IT employers requirements for jobs in Australia
For most ICT occupations, qualifications were not a key requirement. Rather, significant focus was placed on certifications in software packages and relevant experience. The exception was software engineer, with all roles requiring a bachelor degree or higher, commonly specifically in software engineering.
Despite this, nearly all vacancies attracted qualified applicants, with an average of 41.1 qualified applicants per vacancy. The vast majority, however, were not considered by employers to be suitable.
Recruitment agents were asked how many ICT professionals they currently had registered with their agency. Nearly all indicated that they had significant numbers (some in excess of 1,000) on their books.
Respondents were asked whether they had any particular shortages or skill sets for which they found it hard to recruit. The most common answer was no.
Variability across ICT occupations
ICT business analyst vacancies were the easiest to fill (95 per cent), attracting particularly large numbers of applicants (an average of 74.6 per vacancy) and suitable applicants (7.5).
Employers recruiting software engineers had the most difficulty, with 73 per cent of vacancies filled from a smaller pool of applicants (28.1) and suitable applicants (1.5).
Employers’ skill requirements
Employers placed a high value on soft skills (such as communication and stakeholder engagement), as many jobs required the successful applicant to liaise with clients and other stakeholders. A large number of employers commented on the difficulty in finding people with the right mix of technical and soft skills.
A common theme in this year’s research was that employers are becoming more explicit in their requirements for applicants and would rather wait for their ideal candidate than recruit someone who was ‘close enough’.
A large number of contacts commented that there are few applicants with strong non-technical skills, like business acumen, project management and problem solving.
In addition, employers noted increased demand for positions with emerging technologies (such as web-based applications) and some suggested there may be a potential skill gap for workers with web development, mobile applications and cloud computing experience in the future.
Reasons applicants were unsuitable
Employers were highly specific about the type of certifications required, as well as the length and type of experience. Most commonly, applicants were unsuitable because they lacked specific software system skills, certifications or the relevant industry experience.
Employers also placed a strong emphasis on softs skills, such as stakeholder management and communication skills. Also, a number of applicants failed a trade test.
The department projects that employment of ICT professionals will continue to grow strongly, up 12.8 per cent over the five years to 2018. The strongest growth is expected for computer network professionals (including computer network and systems engineers), up 20.5 per cent.
Department of Employment, Labour Market Research – ICT professions June 2014