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Monday, 27 March 2017 22:52

Pick-up in jobs as focus turns to pre-emptive action on cyber security Featured

Pick-up in jobs as focus turns to pre-emptive action on cyber security Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

A number of organisations in Australia are forming their own team of cyber-security experts, allowing the enterprise to take a pre-emptive approach to discovering and tracking security issues, according to a new report which shows this is having a positive impact on jobs in the security sector.

According to Robert Half managing director, David Jones, the recruitment company’s latest Australian jobs monitor revealed the escalating cost and frequency of cyber attacks has resulted in the security teams being formed.

“It is therefore not surprising that the main area of growth projected for IT jobs is within the IT and data security function,” Jones says.

“Building an in-house team of IT security professionals can be a resource-heavy task. However, there is growing evidence many organisations feel this cost outweighs the potential expense, disruption and reputational damage caused by cyber attacks.

“Companies who seek more flexibility in their staffing policy rely on temporary IT professionals to manage any initial cyber-risks and install the proper IT defences against cyber-attacks.”

Overall in the Information, Media & Telecommunications sector, the latest quarterly labour figures from the ABS reveal a 2% decline in growth since November 2016, representing a marginal decrease for the sector since Q3 2016.

In the last 12 months this translates to an overall employment decrease of only 1% for the sector, Robert Half notes, adding that it represents an increase of 4% since February 2014.

“As Australian companies increasingly adopt innovative methods, developing new technology tools to improve the customer experience will be a crucial factor driving their business agenda,” Jones notes.

“Developing apps for businesses requires the correct expertise and qualified IT personnel, a trend that will surge demand for IT professionals skilled in applications development.

“Companies are operating in an increasingly data-driven market, and by utilising big data businesses are able to make informed and strategic decisions. With the right IT talent to properly manage databases and maximise the potential of big data analytics, organisations can focus more on their customer needs, identify new trends and unlock new business opportunities.

“Because of this, IT professionals who specialise in big data will find themselves in increasing demand over the next few years,” Jones says.

And, Jones says the technology sector in Australia has grown faster than the IT candidate market.

“To offset the potential impact of a talent shortage, organisations have the option of upskilling existing IT staff or using the services of contract IT professionals or external consultants, which can all be cost-effective strategies.

“The importance of having measures in place to protect the integrity of IT systems, as well as the right IT talent who specialise in specific areas of IT, should not be underestimated in an increasingly competitive market,” he concluded.

The latest report shows that functional areas within IT and technology where most jobs will be created in the next five years are:

  • IT and data security 58%
  • Applications development 43%
  • Data/database management 39%
  • Networking 34%
  • Software development 34%
  • Help desk/technical support 28%
  • Systems administration 21%
  • Web development or web design 13%

And, areas where it is most challenging to find skilled IT professionals are:

  • IT and data security 36%
  • Applications development 38%
  • Data/database management 36%
  • Networking 30%
  • Software development 43%
  • Help desk/technical support 14%
  • Systems administration 26%
  • Web development or web design 21%

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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