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IT Career Advice

In this Learning People industry expert article, we unpack IT career advice for those looking to start, change, or progress their career in information technology – and help you understand the options of getting a job in IT, cyber security, data, big data, and data science – what the career pathways look like and what the associated salaries are for those new and experienced in tech.     

In 2018, analysts warned that automation could wipe away 31 percent of existing jobs by 2036. As a result, news stories around traditional job roles are getting retired can feel incredibly daunting when scrolling down our newsfeeds. But it’s easy to forget that roles such as blockchain analyst, cloud architect, big data scientist, user experience (UX) designer, and social media manager didn’t exist a decade ago. 

Fast forward to 2022, and there is a critical IT skills shortage across Australia and New Zealand. Although many predicted a massive lack of available jobs, the region faces a candidate crisis and the worst shortage of skills in 20 years. But how did we get here? It is estimated that over five years, around 4,000 to 5,000 tech professionals immigrated to New Zealand alone. But the arrival of a global pandemic stopped this and revealed the magnitude of the skills gap.

For example, there are 3 million unfilled cyber security roles in APAC, and there are around 4 jobs for every 1 qualified person in cyber. As a result, companies are taking six months to recruit, students are being poached during probation in new jobs, and contract rates are going through the roof, with some earning $2,000 per day.

However, the digital skills crisis across Australia and New Zealand represents a perfect opportunity for anyone to use the reskilling emergency to their advantage and enjoy a dream career change into the tech industry. But where do you start? If you are looking for IT career advice or learning more about boosting your employability and futureproofing your career, there are several areas for you to explore with us.


IT Career advice

How to Get into Cybersecurity

The arrival of COVID 19 famously accelerated the shift to remote and hybrid working. Even Microsoft admitted that they were forced to achieve two years of digital transformation in just two months. But according to the FBI, the knock-on effect of these changes was a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes as just about every company you can think of suffered a data breach or hack.

With the need to fill the substantial number of vacant cyber security positions entering the spotlight, it has never been a better time to reskill for a career in cyber security. Furthermore, as cyber-attacks continue to rise, it is estimated that Australia will need another 17,000 cyber security workers by 2026. For these reasons alone, businesses are also beginning to invest in cyber security to protect their future and customer data to avoid regulatory fines.

Did you know that the average salary for cyber security professionals is $117,000, with the potential to earn up to $239,000 annually? The good news is that regardless of your background, there are almost limitless opportunities for anyone wanting to enter a career in cyber security. For example, many courses such as the cyber security analyst collection make it easy for anyone to kick start their career in IT.

It’s time to retire the lazy stereotype of teenage hackers in hoodies. There are many different forms of hacking, from the so-called “white hats” who protect users by finding vulnerabilities to the dreaded “black hats” who earn a living from stolen data. But neither of them sits in dark bedrooms while staring at ones, and zeroes  on their screens.

News that companies that contained a data breach in less than 30 days saved over $1 million compared to those that took more than 30 days has enabled boardrooms to see the ROI in cyber security. People from all walks of life are now encouraged to join the battle against malicious actors online by learning to analyse vulnerabilities in security systems. 

If you are interested in having one of the coolest jobs in tech, we recommend the ethical hacker collection of courses. Even if you are new to the tech industry, they will put you on the right path to enjoy a lucrative career in cyber security that is also incredibly rewarding. The courses you will be signing up for are by CompTIA, which has a global reputation for solving real business problems by empowering and up-skilling the global tech workforce.

Level Up Your Cyber Career 

Once you have established yourself in a cyber security career by completing the CompTIA Security+, there are even more opportunities that will quickly open up. No two days are ever the same in tech, and there are many ways to embrace continual learning by strengthening your competency in system security, access control, and organisational security.

Experienced professionals interested in preventing and detecting cyber security threats using behavioural analytics or data analysis usually opt for the CompTIA CySA+ course. Cyber security analysts can level up their careers by unlocking the ability to manage network architecture and identify threats that intend on harming a network and business. It’s also the preferred option for those looking to specialise in threat mitigation and actively reduce vulnerabilities.

Explore a Career in Data Science

Businesses are gaining a competitive advantage by leveraging big data to make data-driven decisions in an increasingly digital world. Predictably, employers are desperate for data scientists as demand outstrips supply. As a result, large enterprises such as Telstra have just under 1,000 open roles, while smaller start-ups like Culture AMP have over 100, according to Business Insider.

Once again, these examples highlight how there has never been a better time to upskill in areas such as data science and data analytics to enjoy a new tech career. With so many unfilled vacancies with lucrative salaries, your biggest dilemma will be choosing between data science and big data.

As the name suggests, Big data involves sifting through vast quantities of information which typically falls into unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data. Try to comprehend the smorgasbord of data generated by social media, websites, images, XML, and text files every day. As a big data analyst, you will be challenged with distilling the information into a digestible format and helping the business unlock hidden insights and value.

Data science looks at the same three types of data but through an entirely different lens and approach. To avoid the garbage in and garbage out scenario, data scientists will focus on cleansing, preparing, and analysing the information using a combination of skills. This more scientific approach involves working with algorithms and machine learning to find hidden patterns inside a vast array of raw data. 

Which role best suits you will depend on which areas excite you the most. If leveraging technology to obtain and sift through data to discover and unlock new business opportunities, a rewarding career in big data where you could earn AU$121,000 per year could await. However, if you would be happier to operationalize data while navigating the worlds of compliance governance to help leaders visualise their data to make better business decisions, maybe data science is for you. With an average salary of AU$92,000 per year, it’s another attractive role for anyone wanting to begin a career in tech.

IT career advice

IT Career Path Advice

There are many ways for anyone to begin a career in the tech industry. With so many options, from cyber security ethical hacking to big data and data science, it can feel both exciting and daunting in equal measure. But embarking on a new career or switching to a different area of IT is not a decision that you need to make on your own.

Our team has helped thousands of individuals navigate a career in tech. Our 360 Career Services support is designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to boost your employability throughout your studies and land your dream job in tech.

Our dedicated career services consultants teach you how to leverage LinkedIn, navigate the job market, and appear on the radar of recruitment agencies who are desperately seeking candidates to fill the hundreds of unfilled vacancies in the tech industry. Even after you have received your qualifications, we believe it’s important to continue working with you – our 360 Career Services team are dedicated to helping you develop and enhance yourself and your career long term. 

In our experience, companies are looking for applicants with transferable skills as well as certification skills. We know what your future employer is looking for and why the most valuable IT career advice is often around interview coaching and showing you how to demonstrate that you have the skills and attributes to do the job.

There has been a lot of talk about the great resignation in the media, but the biggest takeaway is that businesses and employees are looking to explore rewarding work that generates real value for both parties. Although the skills shortage is currently dominating the headlines, a report by PwC and the World Economic Forum advised that closing the gap could lead to an increase of US$90 billion for the Australian economy or 5.2 per cent of its GDP by 2030.

Tackling the skills gap in Australia and New Zealand requires employers, training providers, and candidates to work together to pave the path to prosperity in the region by ensuring that everyone has a chance to thrive in the digital economy.If you’d like bespoke and expert IT career advice from the experts in tech careers, simply contact us today and let us help you realise your potential.