Specialist recruiter Robert Half interviewed chief information officers (CIOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs) from 160 Australian businesses, and found the vast majority (82 per cent) believe it is more difficult now than just five years ago to find qualified IT professionals.
Only 3 per cent said Australia’s education system meets the current IT demands of the employment market. The skills shortfall was greatest in IT security, followed by database management, software and application development, and systems administration/networking.
The number of IT jobs has also skyrocketed, according to Robert Half, up 9.6 per cent in the past 12 months with almost 19,000 new jobs created.
“As Australian companies accelerate their use of new technologies, there’s increasing concern that the current IT talent pool has not kept pace with market demand and skills that are required in the modern IT sector. Education systems and providers play a key role, not just to guarantee a continuous flow of skilled IT professionals into the employment market, but also to help upskill existing staff,” said Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia.
“With companies increasingly investing in training to develop the skills of their current IT workforce, it only further emphasises the key role that education providers play in helping to close the current and future skills gap.”
Mr Morris noted that technology continues to change rapidly, but suggested education providers are failing to keep pace with this change.
“While education institutions are of great importance, a comprehensive approach where education providers work alongside the wider business community and potentially supported by government initiatives is key in order to successfully tackle the talent shortage,” he said.
However a recent report suggested half of existing IT workers are unhappy with their current employers, meaning some businesses could fall even further into the void if they fail to retain existing staff while hunting for additional employees.