Digital technologies include electronic and cyber tools, systems, devices and resources that generate, store or process data. Well known examples include social media, online games, multimedia and mobile phones.
Technological change and innovation over the past three decades has dramatically impacted our economic and social lives. You can now sit in your living room, order and pay for takeaway, and chat to your friends online while you wait for your food to be delivered to your door.
Since the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, people and business have increased their dependence on digital technologies. For example, electronic payments have increased, while the use of cash has decreased.
Digital technologies fall into the well-known category of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Digital technologies are used across nearly all industries, including health, construction, banking and finance, tourism, telecommunication, mechanics or mining. A career in digital technologies provides the opportunity to create digital solutions. It’s not just about numbers and computers, it requires a wide range of different skills.
For example, UI and UX designers are two careers in digital technologies you may like to investigate. User Interface (UI) design skills are needed to arrange information and images on things like websites or apps, enabling visitors to efficiently navigate a website and find the content they need. User Experience (UX) designers are skilled at optimising the user’s experience—ensuring that it is user friendly, and easy to navigate.
A passion for gaming, data analysis, human interaction or business administration can also be turned into careers in digital technologies.
There is strong jobs growth in digital technologies. Between 2015-2019 employment in data related jobs increased significantly; for example, job advertisements for data scientists increased by 611% while demand for data analysts increased by 248%.
For more information on careers in this field, including typical day-to-day tasks, average weekly salary and links to job vacancies, you can search for digital careers under yourcareer.gov.au/occupations. For more information, you can also visit Your Career- Professional, Scientific, Technical Services.
What skills are required?
The following skills may be required to work in digital technology:
- Digital literacy skills – the essential skills needed to participate in a digital society such as the use of the internet, mobile phones and computers.
- General digital skills – needed across the broad workforce to enable effective work in a digital economy such as being able to use complex software and research information.
- Advanced digital skills – the specific skills needed by information, communication technology (ICT) professionals, technicians and managers working with or designing information technology systems, hardware and software.
There are many pathways into digital technology, through university, vocational education and training (VET - including traineeships). And, there are plenty of online, self-paced options available.
Job finding tip
Do your research to understand what type of digital technologies career would work for you. A career in digital technology is not limited to data and science. The need for skilled digital technologies workforce runs across all industries - whether in health, communications or mining, there are opportunities everywhere so you can combine your interests with a career in digital.
More options about what’s next for you
The School Leavers Information Kit provides tailored information about education, training and work options as you take your next steps.
To chat to someone about a career in digital technologies, you can contact the School Leavers Information Service call centre on 1800 CAREER or text SLIS2020 to 0429 009 435.
This service can provide more tailored support about your options and the training opportunities that suit you including help polishing your resume or where to find jobs and training.
More tips to get started
- Speak to your friends, your parents/guardians, your career adviser/teachers.
- Search this website about how you can:
- Be inspired by the career stories of the Australian VET Alumni.
If your wellbeing is being impacted by COVID-19 , the COVID-19 support page has some information and links that could assist you.
VET Alumni story - Kirsty
Kirsty Potter-Penney - Network Design Operative
‘My traineeship has been one of the best decisions I have made for both my career and my life. I found a place where I could study in a way that fitted my personality, without having to leave the workforce. I learned so many skills that have helped me through my life and I am so grateful for the qualifications and career I now have.’
Seeking a career change, Kirsty applied for a traineeship, hosted by Telstra, undertaking the Certificate III and Certificate IV in Telecommunications Engineering Technology. When she finished her traineeship, Kirsty continued working with Telstra as a Network Radio Designer.
Before starting her traineeship, Kirsty had the barest understanding of the telecommunications industry and the technologies involved.
The traineeship involved planning and performing installations using most telecommunication technologies, including radio, mobiles, switching and transmission.
While she never thought she would end up working within the biggest telecommunications company in Australia, Kirsty is now a radio designer in the access and facility network engineering team at Telstra.
Kirsty said the traineeship was the perfect opportunity to expand her knowledge and career prospects without committing to a university degree. She is excited to continue in the industry, keeping an eye on how the technology progresses and expands into the future.
“A VET pathway is worth it for the opportunity to learn and research the industry, and to meet people who have done it before so they can share their experiences,” she said.
"It's a great way to find a career path, gain qualifications and practical skills which are not only industry specific but that can be applied in your own life too, all while getting the real-world experience"
Kirsty was the 2018 South Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year, a finalist in the same category at the 2018 Australian Training Awards and is a member of the Australian VET Alumni.