Australia will need 6.5m new digital workers by 2025

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 22 February, 2021

Australia will need 6.5m new digital workers by 2025

Australia will need 6.5 million additional digital workers by 2025 to keep pace with technological change, according to research commissioned by AWS.

The report, developed by strategy and economics consulting firm AlphaBeta, estimates that the number of workers in Australia requiring digital skills will need to increase by 79% from today’s levels for Australia to remain competitive.

The study also found that cloud computing skills will be increasingly essential in the digital era, with 43% of digital workers who are not applying cloud computing skills today believing it will be a requirement to perform their jobs by 2025.

Based on a survey of more than 500 digital workers and interviews with technology experts, business leaders and policymakers, the research seeks to identify the skills gaps facing Australia.

The report predicts that large-scale data modelling, software operations support, web/game/software development, cloud architecture design and cybersecurity skills will be the top five in-demand digital skills in Australia by 2025.

“Australia’s economy has been battered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A plan to build back better from the pandemic will need to have digital skills development at the core. Our research shows that business-as-usual approaches to digital skill development won’t get us there,” AlphaBeta Managing Director Dr Fraser Thompson said.

“A digital worker in Australia today has about 6.5 digital skills on average, but all workers — digital or not — will need to gain an additional seven skills to keep pace with technological change by 2025. We also need to go beyond just upgrading existing digital workers — the majority of new skill requirements will be with new job seekers, those involuntarily excluded from the workforce, and workers who do not use digital skills in their jobs today. The challenge is huge, but the payoff would be tremendous in terms of stronger economic growth, higher incomes, and a more equitable and resilient economy.”

To help address the looming digital skills gap, AWS has collaborated with Swinburne University of Technology to create an Associate Degree in Advanced Technologies (Cloud Technologies) that incorporates AWS cloud computing content into the two-year, full-time degree program.

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