2019 marks my 20th year finding roles for IT professionals in the Canberra market.

When I began my career, mobile phones were press button operated, computers were BIG and wireless internet was spoken about in hushed tones. In those days my desk phone, the fax and photocopy machines were my most used technologies.

I faxed resumes to my clients and even hand delivered copies of bid responses to specific government tender boxes.

I have experienced hysteria around the Y2K bug, DotCom Bubbles’ bursting, the dominance of Microsoft, the re-emergence of Apple and six Prime Ministers! Needless to say, I have seen a lot in Canberra during this time.

To make it to where we are today, enormous numbers of skills have been required, developed and created, and we are just getting started. One thing I have learnt is that technology is constantly changing and so are the skill sets required from this industry. With the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence being the future, change is happening at a rapid pace and if you have or can acquire the skills needed to facilitate this change you will be in demand.

So, what are the most in-demand tech skills in Canberra?

Since the creation of the Digital Transformation Office (now the Digital Transformation Agency), there has been a strong push by the federal government to move to a more ‘Digital’ friendly government with all government services mandated to be ‘Online’. Alongside digital transformation, Cyber Security has also moved out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

1.      UX Design

This is a skill set that has been around for some time, think User-Centred Design, however Canberra loves a new buzzword – enter User Experience Design. This is a very exciting field allowing creators to design and build products with a core focus on the user, as opposed to the non-user designs of the past.

As most, if not all, government agencies provide services to the public, the need for UX Designers has never been greater. If you are design curious or have a flair for design, I would recommend looking at completing specific courses provided by organisations like Academy Xi, General Assembly and even LinkedIn Learning.

2.      Front-End Development

Along with UX Designers, the demand for Front-End Developers has dramatically increased. HTML, CSS, Node.js, Angular 4/5/6/7 are just a few of the standard technologies for Developers. With Angular 8 due for release around March/April this year and Angular 9 due around September/October, if you upskill in the new frameworks, you stay in front of everyone else.

If you already have development experience, whether it be .Net or Java, and you’re looking for something different, have a look into becoming a Front-End Developer. I understand that the transition is not difficult and there are many online training courses available.

3.      Microsoft CRM Dynamics

Microsoft has dominated the government market for as long as I can remember, with the larger government agencies needing a regular supply of developers. With working in the ‘Cloud’ becoming a thing, the need for Developers with Dynamics 365 experience has certainly increased.

4.      Cyber Security

These include SOC Analysts, Consultants, Analysts and Architects. We often receive requests from our clients for these skills and have found strong candidates with this experience hard to come by. With the need to keep data secure, government agencies and private sector organisations are always on the lookout for quality people to protect them from cyber threats and hacking.

If you are a recent graduate, school leaver or someone just looking to change vocation, you will have a job for life if are able to secure a career in Cyber Security.

How do you do this? Completing one or more of the following certifications will go a long way in securing yourself an opportunity.

·        CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker.

·        CISM: Certified Information Security Manager.

·        CompTIA Security+

·        CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

·        GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials.

·        GPEN: GIAC Penetration Tester.

By keeping one eye on the changing face of technology, working with experienced recruiters, and upskilling in demand areas, you will stay ahead of the pack.

If you are not currently living and working in Canberra, we have been experiencing a surge of exceptional opportunities for both contract and permanent. Now, more than ever, Canberra needs skilled IT professionals. The roles available are exciting and will often provide high level experience and rewards.

Putting my personal and Canberra bias aside, we really do have a lot to offer new residents. We have great schools, parks, sporting facilities, cultural institutions, short commutes and a safe environment for young families.

Now here comes the kicker, the majority of positions in Canberra require you to obtain a Federal Government security clearance. To be eligible for a security clearance, you need to be an Australian citizen, which means at this time more than ever, there are more jobs in Canberra for citizens.

To find out more about opportunities in the tech industry in Canberra, contact me at steven.jobson@talentinternational.com