Software developers, data and cyber experts among the most in-demand jobs for 2021

Workplace culture, job security and flexibility were the key areas that workers value

Software developers with cyber and data experience; data specialists and cyber security personnel are the top three most sought-after IT professionals in Australia this year. 

This is according to the annual Robert Walters Salary Survey, which tracks key trends in the Australian job market.

The data indicated that job loyalty was slightly higher in the IT sector, with 67 per cent of professionals indicating they would consider changing jobs in 2021, compared to the overall average of 81 per cent. 

The survey also revealed that the industries which will see the most demand and the biggest salary gains are those that have experienced growth due to the COVID-19 environment – namely within e-commerce, cyber security and the infrastructure sectors.

As remote working and the vulnerabilities it presents exposed new risks, the demand for cyber security experts rose exponentially, the survey said. 

Data architects were also in hot demand as industries were starting to understand and use data for its ability to contribute to business growth and customer experience.

E-commerce was also tipped as a hot area as organisations prioritise digital, contact free customer experience in the retail and telecommunications sectors. 

Flexible work arrangements is set to be a hot topic between professionals and employers this year, with both expressing different views on what the work environment will look like in 2021 as 85 per cent of participants say they want their current flexible working arrangements to remain while business leaders are focused on getting employees back into the office. 

In the survey, 60 per cent of business leaders said productivity was the driver for them not wanting to continue with flexible working arrangements. Logistical difficulties and dips in work quality were cited as other key barriers.

“2021 is going to see a resetting of the employment landscape. How this re-balancing of the working environment and bridging of the expectation gap is managed now, has the potential to dictate the future of the workplace for decades to come,” Robert Walters A/NZ managing director, James Nicholson said. 

“We expect salaries will remain relatively flat in the year ahead – even in those industries experiencing the most demand; and a third of businesses have indicated they will be continuing with headcount freezes in the short-term.” 

Workplace culture, job security and flexibility have come in as the three most important things workers value for job satisfaction.