It has been a bumper year for IT workers in New South Wales with the state recording an 8.5 per cent increase in the number of IT professionals, according to ACS Digital Pulse 2021 report.

The state findings, presented at a virtual event last Thursday, show a significant increase in the local workforce which grew by 24,730 workers in the last year.

But NSW’s IT workforce is set to experience more modest expansion in the coming years. Digital Pulse forecasts NSW will average an annual growth rate of 4.8 per cent over the next five years – lower than the national predicted increase of 5.4 per cent.

ACS President Ian Oppermann said the NSW workforce increase was impressive but said it is important the state continues to grow its ranks of IT professionals.

“New South Wales’ growth, while reassuring, may not be as strong as other states over the next five years, with Deloitte predicting the state will trail Victoria and Queensland in creating ICT jobs which underscores the importance of strong policies to boost the sector within the state,” he said.

“This is why ACS is pleased to see the lead being taken by the NSW Government on applications like the Service NSW app which has proven so effective in helping the state manage the COVID outbreak and help provide a roadmap out of the current lockdowns.

“The last two years have illustrated the importance of data, analytics and technology in government and industry which highlights the importance of having a robust ICT workforce.”

Despite the national forecast for growth in the number of IT workers, there is still expected to be a gap of around 60,000 workers per year, according to Digital Pulse, which is being met with only 7,000 domestic IT degree graduates.