New data has revealed that Australia’s technology workforce managed to grow in 2020, despite the widespread financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ACS has released its annual Australia’s Digital Pulse report, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, which looked at how the technology sector performed during the pandemic.
And with 2020 seeing the continued rise of eCommerce, as well as many businesses fast-tracking digital transformation projects in order to survive, the technology workforce ultimately managed to grow while many other industries shrunk.
According to the data, Australia’s tech workforce grew to 805,525 – with 33,400 jobs being added over 2020.
This marked a 4.3 per cent growth. By way of comparison, the overall number of people employed in Australia reduced by 1.7 per cent during 2020.
More jobs on the horizon
And the tech jobs boom looks set to continue well beyond 2020.
The report forecasts that by 2026, Australia will be home to 1.1 million tech jobs by 2026, representing an annual growth rate of 5.4 per cent.
However, there is a warning of a current undersupply of technology workers with the right skills to meet this expected job surge.
The paper recommends that Australia continues to promote higher education courses in IT, particularly with international travel expected to not return to pre-COVID levels for a number of years.
Technology’s gender diversity problem
Despite the technology sector managing to increase the number of jobs during the pandemic, there are still significant issues around diversity in the space.
The research shows that women currently make up 29 per cent of employment in technology in Australia.
It also suggests that with the current rate of growth, it would take 66 years for the technology sector to reach par with other occupations.
And continued push to encourage more females into tech roles promises to not only help the industry, but the wider Australian economy.
Modelling in the report shows that increasing diversity in the technology workforce would grow Australia’s economy by $1.8 billion each year on average, over the next 20 years and create an extra 5,000 jobs each year.
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