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A career in computer networking: will it still be in demand by 2030?

By Fi Darby

In all walks of life, our reliance on computer networks has seen a surge over the last decade. Whether it is leisure, work or even medicine, almost everything we do is now dependent on the skills of computer network professionals. This makes the world of computer networking an exciting place to be. Computer networking jobs have seen over the last five years (JobOutlook)

For example in 2011, there were 8,800 Computer Network and Systems Engineers in Australia, by 2016 there were 13,100.  If you’re looking for a future-proof career that will take you to new levels of interest and learning, life as a computer network professional could be the next challenge you’re looking for.

More computer networking jobs than ever

Occupational predictions work in five-year cycles and, in the five years to May 2024, the number of computer network professionals in Australia is predicted to grow by 26% (Source: Labour Market Information Portal). That means that, by 2024, there will be 11,100 more people working in computer networking jobs than there were in 2019. If you’re savvy enough to be one of these, you’ll probably be part of the 96% working full time, which is good news for your salary expectations.

Higher than average earnings

As you might imagine for such a skilled role, computer networking jobs currently attract a salary in the top range of salaries in Australia. We don’t know exactly what people working in the role will be paid by 2030 but an experienced computer systems engineer in Australia today would earn an average of $83,000 (Source: PayScale). If you started training in computer networks today, you’d be on target for a very healthy wage by 2030.

An exciting future

male and woman IT specialist busy at work

If you think our current use of computer networking is exciting, wait until you get a glimpse of the future. As a computer network specialist you could be involved in a number of cutting edge technological developments. You could also find yourself having a really positive impact on people’s lives. Here are a few networking trends you can look forward to if you start training today.
  • Working with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to build self-directed networks
  • Developing networks that can identify their own security problems as they occur
  • Exploring new ways to handle data through edge computing

Putting existing skills to good use

There can be no doubt that success in a computer networking job role will require certain key ICT-based competencies. However, the ICT industry also needs some other skills from its professionals, skills that you very likely have already. You should always play to your strengths so, if you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions, it could be that computer networking is the career for you:
  • Do you find it easy to analyse information and make decisions based on your findings?
  • Do you keep looking for solutions to problems until you have found one?
  • Can you work both independently and as part of a team?
  • Do you know how to communicate information when you need to?
One other important question of course would be, ‘Do you have existing computer skills?’ If you can answer ‘yes’ to this one then an entry-level course might well be your first step to the career change you’ve been looking for. For example Upskilled’s ICT30120 - Certificate III in Information Technology is a nationally recognised qualification, which offers training across a broad range of areas including network systems administration and network problems.

Australia needs a skilled workforce

With so many future jobs predicted in this field, it’s easy to see the importance of gaining new proficiencies. Computer network and systems engineers require a very high level of skills but once you have started your training, you can continue to gain experience and qualifications across your career.

Nationally recognised online courses are a great way to continue your learning without disruption to your existing job and commitments. Upskilled’s ICT40120 - Certificate IV in Information Technology (Networking) will introduce you to small scale networks at the same time as providing the learning content for vendor-specific certification including Microsoft’s MTA: Networking Fundamentals and MCSA: Windows Server.

A bright future

male IT professional smiling at camera

As you advance in your computer network job role, you could be eager to learn more and gain further qualifications. Whilst around a quarter of people working in this industry are educated to or below Certificate level, this is not the norm and higher salaries with bigger employers may require further training. If you already have some qualifications or experience, why not take a step towards joining the 50% of computer network professionals who are educated to Diploma or Bachelor Level?

Computer networking skills are still in demand

Gaining skills in computer networking can give you access to an exciting and rewarding career if what you’re looking for is job security and a better salary. With job opportunities across Australia, today’s computer network jobs are available in a wide range of industries. 

Upskilled’s nationally recognised ICT50120 - Diploma of Information Technology (Advanced Networking) offers the learning content for a wide range of vendor-specific training, alongside units designed to deliver the higher skill levels required to install a wider range of networks. Whether your career-change plans include independent work or being part of a team, this qualification is equally relevant.
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