Demographer Bernard Salt, writing in The Australian, quotes Professor Leon Sterling, President of the Australian Council of Deans of Information and Communications Technology saying:
“Not enough people are taking ICT qualifications…I think there’s a lack of understanding of what ICT careers are.”
It seems Australia is not translating ‘Google glamour’ into a steady supply of graduates. After the dot.com bubble burst and hit rock bottom around 2007-08, ICT student numbers dropped sharply and have risen only slightly since.
A new report from Graduate Careers Australia shows that in subdued economic times most employers are not chasing graduates – unless they are in IT – and last year, of those employers complaining of skill shortages last year, almost a third were trying to recruit IT graduates.
Some employers are looking for IT staff from from other disciplines.
In Australia, according to Leon Sterling, one of the challenges is:
“to keep course materials up to date with emerging technology, such as Apple devices. There’s a healthy appetite for people skilled in developing apps for iPhone and iPad.
Also in demand, Professor Sterling says, are software engineers and developers, project managers and people who can make sense of so-called big data.”
26 year old Rhys van der Waerden, fresh out of Melbourne’s RMIT University, has three jobs and is not surprised there are plenty of jobs. He says:
“Nearly every business is computerised with specialised software, the web is huge.”
For Rhys it’s a learning experience as he juggles work on two new games with more conventional web development.
Where is the disconnect happening?