Australia’s technology sector grew 8% over the past year and, despite a wave of high-profile layoffs, added more than 10,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2023.
According to new research from the Tech Council of Australia (TCA), the country’s tech workforce increased by 70,000 jobs to 935,000 by February 2023.
That growth puts the industry on track to meet the government-backed ambition of 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030.
The Update tech jobs report concludes that 10,500 jobs have been added in the past 3 months to March 2023. Most of those roles came through what’s known as the indirect technology sector — technology-intensive jobs within non-tech industries, such as retail, banking, professional services, government and mining, which TCA CEO Kate Pounder sees as proof that tech jobs are an integral part of every aspect of the Australian economy.
“The world’s leading economies are focused on digitally upskilling their workforce, and the TCA wants to ensure Australia is at the forefront of this transition,” said Pounder.
“The growth of tech jobs in non-traditional technology industries reflects a long-standing structural change in the Australian economy and demonstrates that digital skills are becoming deeply embedded in all facets of the economy.”
Despite layoffs at leading companies including Atlassian, which cut 500 jobs, Mr Yum, Culture Amp, Airtasker, Immutable, Till Payments and Sendle, as well as a global technology company, in addition to multiple startup collapses, direct jobs in the technology sector have not only, according to them, the TCA’s analysis concluded that for every job lost in the past quarter, an additional 20 were created.
Pounder said “grown” shows that the transferability and flexibility of skills are a major benefit of working in technology.
“The skills that tech workers have can easily be deployed at any company, anywhere in the country,” she said.
“Engineering is now a major employer across all states and territories, with the engineering workforce as Australia’s 7th largest employment sector. In every state and territory, tech jobs are growing faster than the average job in those economies.”
The other good news is that the average wage for tech jobs remains high at around $132,000. In addition to being CEO, a job in the direct tech sector is the second highest of all ads on SEEK in the past year, with Pounder adding that their flexibility makes them accessible to those dealing in other industries faced discrimination, including women and people with disabilities.
And while the target is another 265,000 jobs over the next 6.5 years, Pounder said more people are needed to meet Australia’s predicted digital demand over the next decade.
“To achieve this goal, the technology sector is committed to working with government in five key areas, including raising awareness of tech job opportunities, closing gaps in education and training pathways, improving the diversity of the technical workforce, migrating skilled workers to areas of the most pressing and greatest shortages and improving forecasts for industry-level labor supply and demand,” she said.
Federal Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, said the technology sector is not exempt from the country’s current skills shortage.
“Database and system administrators, IT security specialists and systems analysts continue to be in the top 20 most in-demand occupations,” he said.
“That is why our government wants to support a VET sector that not only helps people get a job, but also on their way to a well-paid career.”
With over 160 members, the TCA is the premier trade association for the Australian technology sector.