IT Policies

Australian IT job numbers continue sinking

Number of vacancies for IT professionals hits a new six year low.

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has released its latest online vacancy report, with both IT relevant categories continuing to fall.


DEEWR Skilled Internet Vacancy Index for IT categories since January 2006.
(Click to enlarge)

Over the year, to July 2012, the number of skilled online vacancies has fallen 16.1 per cent, with the strongest decline in the entire report being recorded for engineering, ICT and science technicians, which are down 27 per cent. The demand for ICT professionals has fallen by 24.6 per cent in the past twelve months, which gives this category the bronze medal, behind construction trade vacancies that were down 25.5 per cent.

The ICT professionals' category has sunk to an all time low, with an index score of 70.4; the engineering, ICT and science technicians category sits at an index of 91, well above its all-time low of 80.2 and the overall skilled vacancy index, which comes in at 86.7. A rating of 100 corresponds to the seasonally adjusted and trended number of vacancies from the report's starting point of January 2006.

In July alone, the engineering, ICT and science technicians' index fell by 7.6 per cent, and ICT professionals recorded a fall of 4 per cent.

Geographically, the reading is just as bad. Only one ICT-related category saw an increase in vacancies from the previous year: technicians in Darwin. The majority were down on modest increases from July 2011, and Sydney continued its overall decline from July 2010.

Across all regions and categories, the Pilbara and Kimberley led the way, with a 9.3 per cent increase on the regional three-month moving average; Dubbo and western NSW came in second, with an increase of 1.3 per cent. The strongest falls were recorded on the NSW north coast with 30.4 per cent, Bathurst and central west NSW with 29.9 per cent, and Hobart and south-east Tasmania with 25.8 per cent.

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7 comments
ajit.malangi
ajit.malangi

Same situation with VIC Gov.

huzi1701
huzi1701

How is the situation with IT jobs in VIC ? I have obtained my PR and am planning to arrive there ? Can some one guide?

Mr_Fen
Mr_Fen

This report couldn't have come at a more relevant time for me. I'm looking to emigrate to Sydney in November this year, as an experienced and certified Cisco Voice Engineer should I be concerned over finding work? There are roles being advertised online and agents are 'keen' to get me in country ASAP for interviews, the one detail I haven't been able to define is what is the level of competition for these slots. Am I 1/1000 or 1/3 applying?

djnathan81
djnathan81

As a Systems Admin in QLD I can add the new QLD government has but a freeze on any new employment as well as the sacking of hundreds of staff since coming into power in March as part of their cost cutting measures.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest like.author.displayName 1 Like

I can say there are a number of issues and attitudes that are causing the trend: 1. In NSW any IT qualification that you have is now seen by the state government and the NSW Department of Education as obsolete and invalid unless you've been working full-time in the field for at least three years out of the last five years. It also applies to many other qualifications. I suspect this is also the case in the other states but have no direct knowledge of that. 2. Many of the technical college who provide the IT tech training do NOT employ people as teaching staff unless they have a Bachelors of Education, thus they look for teachers who add on a tech skill or knowledge later. Many often only have tech skills that they pick up from text books while they teach tech courses. The courses are much more 'rote procedure' orientated than real 'hands on skill' training; problem detection skills are almost non existent in the training. This is very much the case with the tech college IT courses, and I suspect is flowing through to the university courses on IT and other subjects as well. 3. A lot of the tech colleges are using training books and aids created by teachers nor techs, resulting in the book having many errors which they teach to the students. Their attitude is the book is right, even when they have tech qualified people in the class who try to tell them otherwise while showing them from the more expensive text books they have. Part of this being the books they use are produced in-house and save them money, so they have a vested interest in having them as being the 'correct' way to teach. 4. Outside of the large companies and government, there is little demand for in-house IT staff now. And what little is being offered is at relatively lower wages than before. 5. More and more organisations are looking for recently trained people over experienced people as they're usually cheaper to employ in wages and related expenses. A related trend is the push for more and more qualifications and experience in the same employee. 6. With more an more ex corporate lease computers entering the second hand market at lower prices, fewer private individuals are keeping their older gear operational and there's a growing trend to simply replace instead of fix any computer that's giving them trouble of any sort. This means less work for IT techs outside of the big companies and government agencies. .................. The overall results of the above is a lower level of job opportunities and wages in the field, outside of big corporate and government employment. The second and third point is also trending to a lower level of knowledge and capability amongst those trained in the tech colleges and universities. In a discussion with a recent graduate of a combined local tech college / university multi-year course on creating websites I was shocked to learn they were NOT taught how to write any code, it was all about how to use a few specific proprietary programs to create web pages and web sites via drag and drop processes within the software. This is very much a growing trend within the NSW education system, and I suspect Australia wide. The result is people who believe they know what they're doing, but do NOT have the knowledge to work below the surface of the technology they're using. The real sad part of all this is the teachers really believe any trained teacher can pick up any tech course knowledge needed to teach from the books or even write a book on the tech subject, and that what they're teaching is all a tech needs to know to work in the field.

info
info

...since you're combining Science (Lab) techs and Engineering techs right in there with ICT techs. It's a trend I think you'll see continuing with industry consolidation and 'Cloud'.

rpyzalski
rpyzalski

What's the story behind the numbers?

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