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Aussie IT firms warned of ‘headhunters’ market

Aussie IT firms warned of ‘headhunters’ market

“Every employer should assume their best workers are being courted right now.”

Credit: ID 35847511 © Zimmytws | Dreamstime

Employers in the IT sector need to make sure they’re treating their employees well following a warning that the current job landscape is “very much a headhunters’ market at the moment”.

 This is according to Australian Computer Society (ACS) vice president Jo Dalvean, who said that “many” roles are filled by recruiters or informal approaches via industry forums or websites such as LinkedIn.

“It’s very much a headhunters’ market at the moment and every employer should assume their best workers are being courted right now,” she said.

Dalvean’s comments follow the ACS-commissioned report The Guide to the IT Professions, which was developed in partnership with Lightcast and found IT job listings grew by 14 per cent from 2016 to 2021, with 117,732 ads placed in 2021.

Within the industry, software developers and engineers saw the largest volume of job listings in 2021, at 31,725, followed by computer systems engineers and architects in second and then data and data mining analysts in third.

Meanwhile, the fastest growing occupation was database architect, which grew up 191 per cent over the last five years. This was followed by data warehousing specialists at 174 per cent and data scientists with 113 per cent.

In addition, cyber security-related positions nearly doubled when compared to 2016, with the figure sitting at 12,544 in 2021.

The report also found local IT employers are stricter about necessitating tertiary qualifications compared to other countries. In Australia, 97 per cent of local ads required the qualification, whereas UK employers requested at least a bachelor degree in 90 per cent of listings, followed by 86 per cent in the US.

“For employers, the report shows how important it is to establish alternative pathways into the industry beyond IT related degrees,” Dalvean added. “Some of the sector’s best talent doesn’t come through traditional career progression.”

The ACS’ report comes less than a week after the federal government’s National Skills Commission’s (NCS) 2022 Skills Priority List, which listed software and applications and programmers as being the second-most sought-after role across all industries.

ICT business and systems analysts were ranked ninth.

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