As economists predicted, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected Australia’s economic outlook and the job market. However, this does not necessarily mean you will have difficulty finding a job in Sydney.
New South Wales (NSW) is Australia’s largest state and generates a third of the country’s annual output (more than $600 billion). The 2019-2020 ABS Australian Industry report explains that NSW leads the country in both share of national employment (33.3 per cent) and share of wages and salaries (33.5 per cent). This makes Sydney (the capital of NSW) a great place to live and work in the post-pandemic economy. (But if you need further convincing, here are 10 awesome reasons to live in Sydney!)
When speaking to career advisors in Sydney, it is not a question of what careers are available in Sydney, but rather what are the most in-demand and secure careers? The way we work is undoubtedly changing, with the core contributing factors being the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hyper-connected digital landscape we’re living in.
This shift has seen in-demand skills and industries change, too. The National Skills Commission (NSC) and the NSW Government have identified emerging jobs that meet the new and developing needs of the Australian labour market. We investigate five of these in-demand industries below.
Healthcare and social assistance was one of the few industries that reported a positive employment movement in 2019-2020, with the sector growing by 4.1 per cent. This increase was predominantly driven by additional employment in social assistance services (an increase of 6.7 per cent) and residential care services (an increase of 4.1 per cent).
Emerging jobs in the healthcare industry reflect changing specialisations and care practices. Many of these specialisations have been prioritised due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:
- Biostatisticians, who use numerical research to inform improvements in the medical system
- Respiratory therapists, who treat patients with breathing disorders
E-commerce’s share of global trade increased by 3 per cent in 2020, with the sector experiencing unprecedented and unforeseen growth as a result of COVID-19. This rapid expansion and digital shift have increased demand for jobs concerned with the increasing role of technology in business, including:
- Digital marketing analysts, who work to boost return on digital marketing investment
- Social media specialists, who optimise paid and organic social media content, advertising and sponsorships
- User experience (UX) analysts, who enhance the online experience of a website, app or software user
NSW’s 2040 Economic Blueprint report explains that the education industry must focus on producing workforce-ready graduates. To meet this requirement, the current academic and technical training given to students will be optimised with the hard and soft skills needed to thrive in future employment.
Generally speaking, in-demand roles within the education sector will remain the same:
- Primary school teachers, who teach kindergarten to year 6
- High school teachers, who teach years 7-12
However, how and what they teach will change. Curriculums will include more of a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) training to prepare students for the transition from education to tech-dominant jobs. This will be balanced by integrating creativity into the curriculum to prepare students to think critically and innovatively.
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) tells us that the demand for skilled IT professionals is growing exponentially to meet emerging tech trends. The hyper-connected world we live in generates unfathomable amounts of data, and that data needs to be processed, translated and used to inform better business decisions.
Emerging jobs in this industry are associated with growth in data and data-driven decision-making, including:
- Data engineers and architects, who work on new ways to capture and organise data to pass on to data analysts and scientists
- Data analysts and data scientists, who translate data sets into performance insights, communicating findings and recommendations to the business
- Pricing analysts, who calculate the best price point for products and services based on competitor analysis, market expectations and business objectives
Sustainability engineering and trades
The NSW 2040 Blueprint report predicts that Australia’s east coast will continue to suffer from droughts. Therefore, the state needs to secure energy and water supplies at the lowest possible cost while retaining a healthy environment. This aligns with the Australian Government’s focus on and funding for innovative projects that support industry and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
This consideration for sustainability and budget conservation requires a new mix of skills in the engineering and trade industry. Jobs involved with new forms of renewable energy are now in-demand, including:
- Solar installers, who install panels that capture energy from the sun to use within households, businesses and industrial properties
- Energy-efficiency engineers, who specialise in, advise on and install appliances and whitegoods that use minimal energy
- Wind turbine technicians, who plan, install and maintain wind turbines used to generate energy
Where to find free career advice in Sydney
While the NSC’s data-driven analysis and previous economic performance are strong indicators of in-demand jobs in Sydney, they are not the only resources at your disposal.
Your first point of call should be your education provider. Get in touch with the employment office, guidance counsellor or student support available to you.
You can also check out Study NSW’s online resources for finding and applying for a job. As well, Insider Guides offers a Working in Australia information hub and regular webinars for international students.