Aussie IT staff working later hours

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Aussie IT staff working later hours

Survey finds an industry of ageing male workaholics.

A survey of almost 1600 Australian IT industry professionals has found that the average employee is working more hours than ever.

The survey results [pdf], drawn from 1599 responses from members of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers (APESMA), found that the number of IT staff working more than 40 hours a week has risen to 74.9 percent, up from 65 percent in 2009.  

One third of respondents (36.4 percent) claimed to have worked over 45 hours a week, and over twice as many staff said they worked more than 50 hours a week (21.3 percent in 2011 vs 10 percent in 2009).

Private sector and not-for-profit workers were slightly more likely to work longer hours than Government employees.

More ACS professionals are choosing full-time work, the study found, at 82.9 percent compared to 76.15 percent in 2009.

Tough for grads

Unemployment rates have remained fairly steady, with the lowest unemployment in the nation’s capital and the hardest place to find work in South Australia.

Professionals under 25 years old reported the highest incidence of unemployment during the past 12 months.

Its a statistic that greatly concerns the society, which has noted a drop in the number of Australian students taking up technology-related degrees and hesitation in the industry to offer graduate positions.

The ACS and APESMA's memberships are also ageing – with 67.6 percent enjoying more than ten years industry experience, 10.6 percent higher than the 57 percent in 2009.

The insurance, defence and health industries and public administration employed the largest share of older workers.

The ACS and APESMA are also struggling to attract the right balance of female members – with males making up 84.4 percent of survey respondents.

Females were more likely to be employed in business analyst, programming, project management and ICT security roles and were best represented in insurance, healthcare, education, R&D and academia.

The ACS has launched a mentoring program to lead fresh talent on a path into the industry.

“Given Australia’s current ICT skills shortage, it is important that graduates are given the opportunity to progress within the industry,” said ACS President Anthony Wong.

“A vital part of addressing current skills shortages is to position the profession as a rewarding career path with many directions.”

The report also gave a handy insight for those workers keen to climb to the top: the average CIO in Australia has almost 25 years experience in the industry.

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