• ACS report highlights skilled ICT migrants have high employment rates in Australia, with over 90% finding jobs and 80% within the IT sector
  • Skilled ICT migrants face hurdles such as complex migration processes, workplace discrimination, and visa issues
  • Regional Australia benefits from visa rule changes, with an increase in migrants living outside major cities, though long-term retention is challenged by job availability


Special Report: A new report by the Australian Computer Society (ACS),  the professional association for Australia’s technology sector, has brought to light the critical role skilled migrants play in filling the tech talent void in Australia, enabling businesses to overcome barriers to growth and particularly benefiting regional areas.

The ACS Skilled Journeys: Navigating IT Migration in Australia Report, offers an in-depth look at the experiences, challenges, and significant contributions to the Australian economy migrants make, based on responses from 2,303 skilled ICT migrants.

The findings reveal that employment outcomes for ICT skilled migrants are overwhelmingly positive, with more than 90% finding employment and 80% landing jobs within the IT sector, debunking the myth that skilled migration mainly leads to gig economy roles.

Siobhan O’Sullivan, ACS chief growth officer, said: “This success story runs counter to the popular narrative that gig economy work is the inevitable outcome of Australia’s skilled migration system. When it comes to the IT workforce, the vast majority are finding fulfilling roles in the right fields.”

The report also underscores the positive effects of recent visa rule changes on regional Australia. An increase in migrants settling outside major cities has been noted, although getting migrants to stay regional in the long-term can be challenging. This is primarily due to job availability and career prospects being constrained in these areas.

There are however a few challenges to overcome that are highlighted in the report: skilled ICT migrants encounter obstacles such as complex migration processes, workplace discrimination, and visa-related issues during their job searches. Over half of the respondents cited visa and work rights as significant barriers.

In light of these findings, the ACS is recommending several policy changes to facilitate a smoother integration process for migrants, including; easier pathways to permanent residency, enhanced job search support programs, and initiatives to fight workplace discrimination.

O’Sullivan said the report was “proof of the valuable contribution skilled migrants make to our country, helping fill the critical shortage of IT professionals in Australia, especially in a time when the tech industry is facing unprecedented demand for skilled talent.”


Australia still a great place to work

Despite facing numerous challenges, the vast majority (83%) of skilled ICT migrants view their decision to move to Australia positively, and they are keen to recommend migration to others.

“This survey is the first in an annual series which aims to help policymakers, employers and skilled migrants understand the dynamics and outcomes for those from overseas who are looking at building a career in the Australian ICT sector,” O’Sullivan said.

“What this research reveals is that for many migrants, regional Australia just doesn’t have the opportunities for career progression that they want. That’s something we need to address at the policy level.”

The ACS report celebrates the success stories of skilled migration, but also calls for critical policy reforms to sustain and build upon this momentum, especially in regional areas.

By tackling the identified challenges, Australia can further capitalise on skilled migration as a vital engine for the growth of its tech industry and its competitiveness in this vital sector on the world stage.


This article was developed in collaboration with Australian Computer Society, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.