How to ‘future proof’ your career: The top 10 growth jobs over the next five years

Worried a robot's coming for your job? There's still time to 'future proof' your career.

Worried a robot's coming for your job? There's still time to 'future proof' your career. Photo: YouTube

The rise of automation and artificial intelligence means the prospect of a robot stealing your job is no-longer the stuff of science fiction.

However, there’s still time to ‘future-proof’ your career by choosing a job in one of the sectors tipped to grow over the next five years, new analysis by Sydney-based firm McCrindle has found.

From health care to sports and hospitality, these are the jobs and industries tipped to rise – and fall – over the next half decade.

Four sectors to dominate employment by 2023

By 2023, two-thirds of new jobs will be in four sectors according to data from the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

The industries set to experience job growth are largely driven by demographic changes rather than just technological advances, McCrindle’s research reveals.

Factors that will influence the type of jobs available in the future include Australia’s ageing population, increased demand for housing and infrastructure as a result of population growth, and the growing number of school-aged children and tertiary-aged adults.

The top four industries projected to make up 66.4 per cent of total employment growth over the next 5 years (and the percentage increase in jobs they will experience) are:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (14.9 per cent)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (10.2 per cent)
  • Construction (10 per cent)
  • Education and Training (11.2 per cent)

“When we think about jobs of the future, we tend to think about drone pilots and app developers, but its nurses, teachers and construction workers,” social analyst Mark McCrindle said.

Mr McCrindle believes the rise of the robots is further away than many might assume, leaving plenty of time for a career change.

“The effect of automation has a longer-term time frame than many think. There is time to plan the next phase of one’s career path,” he said.

The top 10 ‘future-proof’ jobs

Carers and aides are set to be in hot demand over the next five years. Photo: Getty

Workers keen to protect their livelihoods from the threat of automation can consider choosing a ‘future proof’ job – one where humans aren’t in danger of being replaced by robots.

“I would look for a job that involves interaction with people. Jobs relying on people skills, creativity, and which require advanced decision-making will be in demand,” Mr McCrindle said.

The top 10 occupations with the largest projected employment growth rates over the next five years are:

  1. Carers and Aides (23.6 per cent)
  2. Sports and Personal Service Workers (16.7 per cent)
  3. Health Professionals (16.3 per cent)
  4. ICT Professionals (16 per cent)
  5. Food Trades Workers (14.2 per cent)
  6. Hospitality Workers (13.8 per cent)
  7. Legal, Social and Welfare Professionals (13 per cent)
  8. Health and Welfare Support Workers (12.7 per cent)
  9. Skilled Animal and Horticultural Workers (11.6 per cent)
  10. Specialist Managers (10.6 per cent)

While demand for carers and aides is set to surge, administrative jobs and back-office roles are all set to decline, with personal assistant and secretarial jobs tipped to decline by 20.5 per cent over the next five years, McCrindle found.

Sales workers and machine and stationary plant operators are also facing declines as technology replaces these roles.

“It is prudent for young people and their parents to take these projections into account as they plan school and university subjects and career paths,” Mr McCrindle said.

“The advice to ‘just follow your passion’ could be enhanced by looking at what jobs are experiencing growth trends to line up one’s passion with reality.”

The average tenure in a job is currently just three years, meaning a school-leaver today can expect to have up to 17 jobs across five careers in a working lifetime.

Investing in transferable skills, such as communication skills and management and leadership, is key to future-proofing roles, Mr McCrindle said.

“As our younger generations prepare for the world of work, and those of us already in it consider career changes, it is important that we all consider upskilling and retraining,” he said.

Industries on the decline

While jobs that involve interacting with people are on the rise, industries disrupted by online shopping, or that rely heavily on machines, are tipped to see minimal growth or declines in the number of people employed  in them.

The top four sectors expected to shed jobs, or see their rate of employment decline, over the next five years are:

  • Wholesale Trade (- 2.7 per cent)
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (- 0.4 per cent)
  • Manufacturing (0.9 per cent)
  • Mining (2.4 per cent)

“Wholesale trade is due to the trend in consumers going straight to the source, cutting out intermediaries,” McCrindle found.

“Today’s thriving direct-to-consumer brands are providing quality products at affordable prices, and this combined with price comparison websites and online shopping is transforming the traditional sales supply chain.

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