Tech jobs come with more flexibility and lower wage gaps, Tech Council of Australia research suggests

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Tech Council of Australia chief executive Kate Pounder. Source: supplied.

Jobs in the Australian tech sector tend to come with more flexibility and smaller wage gaps both for women and people without university degrees, according to research from the Tech Council of Australia.

The report, Australia’s Tech Jobs Opportunity — Cracking the Code to Australia’s Best Jobs, set out to challenge the perception of what jobs in tech look like, in a bid to encourage more people to consider a career in the sector.

“There is still a stigma surrounding working in the tech space,” Tech Council of Australia chief Kate Pounder said in a statement.

“We want to change the perception of what a tech job is.”

The report suggests that jobs in the tech sector, whether technical or not, pay about 32% more than the economy-wide average, on an hourly basis.

On a weekly basis, pay is 64% more than the economy-wide average.

The research found that the sector offers well paid opportunities for people who are not university graduates. Some 38% of workers in the tech industry do not have a university qualification.

Those that have vocational education and training (VET) qualifications rather than a degree are paid on average 3% less than those with university qualifications, the report suggests.

That’s compared to a 17% pay gap in ‘comparable paying industries’.

Pounder acknowledged that there is more to be done to increase representation of women in tech jobs.

Currently women account for about 25% of all tech workers.  There is also a gender pay gap, albeit lower than in comparable industries.

Women in tech earn about 9% less than their male counterparts, the report noted, compared to 18% for those in comparable sectors such as finance or professional services.

Tech jobs can also offer more flexible work, with employees in tech-specific companies up to twice as likely to work remotely than tech employees working in non-tech business.

Boosting the Aussie tech workforce

The report has been released in a bid to entice new workers into the tech sector, including those that may have not previously considered it as a viable career avenue.

“We want Australians to aspire to a job in our industry and we want to help them find the pathway into their career,” Pounder said.

It follows the Tech Council’s partnership with the Digital Skills Organisation, back in December, on a plan to tackle the technology talent gap.

The Tech Council launched in August last year with the goal of seeing 1 million new tech jobs created in Australia by 2025.

Startups and small businesses have a key role to play in attracting those people to the sector, but finding and securing top talent is one of the biggest challenges they’re facing, Pounder told SmartCompany at the time.

While small businesses may not be able to compete on pay, things like flexible work, employee share schemes and benefits — as well as startup culture — could be enough to tempt those who may previously not have considered a role in the tech ecosystem.

“The brightest talent love to work in a startup environment because they know they’re at the cutting edge,” Pounder said.

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