Tech remains one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, and with digital transformation on the rise, the workforce needs to keep growing.

According to Australia’s Digital Pulse 2019 ACS’ latest annual investigation into the state of our IT sector – 100,000 more tech workers are still needed by 2024.

ACS President, Yohan Ramasundara, said Australia has to keep preparing for the fourth industrial revolution.

“Meeting the voracious demands for more technology workers and increased investments from Australia’s businesses will be a huge challenge,” said.

“Australia’s future prosperity in an increasingly digitised world will depend upon ongoing investment in emerging technologies and further development in the digital skills required to build, deploy and apply them.”

Surprisingly, digital natives have not been gravitating to IT, signaling a need for cultural change that places high value on IT work.

“While university completions in technology degrees have risen slightly, there was a significant decline of 11,875 technology subject enrolments between 2016 and 2017 in the VET sector,” Ramasundara said.

“For Australia to be a competitive player in the world economy, our policymakers, businesses, workers and communities need to work better together to address the challenges of technology-related skills, investment and collaboration.”

The report estimates that, between 2018 and 2030, the contribution of digital to GDP will have grown 40 per cent – or around $2,500 for every Australian, every year.

Employers could also see the benefits of over $11,000 per year for each employee that gets re- or upskilled.

Partner with Deloitte Access Economics, John Mahony, said the perks of a healthy IT industry stretch far beyond economics.

“There are also a range of other types of gain, such as better access to and quality of healthcare and education services, as well as non-monetary benefits such as increased choice and lower travel times,” Mahony said.

The report suggests that skills development, improving the start-up ecosystem, and boosting investments must be in the policy spotlight in order to drive Australian innovation.