aws gallup research

AWS says workers with advanced digital skills are worth $41bn to Australian GDP

New research commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) shows that workers in Australia with advanced digital skills, including cloud architecture or software development, contribute an estimated AU$41 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. The Australia Digital Skills Study conducted by Gallup found that advanced digital workers in Australia benefit from not only a boost in income, but also higher job satisfaction. Employers who rely heavily on advanced digital skills and cloud technology also report higher growth and innovation. However, the study also revealed that 71% of Australian organizations are experiencing hiring issues. AWS has launched the AWS re/Start Associate program to help unemployed and underemployed IT professionals acquire advanced skills to pivot to mid-level cloud careers.

According to the Gallup study, which surveyed over 2,000 working adults and 775 employers across public and private sectors, 65% of workers with advanced digital skills expressed higher job satisfaction compared to 56% of workers with basic digital skills and 47% of workers with intermediate digital skills. Employers that rely heavily on advanced digitally-skilled workers, digital technology, and cloud technology reap higher business growth and innovation. The study found that 61% of Australian organisations that run some or most of their business on the cloud realise annual revenue growth of 10% or more.

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However, the study also revealed that 71% of Australian organisations are experiencing hiring issues. The Gallup study also found that 73% of Australian employers surveyed were seeking to fill openings that require digital skills, but 71% said it is challenging to find the talent they need. 27% of Australian organizations prefer a bachelor’s degree even for entry-level IT staff. However, many are starting to recognize that accepting industry certifications can ease their hiring challenges. 72% of employers say that digital certifications or training courses are acceptable substitutes for a bachelor’s degree.

AWS is working to address the digital skills gap in Australia by expanding its digital skills training programs for workers and employers. In Australia, AWS has trained more than 300,000 people with basic, intermediate, and advanced cloud skills since 2017. The company is also collaborating with local public and private sector employers to help them upskill and reskill their employees.

To further help workers in Australia acquire advanced skills to further their careers, AWS has announced the launch of AWS re/Start Associate, a new track under the AWS re/Start program to help unemployed and underemployed IT professionals modernize their skills and pivot to mid-level cloud careers. In Australia, AWS is collaborating with Goanna Education, an Indigenous-owned education provider, to deliver the program locally. Globally, AWS re/Start is a free multi-week, cohort-based workforce-development program that connects more than 98% of graduates with job interview opportunities.

AWS Country Director for Public Sector for Australia and New Zealand, Iain Rouse, said, “Digital skills drive tremendous gains for individuals, organisations, and economies, which is why AWS is committed to expanding our digital skills training programs for workers and employers across Australia. We are excited to continue to collaborate with local public and private sector employers to help them upskill and reskill their employees and take full advantage of the cloud to accelerate their business growth, productivity, and innovation.”

Key takeaways

  • While only a small share of workers (9%) use advanced digital skills, these workers add $41 billion to Australia’s GDP annually, thanks to their higher income and productivity.
  • When basic and intermediate digital skills are factored in, the total boost to Australia’s GDP from digital skills is $68 billion each year.
  • The average worker with advanced digital skills earns 24% more than a worker with a similar education and experience who does not use any digital skills on the job
  • 65% of advanced digital workers express high job satisfaction
  • 47% of workers who have taken digital training say it has improved their employability (36%) and increased their opportunities for promotion (32%).
  • 61% of Aussie organisations that run some or most of their business on the cloud realise annual revenue growth of 10% or more, compared to 47% of those that do not use the cloud.
  • 66% said emerging technologies including AI, edge and quantum computing, 5G, and blockchain, will likely become a standard part of their future business operations, with 5G ranking the highest at 46%.

Download the AWS study, here.

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