Tide of automation closing fast on Australian IT roles

The threat of automation and artificial intelligence appears to have reached a critical milestone with 90% of IT workers, the equivalent of 450,000 Australians , believing their job will be significantly impacted by automation in the next five years. 

Yet urgency has not dawned on all IT professionals with half (49%) failing to future proof their careers through upskilling.

The findings form part of a whitepaper, Technology and Recruitment Landscape, released today by recruitment firm Robert Walters. 

Robert Walters, Managing Director ANZ, James Nicholson said, “Every business, every charity, every government agency will be impacted by automation. And it is happening now. Two-thirds (66%) of IT professionals are already changing the way they recruit for technology jobs because of the impact automation and AI will have in the very near future.

“The sophistication of automation is accelerating and thanks to artificial intelligence, job displacement has already begun in many sectors. It is expected that five million Australian jobs will disappear in the next 15 years, as a result of technology,” Mr Nicholson said.  

However, in a catch 22 scenario, the report reveals the jobs that create automation are also the hardest jobs to fill. 

The top three areas of technology recruitment in 2018, according to over 240 HR and hiring managers in Australia, is expected to be, cyber security experts, digital development engineers, and business intelligence big data professionals 

“Cyber security roles have been hard to fill for the past five years thanks to continued threats from ransomware, which are at an all-time high. The need for business intelligence big data analysts is also growing as organisations devote resources to tap into the terabytes of data flowing into their organisations. Demand for these roles is extremely high, and supply is very low, so it's a candidate's market.

“Ironically, DevOps engineers are hired by companies to automate processes, yet these jobs are currently the hardest to fill. In essence, they develop and integrate software to exercise resource and time improvements. However, the challenge for organisations is finding candidates with the right skills to be able to create this automation,” said Mr Nicholson. 

Ever evolving skill-sets are the biggest issue when it comes to finding the right talent with 77% of hiring managers believing a lack of candidates with the required skill-set will be their biggest challenge when it comes to recruitment in 2018. 

“It is no longer ‘if’ but ‘when’ IT jobs will become redundant and our findings suggest it will happen at a large scale within the next five years. The key for IT professionals is to upskill and diversify their skill-set as much as possible. Employers who help their people to do this can benefit doubly by reaping the benefits of AI and automation, while also improving talent retention.” said Mr Nicholson. 


About Robert Walters

Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading global recruitment consultancies, specialising in the placement of permanent, contract and temporary positions across all levels of seniority. Our teams of professional consultants are renowned for their professionalism, integrity and exceptional recruitment consultancy services. Using a flexible approach to recruitment, we are committed to matching client needs to candidate aspirations to create mutual benefit for both. Across Australia and New Zealand we have offices in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Chatswood, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington