Considering that the Australia Day long weekend is over, the job market in Australia will begin flourishing again with people coming back from holidays and the hiring beginning again for yet another amazing year which the businesses would have planned for 2018. Recently, I attended a meetup which is sponsored by Robert Walters, a global, specialist, professional recruitment consultancy and held at their offices. The event was a panel discussion around the job trends in 2018, especially around IT. It was an apt event to be conducted in the first month of the year to set the scene for the year to come.

Before moving to the trends, let us discuss the hot topic which is in the IT industry, especially in Australia, i.e. contracting vs permanent. The country has a lot of contracting jobs when it comes to the project-oriented information technology industry. Personally, I feel that companies do not see technology from a strategic perspective and hence adheres to temporary recruitment. But personal opinions aside, contracting is still going to remain the flavor for the year and it has to be enjoyed while it lasts. People are looking at a 20% difference when it comes to contracting rates and permanent salaries. This is considering the leaves that you take as a contractor and other benefits that you may let go because of contracting overall.

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Now, let us discuss the areas which were highlighted as hot during the year (while the areas are from the event, the insights are my own opinions):

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Digital
  3. Data Analytics
  4. Robotic Process Automation

While for many traditional large transformational projects which are ongoing within large organizations and who have processes in place for continuous improvements, there will be ample opportunities but the above four areas will be specifically looked at when it comes to the industry in general.

  1. Cyber Security

With security becoming a huge concern for organizations, networking, security, testing (penetration testing, etc.) are common areas to consider if you are looking for a job in this area. Specific knowledge of tools, software is essential when looking at roles in this sector. Mostly, testing, developers are common resources which will be in demand in this area.

  1. Digital

Coming from a digital background, I can definitely go on for this sector. With the advent of new and better ways of dealing with clients online, there is ample scope and opportunities in this sector. People who have worked on online portals, websites, apps, will have an edge over others. Having knowledge of funnels, user experience, search engine optimization, social media management will be added advantage when it comes to this sector. A strong understanding of content management systems, their implementation and operations can also be a vital thing to have on your resume. Mostly project managers, business analysts, and developers will be required from the resources perspective.

  1. Data Analytics

With the advent of big data, analytics and reporting have become more and more important. Personalization is the key in today’s world and customers are looking for a tailored solution. It is very important for organizations to step up their game in order to acquire and retain their customers. In order to do so, a strong analytics with excellent reporting capabilities are required and hence focus on this sector. Business analysts, data analysts, project managers who have experience in delivering excellent data associated projects will have a great year. Knowledge of specific tools like SAS, Tableau, etc. will definitely help.

  1. Robotic Process Automation

With the advent of artificial intelligence and the ability for organizations to automate the process, this sector is growing very fast. I was discussing this with one of my clients this evening and we were talking about how this sector is important and can assist in keeping the career moving ahead in 2018. A strong process orientation, with the ability to map processes, identify process gaps and implement projects in this area will be the strength of the resources in this sector. Mostly, project managers and business analysts will be required in this area.

You may have noticed that apart from security, I did not mention developers, and testing in other sectors and the reason is that most organizations are moving towards either outsourcing or using managed services from established IT services companies and hence, while the opportunities are still out there, for specifically BA and PM roles, you are looking at direct jobs with the organizations.

Also, organizations like hiring people with experience in particular projects as mostly they are time poor nowadays and want people to hit the ground as soon as possible. So, if you have a particular industry or domain experience, crossing the industry or domain will be difficult. Although, having said that, for the domains mentioned above, there will be a lot of roles available across industries. The organizations nowadays are looking for consultants who can come and advise on the way forward, rather than to be told as to what has to be done.

When it comes to project delivery, agile is way ahead and everyone is looking at experience in delivering projects the agile way. I think more than that, organizations should check if the person has an agile mindset. You can read my thoughts on this subject here.

Another thing which is coming across again and again in conversations and social networks is video introductions and looks like it is the talk of the town right now. I am also asking my clients to create their videos, mostly to assist them in knowing as to how they did but looks like might have to suggest, in making them professionally, so they can be sent along with their resumes. I did create one video at the event, which I shared on the social networks earlier but for those, who missed, the link is here. I also won the award for the most creative video for this. Thank you team, Robert Walters, for this.

I hope I was able to throw some insights on the kind of jobs available in the IT sector in Australia in 2018. However, if you think that I have missed something or there are certain sectors or roles that you think should be covered, do comment so that it benefits the readers.

Lastly, a brief introduction to what I do. I work as a digital business analyst and also help people find jobs in Australia. You can join my meetup here. Also, I am a very young one-month-old author of a published book called “An Immigrant’s guide to integration.” Until next time!