Digital transformation projects drive uplift in IT employment

Peoplebank ICT salary and employment index has shown that the demand by government, IT vendors, telecommunication companies, and enterprises for IT professionals is strengthening.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

As the mining boom begins to slow, and more organisations invest in implementing their digital transformation strategies, the demand for IT professionals alongside this has strengthened, according to the Peoplebank ICT salary and employment index for the May to July hiring quarter.

The index — which tracks hiring levels and salaries for more than 50 IT roles around Australia — recorded an overall lift, with demand coming from a range of industries including government, IT vendors, telecommunication companies, and enterprises.

This is in comparison to results from last November to January this year, which showed IT employment was being fuelled mainly by the healthcare and education sectors.

On a state-by-state basis, the job number in NSW grew as much as 20 percent over the last quarter, on top of growth of around 15 percent in the first quarter of 2014, and the demand has been described as "quite buoyant".

Meanwhile, the demand for IT professionals in the ACT reached a three-year high, which PeopleBank said has been amplified by government agencies' decision to hire contractors to fill vacancies in some roles they cannot hire with a permanent public servant due to hiring freezes, in addition to their undertaking in digital transformation projects.

Similarly, the index showed demand is at its strongest point in two years in the ACT, with expectations it will incrementally strengthen further in the second half of the year, particularly for contractors and fixed-term hires as they get the 'green light' to begin working on projects.

The data also indicated hiring rates have been previously patchy in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, but the market is beginning to climb, especially around permanent roles.

Peoplebank CEO Peter Acheson said while the market could not be described as booming, there are certainly great opportunities available for IT professionals.

"There can be no doubt that 2014 is the year that business, government and other organisations push ahead with digital transformation projects, changing their existing processes and adopting new business models that leverage intelligence from their data," he said.

"This transformation is creating a hunger for digital skills, which means there are good opportunities for ICT professionals with digital, cloud, and related skills.

"In fact, demand for digital professionals is ahead of supply in Australia — as it is in Europe and the US — and there is a global need to upskill our ICT workforce to digital skills."

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