The coming year looks highly promising for IT professionals working in a variety of sectors.
Successful companies are recognising that IT is continuously innovating and that to stay at the top of their game they will need people who know how to implement and adopt new technologies for their business. With many interesting new challenges and innovations facing the industry, new career opportunities to entrants and new fields for advancement for those already in the industry are likely to be on offer. By 2026, Deloitte Access Economics forecasts there will be over 1.1 million technology workers in Australia1.
The IT industry is also a major contributor to the Australian economy. New research by Accenture and the TechCouncil suggests that the tech sector generated $167 billion for our economy in 2020–211. That makes technology the third largest contributor for the year behind mining and finance.
Below are some of the fastest growing and most lucrative trends to follow in the IT sector.
1. AI and machine learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is a process that allows machines to learn how to undertake tasks without being guided by human operators. It has been estimated that over the next two decades automation will take over 40% of jobs in Australia.2 Experts in AI are likely going to command a higher premium for a long time to come as more businesses commit to innovative and competitive strategies in developing markets.
While AI is often seen as a “job killer,” it is actually expected to create new employment opportunities. For example, trainers will be needed to teach AI systems so that costly errors are avoided. Furthermore, researchers have predicted that AI tech will make Australia 40% more productive3 and make critical thinking and interpersonal skills more important in workplaces.
Other careers that AI is expected to create by the end of this decade include emotional experience experts, who will be responsible for making robots have greater emotional engagement with customers; health and fitness optimisers for wearable health and tracking technology; and bionic interface designers for automated robots in factories. It is expected that in the years to come AI will play some part in virtually every sector in Australia, and so those who opt for this field are highly unlikely to find themselves out of work.
2. Mobile and web development
Australian business has unquestionably embraced the Internet age, with the nation’s e-commerce industry turning over $28.6 billion in 20184. Social media has become an important element of most people’s lives, with 72% of Australians communicating through it5.
If such technology is to remain relevant to consumers, it has to be continually updated in order to keep pace with innovative technologies, the latest trends, and consumer demands. Market experts have stated that web developers and app programmers will be in great demand in Australia in years to come. There are expected to be 27,100 web developers and 199,800 app programmers working in the country by 20256.
Amongst the current hot trends in the mobile app industry at present are wearable technology and instant payment integration apps based in the cloud. In terms of web development, many companies are now looking for developers who can offer them minimalist designs, mobile integration, and effective push notifications. Research is being done in both sectors to improve chatbot technology for an enhanced customer experience when interacting with websites and mobile apps.
3. Cyber security
With more businesses establishing their online presence and social network user numbers continuing to rise, information is easier to obtain than at any point in human history. Regrettably, this means that there are considerable threats to user data in terms of security and privacy. Cyber criminals have been known to attack anything from small “mum and pop” businesses to security-sensitive government data. This type of crime undermines the public’s trust in online interaction and business, and does very significant harm to the economy. It has been estimated that Australia loses over $3.5 billion every year as a result of cybercrime7.
In order to combat this, there is a huge demand for experts in cybersecurity, as there is a shortfall in the required numbers in Australia. Government initiatives have encouraged students to study cybersecurity and much educational and training material is available to the public from various academic and training bodies.
The shortage of professional experts in cybersecurity does not just apply to Australia but across the world, meaning that employment prospects for those working in this sector have never been brighter. Australian workers in this field earn an average of $130,000 per year8, and the potential for higher incomes is huge.
4. Cloud engineering
There has been a significant rise in the numbers of Australian businesses using cloud-based technology. Companies using paid cloud computing made up a total of 55% of all Australian companies in the 2019-20 financial year9. This is no great surprise as it has been demonstrated that cloud services can provide considerable advantages to businesses, which include the fact that information can be accessed from any location connected to the Internet and that much expensive equipment is no longer required.
With cloud computing becoming ever more popular and with business becoming more aware of it, cloud computer engineers are in high demand for planning, developing, managing and supporting the infrastructure and software needed to run the cloud. Companies are looking for experts who can help with networking, virtualisation, and storage—all key skills in terms of designing and implementing cloud technology. Those who have a strong background in troubleshooting techniques are highly sought after.
As you consider your future in the IT industry, you may want to consider the consequences of a claim of negligent acts or omissions in the provision of your professional services or advice. These can be very serious for IT professionals, potentially running into the millions of dollars in losses and compensation. If you work in the IT field, you may want to consider Information Technology Liability (ITL) insurance. A ITL policy can help protect you as a professional service provider and your IT business.
- Deloitte, ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2021 report
- NSW Government, Education: Future Frontiers 2017 report
- Salesforce, AI will create jobs – here’s where, June 2019
- NAB, Online Retail Sales Index December 2018
- Australian Communications and Media Authority, Communications and media in Australia: How we communicate, last updated May 2021
- ABS/JobOutlook.gov.au projections, accessed 16 November 2021
- Australian Institute of Criminology, Statistical Bulletin 34, July 2021
- com.au data, accessed 16 November 2021
- Australian Bureau of Statistics, Characteristics of Australian Business, June 2021
*This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.