9 September 2016
Figuring out what to do at the end of Year 12 can be tough. Choosing a suitable and interesting career path is one thing. Being confident about future job opportunities is another.
Pushing up the periscope and looking to the horizon, the employment outlook in Australia is strengthening, despite declines in the mining industry and resources sector.
Taking the pulse on jobs
The Department of Employment regularly benchmarks jobs and industry growth.
In its latest Australian Jobs Outlook, it forecasts that employment will grow by more than 838,000 jobs in the five years from 2015 to 2019. That's a projected increase of 8.3% in the overall workforce.
And the figures are holding. Updated results over the year ending January 2016 show jobs grew by 302,500. That's an increase of 2.6%, well above the annual average rate of 1.8%.
There's also some positive and noteworthy shifts happening on the jobs front.
The top three industry categories set for major jobs growth are in occupations that rely heavily on people skills - Health Care and Social Assistance, Education and Training, and Professional, Technical and Scientific.
The game changers
A new so-called "care givers industry" is emerging with Australia's ageing population, the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and a higher demand for childcare services.
More than 258,000 new health sector jobs are predicted by 2019, a major growth projection of 18.7%. Many of the opportunities are expected to open up in nursing, aged care, child care, and in the allied health fields of social work and the rehabilitation therapies.
Education is another booming area.
Australia's school aged population has surged, growing above the national average over the past decade. School teacher positions are forecast to grow by 15.6%, representing around 147,000 more jobs within the next few years.
Growing demand for skilled professionals has led to a new jobs category referred to as "The Experts".
Leading the growth are jobs in financial services, law, engineering, database and computers; and cyber security. More than 42,000 extra jobs are predicted by 2019.
There's lots of stimulus coming from the federal government's Infrastructure Growth Package, increased business dependence on cloud computing and the need for big data set analysis to meet the demands of global competition and fast moving online commerce.