Professional development in a changing tech environment

| September 25, 2012

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector has prospered in recent years. Dr Nick Tate believes more can be done to engage young people in ICT.

ICT is a young profession, but it has become critical to almost every part of modern life.

The real role for ICT in any business is to apply ICT appropriately to help the business processes and improve efficiency and effectiveness to help compete.

Businesses are constantly demanding new ICT skills, and what we are currently seeing is not less people working in ICT, but instead a change in what skills are needed.

We keep identifying new and interesting roles and new things to do, and the question is, how do we ensure the ICT people we currently have and the ICT people we will have are appropriately skilled for the future?

The findings of our recent 2012 ACS Remuneration Survey demonstrated the continued underlying strength of the ICT sector in Australia. ICT continues to provide strong, stable and well remunerated career paths for professionals, but to help meet the continued business and government demand for suitable ICT professionals, more must be done to engage young people in ICT.

Promoting ICT as a rewarding career needs to be a top priority to ensure our developing digital economy is fully funded, sustained and competitive.

In a fast-changing environment there needs to be a strong focus on professional development.

Communicating the importance of professional development to young people in ICT is a challenge.

At the ACS Young ICT Professionals Conference to be held in Sydney on 8-9 October 2012, young people in ICT will hear from established industry leaders and be inspired by the passion and drive of the next generation of innovators.

Sessions topics will cover the digital entrepreneurialism, skills needs of the future, taking business global, social networking, new start-up opportunities and the idea economy.

This year’s event will also incorporate the South East Asian Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC) conference, giving you exposure to the latest international trends in ICT.

Over the two days of the conference, young ICT professionals will gain powerful insights into how they can go further in their ICT career and realise their ambitions.

We need to engage with students and young professionals at every level of their career and education to show them how technology can open doors and deliver opportunities for creativity, innovation and success.


Dr Nick Tate is the National President of the Australian Computer Society. He is Director of the Australian Government’s Research Data Storage Infrastructure project (RDSI), based at the University of Queensland, where he is also an Adjunct Professor of IT and Electrical Engineering. RDSI is a $50 million project which aims to transform the storage of research data throughout Australia. Dr Tate holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, a Master’s degree in Computer Science and a PhD in IT security. He has over 16 years’ experience at CIO level and was the Chair of the World Computer Congress in 2010.