Australia's Digital Economy set to boom - Need for Teacher Professional Development in ICT

ICT Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer

Australia’s digital economy is set to boom over the next few years according to a new report on Australia’s Digital Pulse. This is good news for the architects of Australia’s 10 year strategic plan for the ICT who stated that ICT literacy skills are much needed for the future of the economy.

The report conducted by Australian Computer Society (ACS) and Deloitte Access Economics highlighted a number of key findings that met with mixed responses from various academics. It indicated that the “demand for ICT workers with postgraduate qualifications will grow 4.2% a year until 2020”. The number of ICT skilled workers will increase from 169,508 to 216,922 in 2020.

Australia's Digital Economy

While the report said that “strong demand growth for postgraduate ICT qualifications reflects the broader ‘skills deepening’ trend in the labour market; that is, a growing propensity towards holding higher qualifications," academics like Professor Nick Wailes from UNSW was not surprised due to the current enrolment levels ICT postgraduate courses. He quoted “the more you invest in education, the better your job prospects are.”

Professor Paul Strooper from University of Queensland (UQ) believes that “if there’s one area where continuing professional development and postgraduate qualifications make sense it's certainly ICT.” He continued in saying that there will be “hurdles” along the way such as:

  • Cost of postgraduate courses;
  • The number of job ads asking for postgraduate qualifications;
  • The number of jobs just asking for people with ICT experience and;
  • The lack of support for postgraduate masters degrees from the Government.

To top this news of Anthony Wong (President of ACS) said that technology skills are the engine room of the economy and that digital skills have contributed to 6.6% increase over the past decade.

The report on Australia’s digital pulse found that “technological progress is a fundamental driver of productivity growth and increased living standards in Australia.”

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