What is IT/ICT?Information & Communications Technology is a term that covers all forms of computer and communications equipment and programming software used to create, store, transmit, interpret, and manipulate information in its various formats (e.g., business data, voice conversations, still images, motion pictures and multimedia presentations). Studies in ICT combine many disciplines, with underlying principles based in mathematics, logic, physics and psychology. While the BInfTech is popular with ICT students, some take a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Systems or Software instead.
Why ICT?ICT is an essential part of the way the world operates, so a career in ICT gives you an opportunity to help shape our future and be employed in many different ways and places. The successful ICT student has good analytical and thinking skills. Some mathematical ability is required, but lateral thinking and a creative mind are widely considered by industry leaders to be essential. By combining technical strengths with creative and innovative ability and sensitivity to the needs of the user, our graduates help to align technology with the needs of business and to deliver rewarding solutions on time and within budget.
Where are the jobs in ICT?After a slump in job opportunities a few years ago, industry in now concerned that there will be a shortage of qualified people in the next few years. Business leaders predict that the new growth in the ICT industry is more-sustainable and long-term than the boom that preceded the 'dotcom' crash of 2000. A 2005 Australian Government report says that IT is one of the top five occupations in terms of employment growth over the next five years. The Department of Employment report also says that IT is now in the second-highest earnings bracket, with weekly incomes averaging $1,069 to $1,226, before tax.
The Queensland Government expects Information & Communications employment in the state to grow by 47% this decade. The Government held a national summit in Brisbane in June 2006 to focus on the growing ICT skills shortage. The latest Queensland ICT Industry Survey (2003-4) shows the local industry has strong sales and high full-time employment levels. In July 2006, the Australian newspaper carried a report that ICT-based projects are booming, with Queensland leading the nation. In October 2006, the Melbourne Age newspaper reported that job advertisement growth, as measured by recruitment firm Olivier's internet jobs index, was strongest in the ICT sector, had been for a year, and was expected to continue.
ICT permeates practically every industry, with every medium to large organisation having its own ICT personnel or calling on other businesses to provide the services they need. The variety of work is increasing: it's not just about cutting code or reconfiguring CPUs. For example, Queensland is now home to Australia's only interactive games cluster. Exciting emerging local areas include e-learning, e-security, e-health and bioinformatics.
The ICT industry increasingly wants people who have a combination of business, problem-solving and interpersonal skills and people who can communicate, who can sell and market and who can develop relationships of trust with customers, suppliers, business partners and within teams. IT skills are readily transferable from one employer to another, and if you want to travel or have a family, the hours are often flexible and involve using mobile technology.
The views of one ICT employer of what students need to focus on to be successful are here.