It's always interesting to look back on the year and see which stories resonated with Information Age readers. News on visas led the way this year, with five of our top 10 stories related to visas and skilled migration. Jobs stories were also popular with techies interested in the hottest ICT jobs and salaries. Which stories did you enjoy this year? What would you like to read about next year? We'd love to know!
1. New visa for tech professionals (RY)
Australian businesses expressed extreme disappointment in the axing of 457 visas which meant they couldn't bring in experienced high-level overseas tech workers. So the government introduced a new visa called the 'Global Talent Scheme' available to both established businesses and start-ups. A pilot scheme commenced on 1 July.
2. Visa reforms come into effect (EP)
One of Information Age’s top stories in 2017 was the government’s controversial abolishment of the 457 visas. It was later replaced with the new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa in March this year. Despite the outcry in 2017, there was very little noise around the introduction of the new visa at the beginning of this year, as the government remained tight-lipped.
This story attempted to paint the picture of how we have gotten to where we are today and where to next. As this is clearly a topic that is of great interest to readers, context is clearly something that is valuable. With a change of government on the cards, based on current polling, it was also important to outline Labor’s policy on such issues.
Atlassian has become the posterchild of Australian technology success in recent years, so when founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar talk, people listen. It was Cannon-Brookes who shared his views on skilled migration to a Senate Committee in a speech that formed the basis of this article. Cannon-Brookes essentially threatened to take Australia’s most successful tech company to foreign shores unless something was done to give Atlassian better access to international talent. The government introduced the Global Talent Scheme visa days later.
5. ATO gunning for tech workers (EP)
When the ATO announced it was cracking down of the black economy, not many were expecting the ICT industry to be on its radar. However, a report identified IT contractors as “high risk” when it came to dodging tax. The crackdown on IT contractors followed a previous focus on the building and construction industry.
With ICT professionals making up the majority of Information Age readers, it was no surprise there was interest in this salary-based story. CIOs, CISOs and IT directors turned out to be the big earners, while data analysts and project managers showed significant growth. It was perhaps the revelation that salaries have stagnated for a number of roles – including developers and systems analysts – that was most pertinent.
7. The hottest ICT jobs in 2018 (EP)
Employment trends can be indicative of wider industry factors. This article demonstrated that the importance of cyber security is now pervasive and is changing the job market. As people consider career changes, it is important to be aware of factors like these.
8. 200,000 more tech workers needed (RY)
ACS' 4th annual Australia's Digial Pulse report found Australia cannot possibly meet demand for future IT workers, with almost 100,000 additional workers needed in the next five years simply to keep pace with the rest of the world, and a further 100,000 to boast a world-leading ICT workforce. Australia produces just 5,000 ICT graduates each year.
iPhone users were not impressed to find their devices had been deliberately slowed down by Apple via a software update. To add salt to the wound, Apple described this crippling functionality as a "feature". Apple justified its actions as "improving power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns”. Affected iPhone models were the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE.
Following the controversial axing of the 457 visa, the government introduced the 'Global Talent Scheme' (see number 1, above) to allow experienced tech workers to live and work in Australia. CIOs around around Australia gave the new visa their collective nod of approval, with 93% of them saying it would have a positive impact on Australian ICT workforces.