NBN to impact on job roles

The CEO of the Australian Computer Society believes the NBN will put pressure on an already under-resourced sector.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) could prove to be an unprecedented driver of ICT jobs change, according to the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Alan Patterson, CEO of the ACS, told Computerworld Australia, like the construction of Australia’s road and rail network, the NBN will also create new and unforeseen jobs in the market.

“Combined with the rapid changes in technology, job roles are likely to 'change face’. For example, we are already seeing demand for new types of roles such as Big Data architects [and] cloud engineers,” he said.

Demand is also increasing for business analysts and mobile app developers as more organisations adopt online platforms for their business.

“With greater access to high speed broadband, the demand from business for online technologies and the skills that underpin them will increase. The NBN will in this way further exacerbate Australia's acute skills shortages in ICT,” Patterson said.

The NBN could also spawn new ICT roles in what have traditionally been non-ICT sectors such as health, retail and agriculture, Patterson said.

However, he warned that ICT professionals will need to ensure more than ever that their professional development is kept up-to-date to ensure they keep abreast of future developments.

“High speed broadband will have a positive impact on ICT jobs, creating new job roles for our ICT professionals and new opportunities for in-demand skills,” he said.

“[However], Australia is facing an acute skills shortage in ICT and yet not enough students are seeing as a career option. Half the number of students is enrolling in ICT courses at university than a decade ago.

“We are calling for greater co-ordination across government, industry and education to address this issue and enable Australia to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the NBN.”

Andy Cross, managing director at recruitment company Ambition Technology, said while he has yet to see new jobs created for the NBN, demand is growing for infrastructure-based roles, such as engineers. However, he it is still unclear whether the NBN will be responsible create new roles.

“We [also] haven’t really seen an associated increase in development roles, but [in] infrastructure … we’ve certainly seen an increased focus and competition for roles," he said.

“Whilst we’re not directly supplying to the NBN, candidates that we’re talking to are being interviewed for and are pursuing roles in that sector. It’s putting extra pressure on an already under resourced sector.”

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More about: ACS, Australian Computer Society, etwork, Technology
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