How Australians and enterprises can address the digital skills gap

Employers and employees alike need to put themselves ahead of this problem and not be dependent only on future graduates but also invest in skills and training now so they can become the solution tomorrow.

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Local enterprises and IT professionals have been haunted by the fear of a growing skills gap. This gap is not exclusive to IT professionals: With jobs being automated, most workers will have to consider their existing or lack of digital skills and look at how their jobs might change so they can chase the necessary skills to adapt.

Where the gaps are amongst IT professionals in Australia

A recent study by RMIT Online and Deloitte surveyed 1,078 Australians and concluded the biggest skills gap is in data analysis. Of those who need data analysis skills for their work, 30% said that their skills are not at the level required, or are outdated, compared to their employer’s requirements, the report said. Other areas in high demand are application development and cybersecurity skills.

In January 2021, the top five most advertised roles at online recruiter Seek were developer/programmer, business/systems analyst, software engineer, help desk and IT support staff, and programme and project manager. Recruiter Hays lists the following as the IT skills in greatest demand in Australia: cloud engineers; security awareness consultants; full-stack developers with React, microservices, and cloud (AWS or Azure) experience; cybersecurity; data analysts and data scientists; software developers; and change managers.

RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness tells Computerworld Australia that during the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs with programming skills, technology design, and data analysis were amongst the fastest growing.

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