Looming IT skills drought

Australia could be facing a shortage of IT professionals within the next few years if universities and businesses do not change the way the industry is educated and marketed, Melbourne University research says.

The study is aimed at discovering what skills Australian businesses will require of IT professionals between 2010 and 2019.

“We are seeing much more reliance on project management, change management and professional skills like managing suppliers and understanding how to solve business problem with IT,” Peter Reynolds, research leader and former Commonwealth Bank chief technology officerm told The Australian Financial Review.

Suncorp chief information officer, Jeff Smith, says IT education in Australia is much too fragmented, and core skills need to be taught so workers can keep up with changing technology.

“Australian universities have often tried to adapt in real time to technology, so instead of having two programs they’ll have 10… but you can’t be an expert in 10 things, so you end up becoming mediocre overall,” he says.


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