With the highest numbers of students graduating with an IT degree in Australia, here in Careers Central at the University of Wollongong we understand the need for graduating students to be informed about market trends, especially given the changing and dynamic nature of the IT industry.
With the IT industry being one of the fastest-growing areas of the Australian economy, this has led to a high demand for IT graduates across all streams. Indicative of this - here at UOW, 1 in 3 small to medium sized employers we connect with are seeking suitably qualified IT students and graduates. The larger graduate recruiters are consistently targeting IT graduates in their graduate recruitment campaigns – whether they be international or nationally based corporates, or federal government agencies.
Looking ahead, the Australian Jobs 2011 report presents a positive outlook for the industry’s future - signalling a projected growth of 6.0% (approximately 13,000 jobs) by 2015 – 16. Within the industry the highest employment growth will come from the telecommunications sector.
It is also important to note one of the challenges for the industry has been the shortage of females employed in IT roles and the growing need to implement effective workplace planning to ensure diversity is addressed. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Labour Market Survey for February last year – the latest figures available – there are 131,059 women employed in the ICT industry. This represents just over 24% of the total workforce and although higher than that of other world centres, the figures are still concerning. It is however, good to know graduate employers are doing their bit to attract women to the industry with entry level representation of women being high and the major concerns being failure to retain women long term.
Longer term talent strategies will need to progressively move ‘upstream’ – convincing young girls of ages 8-12 that their future work lives could well be situated in the ICT sector is a proactive approach which is being activated in many western societies. STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines need major increases in volumes moving through high school systems – so initiative and collaborative approaches between the corporate and education sectors is a must to ensure the quality and quantity of IT graduates are strengthened.