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Where the money is: Jobs on the rise towards 2020

22 January 2018

Money & Life team

Money & Life contributors draw on their diverse range of experience to present you with insights and guidance that will help you manage your financial wellbeing, achieve your lifestyle goals and plan for your financial future.

A new year can get you thinking about all sorts of lifestyle changes, including career direction. We look at the 5 industries expected to experience growth and offer the best in job opportunities in the next two years.

Money isn’t the only reason we choose to work in the jobs we have. You might be following a personal passion or making the most of natural strengths and talents. But when it comes to planning a mid-life career change, it makes sense to be confident your new role and skills are going to reward you financially, particularly if you’re going to be investing time and money in education and training.

With the general trend in wage growth in Australia looking sluggish, it’s more important than ever to retrain for a job that’s likely to be in demand. And you also want to be certain you won’t be choosing a role that could be replaced by a robot in the next decade. According to estimates from the World Economic Forum’s 2016 report “The Future of Jobs”, 5 millions jobs will be lost to automation by 2020[1] and that’s just the beginning.

Being a sought after human resource can give you bargaining power and a wider range of positions and employers to choose from. Here are 5 key skillsets and industries expected to experience growth in job opportunities heading towards 2020[2]:

1. Computer and mathematical

Technological disruption is here to stay and with it comes a lot of data for businesses and the public sector to analyse. Although automation can take over a lot of data crunching, there is still likely to be strong demand for data analysts who can bring a human element to the story data is telling us. Information security experts, software developers and programmers will continue to be in demand for their ability to harness technology and data and protect us from it too.

2. Architecture and engineering

Having the skills to design and manipulate our complex physical environment are likely to be just as highly valued as those needed to innovate in the digital world. Over 2 million new jobs in engineering, architecture, computing and mathematics are forecast for the 4 years from 2016 to 2020. Engineering roles in biochemicals, nanotechnology, robotics, and materials are expected to be particularly in demand.

3. Management

With the growing mobility of human capital and the rise of remote working, teams are becoming increasingly diverse and distributed. Put this together with the rapid pace of technological development and you get a complex set of challenges for managers to take on. Skilled leadership is going to be more important than ever as organisations seek to grow and prosper during periods of transformation and in uncertain times.

4. Human resources and legal

The brave new world of technology can quickly become a minefield of lawsuits and regulatory standards. Having specialised legal minds and government relations experts can help organisations embrace new commercial opportunities with less risk. Human resource and organisational design professionals will also be valued as businesses look to recruitment and retraining to secure the skills they need to thrive.

5. Sales

Effective salespeople are likely to become ever more specialised as businesses aim to break into new markets. Communicating the competitive advantage of a product or service to a range of target audiences – government, businesses and consumers – will be continue to be a prized skillset.

Plan for smooth transition

Taking time off to retrain for your next career can be less stressful if you plan for the change in your financial circumstances. Whether you’ll be learning part-time or full-time, there’s likely to be an impact on your income. Talking to a financial planner can be a good way to make sure you have enough time and money to meet all your commitments as you get ready for your bright new future.

Ready to jump in and get studying for that next career move? Find out more about the benefits of investing in yourself.

[1] Fast Company, These will be the top jobs in 2025, Gwen Moran, 31 March 2016, “The World Economic Forum’s 2016 report, The Future of Jobs, estimates that 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020 and that the number will keep growing.”

[2] World Economic Forum, 8 jobs every company will be hiring for by 2020, Cadie Thompson, 22 January 2016.