​Today's tech skills redundant within a decade

Up to four in ten of your work colleagues may be machines by 2027

Almost half of the IT workers responding to a global survey believe that within 10 years their job will be automated, rendering their current skills redundant.

Recruiter Harvey Nash spoke to 3,245 tech professionals across 84 countries for its 2017 tech survey with 94 per cent indicating that their career would be severely limited if they didn’t teach themselves new skills.

Bridget Gray, managing director at Harvey Nash APAC, told CIO Australia that technology careers are in a state of flux.

“With over 50 per cent of respondents indicating that their jobs are likely to be automated, it is possible that ten years from now the IT function will look vastly different. Even for those IT professionals relatively unaffected directly by automation, there is a major indirect effect – anything up to four in ten of their work colleagues may be machines by 2027,” Gray says.

The chance of automation varies greatly with job role, according to the report. Testers and IT operations professionals are most likely to expect their job role to be significantly affected in the next decade (67 per cent and 63 per cent respectively). CIOs, VPs of IT and programme managers will be least affected at 31 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

Despite the increase in automation, IT workers are in high demand with survey participants receiving at least seven ‘headhunt calls’ in the last 12 months. Software engineers and developers were in the most demand followed by analytics and big data roles.

Respondents expected artificial intelligence, augmented virtual reality and robotics as well as big data, cloud, and the Internet of Things to be the most important technologies in the next 5 years.

Learning a priority

IT workers are prioritising learning over any other career development tactic with self-learning significantly more important to them than formal training or qualifications.

Only 12 per cent indicated that ‘more training’ is a key thing they want in their job while 27 per cent saw gaining qualifications as a top priority in their career.

Meanwhile, respondents were also asked that if they were to change one thing about their workplace what would it be? More than seven per cent said their boss, and nearly 15 per cent said to be recognised for their contribution.

A further 29.9 per cent wanted to work on more interesting projects, 10.4 per cent wanted better job security, and 18.7 per cent wanted a stronger team around them.

Agree or disagree? Within ten years, a significant part of my job that I currently perform will be automated


Programme Management


CIO, CTO or VP of IT


Software Engineering


Development Management / Team Leadership


Project Management




Business Analysis




Infrastructure Management / Team Leadership


BI / Analytics


IT operations




Source: Harvey Nash