Shortage Of Tech Graduates Seems Like Good News If You Want An IT Job

Shortage Of Tech Graduates Seems Like Good News If You Want An IT Job

While IT salaries aren’t expected to increase hugely this year, the pool of IT graduates isn’t growing. That isn’t particularly great news for Australia’s future, but it does mean your chances of finding a job if you do graduate are good.

Shadow communications minister Jason Clare highlighted the numbers in a speech at the Tech Leaders conference in Queensland today. “75 percent of the fastest growing occupations in Australia require STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] skills and knowledge. The number of students taking up STEM courses hasn’t kept up with demand.”

“The number of students taking up IT degrees has actually dropped by about 36 percent. Uncapping university places has helped boost numbers in the last few years — but not much. In the last 10 years there have been 100,000 new jobs created in the technology sector, but in the same time only 49,500 students have graduated with technology degrees. Turning this around is a very difficult task.”

Did you do an IT degree? And did it help you find a job? Tell us in the comments.


  • I have a degree and while I did find employment after graduation , it wasn’t exactly in the field of I.T I was aiming for.

    Have been looking for the last 4 months for new work and even the very simple tech support jobs in my area call for 2-3 years experience in the field for your application to be considered.

    • Yeah, I am also curious as to what he bases this on. Often such claims are simply because they aren’t at some random projection of what they should be at, not actual industry demand which is very hard to accurately determine.

      • Yeah the governments specification of I.T can be very broad and not just isolated to the common tech support , programmer or network engineer.

        I know my job is a blurred line between electrical engineer and computer programmer.

  • Part of the problem is the cult of certs,why get indebted for thousands when a grand and a couple of weeks study can seem just as lucrative.

    Then you have big players like MS and Google that actively seek non IT graduates, and anyone with or with out a piece of paper can call them self an “IT pro” or programmer etc.

  • No way you could convince me to get a degree in IT. Pick up a bag of skills that aren’t applicable to any realistic employment scenario. Over skilled for help desk, under skilled for the engineering jobs. Constantly worrying about either constantly performing (help desk, code monkey) or that your job will be moved offshore and being left without the difficult to offshore project management skills (PMBoK, Prince2) left behind. Unfortunately in many ways IT graduates are also stigmatised.

  • It comes from the fact that there isn’t much of a mentoring system in Australia for STEM skills. Often jobs require experience but no one is willing to show the graduates or juniors the ropes. The people with skills are either too busy doing their job or the jobs are being outsourced.

    • Pretty much this.
      I recently graduated with a Bachelor in IT. Unfortunately, pretty much every ‘graduate’ job requires a minimum of one (normally around three) in a certain language or position that you weren’t taught during the course… makes the degree rather redundant.

  • Perfect timing for this article. I am about 3 weeks into a CERT III IT Networking. I was thinking of going on to at least the Diploma. It would only be another 6 months on top of my already planned 6 month course. Should I just get the CERT III done and get out there or go the all hog?

    • Whatever you want to do realistically. There’s entry at NEARLY (sorry Mum) any level, often with comprehensive training toward what you actually want to do paid for, and in many cases even a requirement to get the job at all – a willingness to work toward such a degree.

      I believe there’s big government incentives for them to do so under the traineeships program, so they actually make MORE off having you in training, even during work time, than doing your actual job (unless you’re earning a hell of a lot)

      • Thanks for the tip about government incentives. I will look into that. I kind of just want to get the CERT III done and get working ASAP in this industry. I don’t mind entry level at all, because what I have been doing, any entry level JOB will be 1000 time better.

  • Been thinking for last few years getting into the IT industry but everytime i look into it, something like this convinces me not too as it matches up with what friends in IT already tell me. They only got their jobs because they had either experience, knew someone or happen to be a vacancy for the right spot which hardly becomes vacant. The piece of paper that says degree in networking and engineering helps but doesn’t do much as most common question they got asked in the interview was what experience do you have. For someone in their late 30’s, putting 3-4 years into a degree to get told either need the experience or you got the job but in a different field ain’t that appealing, might as well just stick to sales.

  • Also being a Kiwi, coming over fresh from completing a diploma (MCITP EA) it wasnt good enough for even help desk roles over here, either over qualified or they didnt want anyone FOB from NZ.

    Then i was also underqualified for the engineer level jobs. Couldnt win and had to get something to get by, go figure.

  • If remuneration is any kind of driving factor for you, run away from IT as fast as you can. Go get a trade or become an engineer. You do IT because you enjoy it, nearly all other professions will pay you more with equivalent XP and certification\qualification. Speaking from experience and having friends\family on the trade side of the scale who make more money in a week than I do in a month as a senior developer.

  • IT Degrees aren’t really worth the paper they’re printed on. They’re so far behind from a technology perspective that they’re useless once you have a foot in the door.

    I started my degree whilst working as a help desk analyst/Operations. Moved rolls/towns and I’m now in IT Application support on over 100K a year. Never did finish my degree.

  • I have a Bachelor of IT and I’ve found that it’s not helped in the slightest in getting a job. There is a mindset among employers that suggests you can’t do the job if you have qualifications but no experience, and you can’t do the job if you have experience but no qualifications.

    It’s unfortunate but you need to have qualifications unless you can work your way up from an entry level position. But, even with qualifications, you’ll still need to work your way up from an entry level position to the role you want before you’ll be given that sort of job from outside the organisation.

  • Hi, This is a good news for IT Professional. Job market is definitely lacking in STEM students. The need for STEM education is even more critical in under-developed and developing countries. Young people who are trying to get a job in IT career ladder, will find this inspiring. But first IT students should make them qualified.
    Thanks for this post.

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