With its dynamic fields of rapid development and high levels of employment opportunity – it’s no surprise that Australia’s ICT sector has drawn plenty of attention (and impressive talents) in recent years. And the workforce numbers have yet to slow, with experts predicting a high of 758,700 workers by 2023 (a massive leap from 663,100 in 2017).
However, the country currently battles a widening skills gap (set to reach 100,000 between now and 2023), as industry reports continuously push for further education and training opportunities.
Online courses and training programs have fortunately picked up steam, with professionals offered a wide variety of qualification levels and specialisations. For beginners seeking to explore the ICT field, a Certificate IV in Information Technology provides a robust overview of the basic skills and knowledge required in the sector; as well as potential areas for specialisation.
Whether it’s to enter the ICT industry for the first time – or to simply launch your educational journey in the field – we break down your potential pathways with a Certificate IV in Information Technology.
With a Certificate IV in Information Technology, individuals can pursue the currently in-demand role of a computer technician.
With a projected job growth of 14% over the next five years (according to SEEK statistics), and employment spanning across Australia – the field currently offers plenty of opportunity for those with the right skills and certifications.
Computer technicians assist those experiencing problems with their IT hardware, repairing or replacing components as needed. When necessary, they may also change or update any outdated software. Those in this line of work often specialise into focused areas of ICT; these can include working as network technician (installing and monitoring computer networks), server technician (installing, managing, and repairing servers), or as part of a help desk (often in a call centre or business department).
Plenty also work as independent technicians, typically in a store dedicated to computer repairs.
According to Payscale, the average computer technician in Australia earns $46,323 a year, with great opportunity for higher pay as experience grows.
ICT Systems Administrator
Those with a keen attention to detail and sharp organisational skills may suit the role of an ICT systems administrator (also known as “sysadmins”).
ICT systems administrators are tasked with ensuring optimal performance among a business’ computer systems. They regularly monitor, manage, and control the network, troubleshooting and resolving issues as they arise. They may also conduct routine security assessments, and liaise with vendors or service providers on recommended security software or applications. Additionally, they mayalso produce documentation for operational procedures, system logs, policies, standards ,and user instructions.
With the task of overseeing a company’s entire network systems– sysadmins are required to have a well-organised, coordinated, and prioritised workflow. These professionals are also expected to have strong communication skills (both written and verbal), as they’ll be relaying important updates, incidents, or system information to supervisors and affected users. They may also be required to brainstorm new network solutions and suggestions for operational improvement when necessary.
According to SEEK, sysadmins currently have plenty of employment opportunity in the field – with an 18.3% predicted job growth in the next five years. Work can also be found across Australia, with an average annual pay of $69,089.
ICT Support Officer
If you’ve got a knack for solving problems or helping others, perhaps you’ll find success as an ICT support officer.
The field is currently in high demand, boasting a 24.5% job growth in the years to 2024 (as per SEEK statistics). Jobs are currently found across Australia, with New South Wales holding the largest share of workers.
As an ICT support officer, clients and users will be turning to you for advice (and solutions) regarding hardware and software. These professionals adapt programs and recommend equipment according to user needs, and may even provide training for major upgrades or system replacements.
As much of their communication takes place online or over the phone, many support officers work as part of a help desk.
To succeed in this role, individuals are expected to have excellent customer service skills, strong interpersonal and communication abilities, and the capacity to juggle multiple requests and queries at a given time. Sharp analytical skills and a keen attention to detail are also required to spot and resolve problems as they arise.
According to Payscale, the average ICT support technician earns $55,058 in Australia, with the opportunity to earn more as experience grows.
Network Support Professional
Finally, those with a focused interest in computer networks may choose to pursue the role of a network support professional.
Similarly to computer technicians and support officers, IT professionals in network support tend to user requests and queries regarding a company’s network operations. Communication is often done online or over the phone, where network support workers will troubleshoot and diagnose problems until they are resolved.
They may also analyse a business’ current network systems, making recommendations for hardware or software improvements where necessary.
As much of this role is comprised of user support, customer service, and user training – network support professionals are required to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Some roles may also require (intermediate to expert) programming skills, as some workers may be tasked with coding new network programs (or fixing current ones) to meet specific business requirements.
According to Job Outlook, the average computer network professional earns around $2,021 per week – higher than Australia’s all-jobs average ($1,460). Work can also be found across all regions of Australia, primarily in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
Pursue a higher-level qualification
Aside from embarking on an IT career path, a Certificate IV in Information Technology also equips you with the proper skills and knowledge to pursue a higher-level qualification (or a more focused educational pathway in ICT).
Certificate IV holders can, for example, choose to progress to a Diploma of Information Technology – where students can further build their skills in network strategies and server solutions; web development; and IT support. As mentioned, a Certificate IV in Information Technology can offer a basic, yet substantial insight into the roles, tasks, and expectations of the ICT industry – arming one with the foundations to delve further into the field.
With the industry overview this certificate provides, students can form a clearer idea of the areas they wish to specialise in. The qualification encompasses a wide variety of skillsets and expertise, including (but not limited to) networking, databases, web design, and business strategy. “Test-driving” these varying fields can help one decide on a more focused profession – helping them steer their educational pathway towards the specialised qualifications necessary.
For example, they may choose to further hone their security skills through a cybersecurity course, or pursue more business-driven areas in the field, such as data science.
Ready to launch your ICT career?
If you’re ready to get your start in IT, a Certificate IV in Information Technology is a valuable first step.
The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers a Certificate IV in Information Technology. covering basic skills in programming, support, and ICT practices; with additional focus on cybersecurity, networks, and databases. Discover the critical skills required of all ICT professionals – while delving into some of the most in-demand IT fields today.
Best of all, the course is delivered completely online, helping you study according to personal needs and schedule.
Begin your journey into ICT today, and enquire with us on a course.