Demand for IT professionals highest in seven years

Demand for IT professionals highest in seven years

Strong demand will be the 'new normal' for 2015

Demand for IT professionals in Sydney is the highest in seven years on the back of a "digital transformation revolution."

That's according to Peoplebank Australia's quarterly Salary and Employment Index of remuneration levels across Australia for more than 50 ICT job titles reflects a market in which the digital transformation revolution is in full flight.

The report found the transformation was most evident in Sydney and, to a lesser extent, Canberra and Melbourne where digital projects in the Federal Government and broader business sector were all driving overall demand.

Peoplebank chief executive, Peter Acheson, said, in Sydney, demand levels were at their highest for seven years.

"The number of projects in the pipeline suggest that strong demand will be the 'new normal' for 2015," he said.

"The defining characteristic of the NSW market is that of government and business spending on digital development, that is new online capabilities, apps and internal systems to make the most of customer data," he said.

"This surge has meant that the banking and finance sector - historically the largest employer of IT skills in NSW - now accounts for just 50 per cent of the market."

Read more: Resurgence on the horizon for ICT jobs: Peoplebank

Demand for ICT skills across Australia is also being supported by the falling Australian dollar, according to the report.

"It is now low enough to stimulate activity in trade exposed export and import competing industries: the sectors which have been deferring projects and capital expenditure for several years," the report says.

"Pent up demand and a more favourable Australian dollar are now spurring these organisations to make new investments in technology and R&D, supporting Australia's transition to a broader economy.

"The net impact of these markets is that Australia is earning its ranking in the world's Top 10 markets for digital attractiveness."

Read more: Recruiter predicts lift in ICT hires

However, there is a risk to Australia's continued digital expansion as the lower Australian dollar and changed migration conditions have combined to deplete the number of overseas trained digital professionals in the Australian skills pool.

Acheson said, over the longer term, the risk was that a shortage of digital skills could slow down transformational projects.

"Through these projects - the transformation to Industrie 4.0 - Australia's digital economy has grown by 50 per cent in just three years," he said.

"It is our nation's biggest growth lever, and we need to support its positive impact on business productivity and our capacity to compete in global markets."

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