Mining and IT jobs - where are we heading?
Where is the Australian resources sector heading and what are the implications for those seeking new IT jobs around the country?
Nothing draws a variety of different viewpoints like asking a bunch of people whether the mining boom continues to go strong or whether a peak has already been reached.
Earlier this month, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens announced the RBA's decision to hold the official cash rate at three per cent.
Mr Stevens noted in his April 2 statement that in 2012 there were big increases in capital spending in the resources sector, while other sectors didn't do so well.
Looking ahead to the future however, he noted that "the peak in resource investment is drawing close".
There is no question that the mining sector has increased the number of IT jobs in Australia so far. However, if the industry is soon to reach peak activity, does that mean there will be a consequent drop in demand for IT professionals?
Not necessarily, according to IDC research manager Emilie Ditton.
IDC released a report in August 2012 detailing their analysis of the ICT job opportunities on the horizon within the resources sector.
'Resources ICT Market Forecast and Analysis 2011 to 2015' found that the sector's spend on ICT was likely to increase over the next few years, in part because of the coming of peak investment.
"The sector will be increasingly challenged by the requirement to manage costs within a global environment of moderating growth, and within a local context of high labour and energy costs in Australia," said Ms Ditton in an August 15 statement.
She said that with growth moderating, the mining sector will increasingly turn to ICT in order to improve cost management, organisational efficiency and overall productivity.
"IDC expects to see opportunities in technologies that deliver productivity improvements, organisational responsiveness and support maintaining a low cost base such as mobile applications, remote application delivery, business intelligence (BI)/predictive analytics, and cloud computing."