Over the course of compiling The Good Careers Guide 2017, it became obvious that whether by removing, improving or creating jobs, technology is reshaping the future of work in Australia.
There is a clear pattern evident in the five roles predicted to experience sustained growth and add an estimated 30,000 jobs to the country. Early education teachers, occupational therapists, social workers, special education teachers, and speech professionals and audiologists all involve substantial amounts of human interaction. This in an aspect that simply cannot be replicated by machines, regardless of how advanced. With an ageing population, there will be an increased demand for workers in areas like healthcare and human movement, prolonging and improving the quality of life for people as they enter old age. Technology will equip employees with devices and techniques to better perform their roles, as well as create new ones.
Four of the five jobs in steep decline will account for 17,000 jobs that are predicted to be phased out. Binders, finishers and printers, metal engineering process workers, printing assistants and table workers, and sewing machinists are all at risk due to their likelihood of automation as they aren’t reliant on a great deal of human decision making. Also, the emergence of digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant has reduced the dependence on human secretaries.
There are plenty of jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago yet are now commonplace – Uber drivers, app designers and social media managers have all become legitimate professions, all stemming from the advancement of the smartphone. Predicting what technology will exist and how it will impact the workforce isn’t an exact science. The ripples from the splash the iPhone made in 2007 are still being felt long after they became ubiquitous and continue to drive further innovation. However, we can say that whatever the next big thing is, it will undoubtedly drive the direction and number of jobs available, in turn influencing the courses and qualifications required to pursue them.
Ross White is Head of Data and Analytics for Good Education Media and headed up the production team for The Good Careers Guide 2017. The continual development of the Guide is driven by the idea that the global challenge for education and employment is not just about providing access, but also ensuring learners gain the knowledge and skills required for success in the 21st Century. Learn more about Ross.