology as part of the degree," he said. "We're just not getting enough students wanting to do the full IT degree."
"The universities [blame] the dotcom bust, but we're a long way from that now and although there are some who are innovating and trying to build up the numbers, I think it is a very serious issue because Australia is becoming increasingly dependent on information technology."
Wadeson changed his role from being Centrelink CIO to the deputy secretary of ICT infrastructure for the Department of Human Services when the government began consolidating Centrelink, Medicare and the Child Services Agency earlier this year.