AI, data science, blockchain and cyber security hold the keys to Australia’s future success in the digital economy, an ACS report has found.

ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2018 reveals Australia requires 200,000 new tech workers in the next five years to establish itself as a world economic leader.

But where exactly will these jobs be for the future workforce?

“The demand for digital skills in our economy is exploding,” said ACS President Yohan Ramasundara.

“The growth of artificial intelligence, automation and the internet of things is driving significant disruption across all industries, and highly trained ICT professionals are in more demand than ever before.”

The report stressed the importance of capitalising on the opportunities these emerging industries present.

“Many of the additional 200,000 ICT workers that Australia needs to become a global digital leader should be targeted or specialised in these growth areas and new opportunities,” it states.

Using data from job search site Indeed, the report revealed that demand for AI-related jobs in Australia doubled from 2015 and had spiked 50% in the 12 months leading up to January 2018.

It also explained that of the 200,000 ICT workers needed in the next five years, at least 38,000 (19%) must work in data science roles.

Cyber security, which the report says Australia can take a “leading role”, also requires an injection of 11,000 new workers over the next ten years to safeguard Australia’s competitiveness.

“Ensuring that Australia continues to grow our ICT workforce and that these new workers are suitably skilled in growth areas will enable us to make the most of new opportunities created by emerging technologies, particularly in a globally competitive environment for ICT talent,” says the report.

The skills of today

As well as mapping where tomorrow’s ICT jobs will come from, the report also analysed current data to show the most in-demand roles lie currently.

The results, which were determined using LinkedIn data from 2017, show that positions for project managers, business analysts and business development managers were the most advertised last year.

This was similar to 2017, the report found.

Almost half (49%) were directly employed in ICT-related industries, while the remaining 51% largely comprised in the professional, scientific and technical services.

The number of tech professionals in the public administration and safety industries has seen significant growth over the past few years – increasing by 10% between 2016 and 2017.

The health and manufacturing industries each saw a 9% surge in ICT workers.