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Australia is home to a fast-growing information technology (IT) industry, the growth of which has exploded in recent years. Although many industries have been reducing roles over the last few years, the technology sector in Australia has instead been adding new jobs each year, showing how strong the industry's growth really is.

The number of vacant IT jobs in Australia is 60% higher than the national average, and the number of available IT jobs across the country is expected to grow at triple the rate of non-IT roles. In order to make sure that enough skilled employees are available to fill these roles, the Tech Council of Australia has called on the Australian Government to streamline skilled migration for experienced technical IT workers.

For tech-savvy migrants excited by the idea of employment with a purpose, a career in IT is an attractive pathway to permanent residency in Australia.

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IT career options in Australia

Information technology’ covers a wide range of jobs within the technology industry. Possible IT careers could include building computer software or communications networks, building systems which keep data safe or troubleshooting computer issues for large corporations.

The following in-demand IT roles are currently on the Australian Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL):

261111 ICT business analyst

ICT business analysts work with users to formulate system requirements, develop system plans and documentation, review and evaluate existing systems, and design and modify systems to meet users' business needs.

261112 Systems Analyst

Systems analysts review and evaluate existing ICT systems against the business requirements of an organisation. They then develop system plans and documentation supporting improvements to ICT systems to match system functionality with business requirements.

261313 Software engineer

Software engineers are responsible for building and maintaining software solutions. Software engineers may specialise in a certain area of work and may also be involved in meeting with customers to make sure the software solutions suit their needs.

261399 Software and applications programmers nec

Software and applications programmers design, develop, test, maintain and document program code in accordance with user requirements, and system and technical specifications.

261311 Analyst programmer

Analyst programmers identify and predict the needs of the end user. Their day-to-day work may include tasks such as creating documentation which outlines requirements, producing system plans as well as coding, testing and debugging programs.

262112 ICT security specialist

ICT security specialists help protect a company and its data from internal and external security threats. Responsibilities may include creating company-wide security policies and finding potential security risks.

261312 Developer programmer

Developer programmers are responsible for building, maintaining and adjusting software application code, testing code and writing technical documentation.

261211 Multimedia specialist

Multimedia specialists are responsible for creating IT-related multimedia products such as websites, games or apps. Day-to-day tasks may include user research as well as presenting designs, and changing designs based on feedback.

263111 Computer network and systems engineer

Plans, develops, deploys, tests and optimises network and system services, taking responsibility for configuration management and overall operational readiness of network systems. This includes providing troubleshooting and fault-finding services for network problems.

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What visa options are available for skilled IT workers?

There are a variety of visa options available for IT graduates and professionals. These range from temporary graduate visas to permanent visas which allow the holder to live and work in Australia permanently. Some visa options include:

Subclass 485 - Temporary graduate visa

  • The 485 visa allows international students to live, study and work after you have finished your studies.

  • Effective from 1 July 2023, the Australian Government will increase the duration of stay for some Temporary Graduate visas (subclass 485). Please see the Minister for Home Affairs’ announcement.

Subclass 186 - Employer nomination scheme visa

  • This visa allows you to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis.

  • You must meet the Australian health and character requirements.

  • A suitable Australian employer must nominate you.

Subclass 190 - Skilled nominated visa

  • This visa allows you to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis.

  • You must be nominated as a preferred migrant by an Australian State or Territory.

  • Interested parties may submit an expression of interest via SkillSelect in order to attract a state nomination.

  • Meet the relevant English language requirements

Subclass 189 - Skilled independent (points tested)

  • This visa allows you to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis.

  • You must submit an expression of interest via SkillSelect and be invited to apply.

  • You must score a minimum of 65 points to apply for this visa.

  • You must be aged under 45 years of age at the time of application.

Subclass 482 - Temporary Skill Shortage visa

  • This visa enables employers to address labour shortages by bringing in skilled workers where employers can't source an appropriately skilled Australian worker.

  • Be nominated for a skilled position by an approved sponsor

  • Have the right skills to do the job

  • Meet the relevant English language requirements

Subclass 407 - Training visa

  • This visa allows you to take part in workplace-based occupational training activities to improve your skills for your job, area of tertiary study, field of expertise or in a professional development training program in Australia.

  • This is a temporary visa. You may be granted a visa allowing you to stay in Australia for up to 2 years.

  • Your sponsor must be approved as a temporary activities sponsor.

  • Meet the relevant English language requirements

Subclass 494 - Skilled employer sponsored regional visa (provisional) - Employer-sponsored stream

  • This visa allows you to live and work in a designated regional area of Australia for up to five years.

  • Eligible migrants may apply for permanent residence three years from the date your visa is granted.

  • You must be nominated by a suitable Australian employer.

Subclass 491 - Skilled work regional visa (provisional) - State or territory nominated

  • This visa allows you to live and work in a designated regional area of Australia for up to five years.

  • Eligible migrants may apply for permanent residence three years from the date your visa is granted.

  • You must receive a state or territory nomination and be invited to apply for this visa.

Migration advice from registered migration agents

It’s important to note that all visas may not be available for all nominated roles. For help and advice on choosing the right visa for you, contact the friendly IDP registered migration agents for personalised visa help.

In IT, work experience is just as valuable as your degree and exam results when it comes to building a successful career. As a result, internships have become an essential way to help candidates make themselves stand out and landing their first job after they graduate.Alice Guan, IDP registered MARA agent

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IELTS requirements for visa application

Different visas may have their own English language requirements, so it’s important to check the eligibility information before you apply.

The visa options available for skilled IT workers generally require an IELTS score of band 6 or above in each of the four IELTS components to meet the ‘Competent English’ eligibility requirement.

Book your IELTS test online today to ensure you’re prepared for your visa application.

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IT skills assessment

In order to apply for a visa as an IT skilled worker, you will need to provide a positive skills assessment from the relevant authority.

In Australia, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) is responsible for assessing the skills and qualifications of IT professionals who would like to migrate to Australia. 

The ACS checks and assesses your technical skills for your chosen occupation. They do not require an IELTS test in order to process your assessment.

ACS has highlighted three top tips to help you on your migration journey. They include:

1. Preparation is key

Always read the migration skills assessment guidelines.

2. Improve your communication skills

The ACS Guide to IT Professions 2022 revealed that communication is the most requested skill by IT employers in Australia.

Download and read the guide as it will help you manage your career in IT while highlighting the roles that are expanding, the skills in demand and the wages on offer. It’s recommended that you read this guide if you plan to migrate to Australia.

3. Build your network

The ACS PY program in IT offers you the training, work experience and a community of support to speed up your migration journey.

Source: Australian Computer Society

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Top IT courses available in Australia

There are many courses available to help kickstart your career in IT. Software engineers typically complete a Bachelor of Computer Science or a Bachelor of Software Engineering. Programmers may choose to complete a bachelor's degree with a major in software development. 

Many different roles fall under the IT umbrella. Consider the below top-ranked IT courses or contact IDP's education counsellors to receive personalised course advice.

University

Course

IELTS score

Link

University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Design in Computing

6.5

Learn more

Monash University

Bachelor of Computer Science

6.5

Learn more

University of Queensland

Bachelor of Engineering (with honours) and Bachelor of Science - Software Engineering

6.5

Learn more

University of Sydney

Bachelor of Advanced Computing and Bachelor of Commerce - Software Development (Engineering)

7.0

Learn more

The Australian National University

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Software Engineering

6.5

Learn more

IELTS requirements for IT courses

Most universities and academic institutions have different requirements when it comes to IELTS scores. The best way to find out about the requirements for the course you’re interested in is to contact the course provider directly.

You can also get in touch with an education counsellor, who has access to information from multiple education providers. 

For enrollment, generally, IT students must achieve a minimum overall IELTS band score of 6.5, and a minimum score of 6 in each of the four components (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).

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How to prepare for IELTS?

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Achieving a great IELTS score takes time and planning. You can’t just book and take your test in a matter of days – no matter how strong your English skills are. Successful test takers create a schedule to help them study everything they need to know before they sit an IELTS test. They make time to practise all four English skills – ListeningReadingWriting and Speaking – as they know that each one is different.

If they have trouble with a topic, they attend a FREE Masterclass with an IELTS expert who can teach them how to improve. And, when they’re almost ready to take IELTS, they will complete as many practice tests as they can find. 

So, when there are hundreds of resources to help you study, where do you begin? Click here to access your go-to guide to IELTS preparation. All of our most important materials – both free and paid – are listed here, divided by category.

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Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent.