The race between technology and education to determine what the workers of the future will be doing has heated up in recent years, with artificial intelligence promoting automation and the gig economy creating new kinds of tech-enabled work.
But while some roles, such as payroll clerks and bookkeepers, have been predicted as likely targets of automation in the coming years, other industries are booming.
Industry analysis firm IBISWorld has run the numbers on what sectors will see the most new jobs over the next five years, and the results are surprising and predictable at the same time.
1. Internet publishing and broadcasting
Firmly in the predictable camp, IBISWorld said the number of people employed in the internet publishing and broadcasting sector will almost double by 2024, increasing 8.2% on an annualised basis over the next five years.
Increased connectivity speeds and growth in online news content and advertising are driving the boom, IBISWorld said.
“Skilled software engineers are needed to develop and maintain website databases, mobile applications, cybersecurity implementations and a range of other tasks necessary to ensure that online services run smoothly,” IBISWorld senior industry analyst William McGregor said in a statement.
The number of jobs is expected to move from 5,414 in 2018-19 to 8,020 in 2023-24.
2. Data storage services
IBISWorld said the data storage sector will grow at an annualised rate of 10.7% through to 2023-24 to reach $4.1 billion.
This will coincide with a 5.7% annualised increase in jobs within the sector over the next five years.
McGregor said the completion of the NBN would drive the boom.
“The industry will require more skilled employees to meet rising demand for cloud computing, Internet of Things, and machine learning solutions,” he said.
The number of jobs is slated to increase from 3,047 in 2018-19 to 4,013 in 2023-24.
3. Specialist medical services
Australia’s population is ageing, so it’s no surprise the provision of medical services is predicted to grow at an annualised rate of 4.3% to $16 billion over the next five years.
Jobs are expected to increase significantly, despite an increase in the use of technology, with IBISWorld predicting more than 10,000 roles will be added, taking the sector-wide total to 53,268 people.
4. General practice medical services
Demand for GPs is booming, again because Australia is ageing.
Additionally, IBISWorld said the lift on the Medicare rebate freeze in the budget earlier this year has supported growth in patient enquiries.
“Older Australians drive demand for GP services because they typically require more prescription medications, general health check-ups and regular consultations to address age-related illnesses,” McGregor said.
In this labour intensive industry, jobs are expected to grow at an annualised rate of 3.6% over the next five years.
The number of people working in the sector will increase from 94,218 to 112,336, IBISWorld said.
5. Multi-unit apartment and townhouse construction
The construction industry is changing as technology automates more basic roles in the industry. However, this is supporting growth in more skilled roles for specialists.
“As Australia’s population continues to expand and urbanisation continues to increase, demand for large-scale multi-story apartment complexes is forecast to grow,’ McGregor said.
The industry is predicted to grow by 4.8% annually over the next five years to $47.5 billion, supporting the creation of over 8,000 new jobs.