Programming is now among the top 20 occupations, according to census data – Training and development

Software and application programming has become one of Australia’s top 20 occupations, and tech employment has risen sharply across all fields between the 2016 and 2021 censuses.

At 470,000 in 2021, the number of people with computer science degrees has increased by 36% since 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced in a sector analysis released today.

The number of software and application programmers increased by 47% between 2016 and 2021, reaching nearly 117,000 people.

Two-thirds of software and app developers were born overseas, and the ABS said India was the largest cohort.

Around 24,000 people have come to Australia since 2016, making it the third most common occupation for recent overseas arrivals, behind commercial cleaners and general salespersons.

Artificial intelligence remained a niche area, with ABS registering just 630 people identifying it as their job in 2021, while ‘security science’ was the fastest growing qualification, rising by 460% between the two censuses to reach 5,805 people.

Australian statistician Dr David Gruen said there were also “over 260,000 ICT professionals and 74,000 ICT managers in the workforce, an additional 86,000 since the last census”.

ABS clarified iTnews that ICT professionals and ICT managers are separate categories in its data sets.

Other fast-growing ICT occupations included ICT support and test engineers (up 54% to 15,635 people) and ICT business and systems analysts (up 47% to 34,793).

Gender diversity in the technology sector is also showing signs of improvement: while only one in five “ICT professionals and ICT managers” (a distinction drawn by the ABS) is female, one in three ICT business and systems analysts and ICT managers is under 30 years old. is a woman, he said.

Michael A. Bynum