With IBISWorld predicting 2010 will be a boom year for Australian business, and that the next five years will see significant economic growth, opportunities for university graduates are set to grow as companies seek to invest in talented staff.
The fact that December 2009 saw the number of jobless people fall by 13,300 is a sure sign that the Australian economy is on the up, and indicates positive hiring intentions for 2010 and beyond.
And while employment should rise across the board, IBISWorld has identified a top list of industries predicted to lead the charge in the coming five years and the courses that will get you there, including:
1. Opting for organic
In the next five years IBISWorld projects increasing health consciousness and environmental awareness will drive demand for organic foods, seeing revenue grow at an average 13.4% per year to reach around $760 million in 2014. As the industry expands, employment is forecast to strengthen from 6.2% in 2012-13 to 11.2% in 2013-14.
Growth will mainly be driven by increases in production, and an increase in consumer demand. Not only does organic farming offer higher returns for farmers, but recent studies suggest it is more resilient and adaptable to changing conditions wrought by climate change – encouraging some farmers to switch from conventional to organic farming.
In terms of job prospects, opportunities would relate to increased production, creating demand for farmers, farm hands, skilled and unskilled labourers, and itinerant workers such as pickers.
While many of the jobs created will fall into the category of unskilled labour, there will also be opportunities created for ecologists, biodynamic farming specialists and researchers.
To obtain employment in the sector, relevant university courses include natural and physical sciences – which accounted for 9.2% of all undergraduate enrolments in 2009, as well as agriculture, environmental and related studies – which accounted for only 2% of 2009 enrolments.
2. Investing in green
As the green message begins to translate into government policy, IBISWorld anticipates the introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme or similar framework will create new revenue opportunities for investment banking and security brokerage, with strong employment and wage growth projected for 2012-2014. Opportunities are likely to arise in areas of risk management, planning and advisory, and the trading of products linked to carbon credits.
To obtain employment in the sector, relevant university courses to include are finance and commerce degrees – noting that within Australia, finance and commerce represent one of the most popular schools of study, accounting for 15.2% of all tertiary undergraduate enrolments in 2009.
3. Mining money – an iron grip on a pretty nickel
Looking to 2014, IBISWorld expects Australia’s mining sector will remain a strong employer, with nickel and iron ore mining leading the charge in employment growth.
While the global financial crisis saw production in nickel ore and iron ore mining fall, IBISWorld expects activity in the sector to rebound in 2010 and beyond, resulting in increasing demand for a range of jobs including chemical and material engineers, geologists, surveyors, cartographers, electricians, welders, safety inspectors, truck drivers and mining labourers.
To obtain employment in the sector, relevant courses include a variety of apprenticeships and traineeships, as well as engineering and related technology degrees – which accounted for 7.4% of all university undergraduate enrolments in 2009.
4. Everything online
Over the five years to 2014-15, IBISWorld expects increased investment in online information services and the development of new products and applications to see employment increase at an average annual rate of 7.1%. Wages are also expected to increase at a rate of 9.9% per year, driven by growing demand and the expansion of mid-sized firms.
However, employment and wage growth is expected to be somewhat mitigated by improving technology, which will increasingly make many positions redundant.
With employment focusing on technology application and development, information technology courses – which accounted for 2.9% of all undergraduate university enrolments in 2009 – are the most relevant to gaining employment.
5. Bringing up baby
An industry that has suffered staff shortages in the past, IBISWorld predicts the coming years will see demand for child care services remain strong, resulting in 6.1% employment growth in 2013-14. IBISWorld expects the collapse of ABC Learning that has occurred in the past year, will see a re-emergence of community run centers, and cause operators to re-evaluate their practices.
Increased industry regulation and the expansion of high quality child care services is expected to both push wages up, and encourage employment growth for staff with varying qualification levels, including child care managers, early-education teachers and carers.
A range of further education opportunities, including child care traineeships and TAFE courses, and early education teaching at university are options for anyone interested in obtaining employment in the sector.
6. Pet therapy
According to IBISWorld, recent years have seen Australians invest more money on pampering their pets, providing a boost for pet-related industries such as veterinary services – resulting in a growing demand for vets, vet nurses and animal focused alternative health practitioners.
In response to increased demand, we are seeing more vets branch out, offering services such as chiropractics, ophthalmology, dentistry and dermatology – generating additional revenue and creating more employment opportunities.
However, while employment opportunities are set to boom, only 0.3% of students received a place in veterinary science degrees in 2009, meaning the sector may be faced with a skills shortage in the coming years.
7. Show them the money
As Australia’s baby boomers approach retirement age, and as disposable income increases, IBISWorld projects demand for financial planning & investment advice to increase, resulting in employment growth of 4.1% in 2013-14.
Prior to 2009-10, growth in demand for finance and investment advice services outpaced the number of qualified staff, leading to a skills shortage. As the economy recovers, demand is expected to pick up again, meaning the sector will need additional professionals to service growing demand.
Industry growth is currently constrained by the total number of advisors and the revenue and profits they generate, meaning growth in employment is imperative for the sector to expand.
With employment predominantly available for finance and commerce university graduates, the sector is facing competition for staff from a variety of other finance based industries, including investment and securities brokerage and accounting, as well as from international job opportunities.
8. Counting on growth
One of the sectors hardest hit by the 2008 to 2009 downturn, IBISWorld expects 2009-10 will prove another tough year for accounting services with industry revenue falling by 1.1% to $14 billion, resulting in a decrease of 1.6% in employment.
However, the accounting services industry is well positioned to take advantage of economic recovery as new regulations and reporting requirements come into effect in response to the global financial crisis.
Increased compliance requirements and other recent regulatory changes such as the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Act of 2006, or any future climate change legislation will help to fuel demand for accounting services over the next five years.
9. Essential health
IBISWorld expects Australia’s ageing population, and an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease such as diabetes will see demand for jobs in the hospital and health sector continue – with employment forecast to grow by a steady 3.5% each year from 2010 to 2014.
Increasing demand for health services will see growth across a range of occupations, including surgeons, anaesthetists, occupational therapists, medical technicians, radiologists, pediatricians, ambulance officers, nurses, kitchen hands, laundry workers, cleaners and cooks.
In terms of health practitioners, university is the best option for those interesting in obtaining employment in the field. However, with only 1.1% of all 2009 university applicants receiving a place in a medicine course, the sector undoubtedly faces a continuing skills shortage. Nursing studies on the other hand accounted for 7.5% of 2009 university enrollees.
10. Booming biotechnology
While the GFC saw a slow down in investment in research and development, IBISWorld expects Australia’s biotechnology industry will bounce back in the coming years, creating additional jobs.
Australia’s biotechnology sector largely focuses on areas relating to human health and agriculture – both of which are expected to continue to grow over the next five years, as health and the environment remain high on the agenda.
However, many companies looking to expand have found it difficult to attract qualified employees – such as clinical research associates, research assistants, science technicians, and research and development managers – somewhat mitigating growth.
For those interested in working within the sector, degrees relating to natural & physical sciences, engineering and related technologies, and agriculture, environmental and related studies, as relevant areas of study – stressing the necessity for postgraduate qualifications for many opportunities.