IT, Communications & Technology
"ICT is transforming our world by creating new opportunities and industries, changing old ways of operating, impacting business, individuals and government in ways not yet dreamed of." PROFESSOR HUGH DURRANT-WHYTE, CEO OF NATIONAL ICT AUSTRALIA
Information and communications technology (ICT) is about enhancing and improving the exchange of information and knowledge to make things work in a more efficient way. ICT underpins the fight against climate change, is the backbone to movie animation, is central to discovering cures for many diseases and to mapping the human genome.
The CEO of National ICT Australia, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, says, “ICT is transforming our world by creating new opportunities and industries, changing old ways of operating, impacting business, individuals and government in ways not yet dreamed of.”
New technological advances have a vast range of applications across many industries, and are having an increasing impact on many aspects of our daily lives. For example, advances in telecommunication and information technologies have enabled substantially higher communication bandwidths over longer distances. Australian research and innovation resulted in the invention of the global wireless communication network we know as WiFi.
Advances in ICT are even transforming the way our government operates, expanding capability, providing better service delivery, improving efficiency and reducing costs.
This is an evolving and exciting field for science graduates, and the range of career possibilities continues to grow with each technological advance.
Dr John O’Sullivan, a graduate of the University of Sydney and the CSIRO scientists who invented WiFi, is passionate about the place of science in a technological world. “Science is subject to continual change. Technologies, tools, methods, projects and products all change and develop. A science degree gives you not only the passion to keep learning new things and embrace change, it also provides a solid underpinning on which to build new learning,” he says.
Careers encompass a diverse number of areas from business consulting and sales to software engineering,
web development, multimedia and technical roles in research and product development.
Globally, the ICT sector is thriving. In Australia it contributes more to our national economy than agriculture, defence or education and almost as much the mining sector. Currently, over 500,000 people are working in technology jobs across Australia. ICT skills also transfer well between countries, so experienced ICT professionals may find career opportunities almost anywhere in the developed world.
A science degree is an ideal base for career opportunities in ICT and Dr O’Sullivan encourages students to be ambitious in their goals. “Don’t be afraid to tackle an area outside of your current comfort zone – the interfaces between different domains of expertise are especially fertile, and ICT is a prime example of this.”
As in many other science-related fields, postgraduate qualifications are often essential or highly beneficial. A sample of the career opportunities in ICT fields is outlined below:
- Bioinformatician: uses statistics and computer analysis to understand medical and biological systems
- Computational scientist: writes computer codes and implements models describing a wide variety of systems
- Information systems professional: manages the change processes that are initiated by introducing new technology; manages the operation of activities based on computing and communications technology
- Systems analyst: works with people to introduce or expand appropriate technology within their business or organisation
- Web developer: uses software languages to construct and maintain website content and applications
Employment opportunities for ICT graduates are very strong at present. Investment in technology and IT infrastructure is ongoing, suggesting very good employment growth in the coming years.
Telecommunications is projected to have high employment growth within the sector over the next few years, with forecast demand for nearly 20,000 new jobs.
- ICT Business/Systems Analyst: $111,000
- ICT Support Technician: $58,000
- Software Development: $94,000
- Network and Systems: $93,000
- Web Developer: $92,000
- Australian Computer Society
- Australian Information Industry Association
- Australian Interactive Media Industry Association
- Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association
- Australian Robotics and Automation Association
- Game Developers Association of Australia
- Internet Industry Association
- Internet Society of Australia
Consider enrolling in one of the following courses and majors to prepare yourself for a career in IT, Communications & Technology.
Also see the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.