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Jobs 2021: 8 in-demand fields of work and how to get involved

Angela Priestley, Women's Agenda
·Contributor
·6-min read
Portrait of female doctor/nurse wearing protective workwear. Close-up of essential service worker. She is against white background
Jobs 2021: 8 in-demand jobs and how to get involved. Source: Getty

There are certain segments of the workforce that are expected to surge in the coming years, creating numerous new jobs and presenting significant opportunities for those keen to get involved.

This shifting world of work is not just for those with skills in AI, robotics, software development and engineering.

People are not machines. We need education, care and support. And that’s especially true in countries like Australia, with an ageing population that will increasingly need varying forms of care to support its people.

That’s why a huge portion of the jobs that are being created now and in the short term future will largely centre around more traditional sectors, including healthcare, as well as other caring areas like childcare and care for those with disabilities.

There will also be more scope for more physical therapists, personal trainers and personal carers. In the education space, there will be even more demand for teachers, private educators and tutors. These are fields that in some cases require tertiary qualifications, but in others rely on Tafe qualifications, certificates or direct placements.

Below we’ve listed eight key areas of work that will be in demand in the coming years.

Data Analytics

Demand for experienced data analysts is booming, with jobs predicted to grow 12.9 per cent over the next five years, according to analysis by Seek, which was advertising 2,508 open roles in the field at the time of writing. Salaries are good, as are the opportunities for career progression.

The field is growing thanks to the massive surge in data that’s now available to organisations – and therefore the need to make sense of such information.

You’ll need a relevant bachelor’s degree (anything from mathematics to computer science), and you may need to also explore some kind of internship experience or possibly a master’s degree to get a foot in the door.

Nursing

There are good opportunities for careers in nursing, as well as incredibly satisfying work in a field that’s finally starting to get more recognition and appreciation. Indeed, nursing (all roles) came up number one on the list of Australia’s 20 most-needed jobs in 2020 according to analysis by Seek, with other reports stating that demand is set to further surge.

There are numerous fields of work and opportunities in nursing, including working in hospitals and key departments, as well as aged care nursing, palliative care, mental health nursing and nursing in general practice.

And there are also multiple ways to get in, including via an 18 month diploma course that’ll see you become an enrolled nurse (EN), or otherwise a three year tertiary course that’ll see you qualify as a registered nurse.

Pharmacy

Pharmacy undergraduates achieved a massive 96.4% full-time employment rate in 2020, according to the 2020 Graduate Outcomes Report.

That shows just how strong demand for this field is. And it will continue to grow from here. Careers in pharmacy include hospital placements, research, government and NGO roles as well as what you’d more traditionally picture as a pharmacist: those working in shops to support the local community.

But this is not a fast way to make a career change: such careers start with a pharmacy degree that can take up to six years, followed by further registration requirements including an internship.

Social work

The need for social workers has been on the rise internationally thanks to the community support needed during the pandemic, and the demand for work is tipped to increase by a massive 29 per cent by 2024 in Australia.

With social work recently classified as Allied Health in Australia, degrees in this area have recently been made more affordable with government contributions. There’s a huge variety of work available, covering everything from employment and health services, to child protection programs and mental health support.

There are also opportunities for social work assistants, meaning you can explore this field further without obtaining a relevant degree -- as well as plenty of other opportunities in organisations that do social work, such as in marketing and communications.

Warehousing, transport & logistics

The rise in online retailing has consequently seen roles and opportunities surge in warehousing, transport and logistics.

This is a wide ranging area covering many different roles and responsibilities, including truck driving, forklift driving, packing, sorting, operations, general management and much more.

These roles usually require certain licences and certificates, such as a forklift licence or truck driving licence – indeed, warehousing is an area where you can continually acquire different certificates and qualifications to continuously grow and develop and keep things interesting. Increasingly, there will also be more demand for new kinds of machine and robotics operators and servicing services.

Education

The need for teachers across all areas continues in Australia, including in primary and secondary schools, as well as in early childhood education.

So much so that there are a number of state-run programs available that will financially support those looking to make a career change into teaching, particularly for those able to work within high-demand locations and subject areas.

Just like most other areas of work, teaching is currently going through some massive transformation, reshaping the opportunities available in the field both in and outside of classrooms (including with the delivery of online education).

Business development

This is a huge area that will survive and thrive across almost all industries thanks to the fact that it can’t be entirely automated, at least not when it comes to working with major clients with big budgets. Acquiring and retaining those major new customers depends on relationships and communication, as well as strategic thinking.

In tech-based enterprises, those in BD roles will require some understanding of the products and systems being sold and promoted, but this is knowledge that can be learned on the job.

If you’re looking to transition into BD now, then start looking at the roles available in your own industry as you may be able to use your existing knowledge and experience to get in the door.

Then once you have some experience in these roles, you can start to see how they can transfer your business development skills into in-demand industries.

Leadership

Ok this is a broad one, but it’s listed here as a means to show that the opportunities for good management and leadership in the future will be more essential than ever -- and available across all sectors.

And the best such candidates won’t be highlighting their technical skills, but rather how their more ‘soft’ skills can lead in a world of increasing AI, automation and ultimately ever-constant change and uncertainty.

The best leaders will be creative thinkers and strategists. They will have empathy and be excellent communicators. They will be curious individuals who are constantly open to learning and problem solving. These are skills that don’t require formal qualifications, but they do need practice. And that’s something you can be doing right now.

This is part four of our Jobs 2021 series, where Yahoo Finance is exploring how to succeed in the next decade: earn more, lead better and win in the next decade of work.

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