The COVID-19 pandemic not only brought significant disruption to the global economy, it also prompted permanent changes to the jobs landscape in Australia.
And, while some industries are still picking up the pieces, many others grew and learned to adapt and are now ready to hire more workers in 2021.
LinkedIn careers expert Shiva Kumar said while the tourism and hospitality sectors had suffered a huge hit, the healthcare, mining and construction industries had recorded growth, and the digital marketing and online retail sectors were also now looking to fill numerous new roles.
“The jobs on the rise reflects demand for skills across a range of industries,” Mr Kumar said.
“The value of transferable skills is that while some industries have been significantly impacted, others have had huge demand.”
The professional networking site has released a new report, revealing the most in-demand jobs in 2021.
THE CARE ECONOMY
As the pandemic continues to rage across the world, it’s no surprise that health workers in “the care economy” are in demand.
Australia will continue to battle the ongoing psychological impacts of a year of social isolation and lockdowns in 2021, prompting governments to invest more in the mental health sector, creating a real need for specialists, support staff and social workers.
Nurses, paramedics and doctors are urgently needed as Australia’s health system grows to respond to the demands of an ageing population. LinkedIn said incentives for more people to study nursing would likely see this trend continue for some time.
Allied health professionals and medical support staff are vital to complement frontline medical workers, reflecting a boom in openings for occupational therapists, home health aides and physical therapists.
Mr Kumar said there was a huge demand for skilled healthcare staff in the wake of COVID-19.
“There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year. Between the lockdowns and isolation, never more has Australia needed care workers to assist individuals and communities as we rebuild,” he said.
“We can see that mental health specialists and frontline workers, such as doctors and nurses, are being hired most in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, while social workers and health support staff such as physical and occupational therapists are most in demand in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.”
To nurture future care workers and to keep up with a growing population, roles in the education sector are in need of filling. Early childhood educators are in demand with the sector rapidly increasing. The number of people working in the area is expected to swell to 49,100 by 2024, from 42,300 in 2019.
REBUILDING THE ECONOMY
As the country gets back on its feet after a year of economic disruption, governments have invested billions of dollars in new projects, sparking a need for people to fill core jobs.
Construction is the third largest industry in Australia, and as the government is likely to continue to invest in new projects to stimulate economic recovery, the sector is going to need workers.
According to LinkedIn, the most in-demand jobs are construction site managers, construction estimators, heavy equipment operators, construction workers and forklift operators, with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane the top locations.
Despite the economic downturn in 2020, Australia’s property sector remained remarkably upbeat. With low interest rates and more Australians now working remotely, people will be looking to relocate and skilled workers are needed to help.
Mr Kumar said there were many opportunities for jobseekers to implement transferable skills to enter the industry.
“With the housing market booming, roles in real estate and construction are hiring rapidly. The good thing about these disciplines is that they don’t always require university degrees,” Mr Kumar said.
“Many construction workers have completed an apprenticeship, which is largely subsidised by the government and means that you can work while you study at TAFE.
“Real estate agents also do not require a degree, although you should consider how you can show transferable skills in sales strategies and good communication skills.”
Customer service workers are often on the frontline for many organisations as they try to navigate through significant disruption. During the pandemic, hospitality and tourism workers were able to repurpose their interpersonal and communication skills to fill some of the roles, but Mr Kumar said there were plenty more vacancies.
The retail sector is Australia’s second largest employer, with one in 10 Australian workers employed in the trade.
COVID-19 caused significant upset to brick-and-mortar retail, but many outlets were able to adapt by turning to online. As a result, there are various roles open in the sector in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, ranging from delivery roles that require no formal qualification to online specialists.
During 2020, the ability to communicate with customers using social media became even more important, as in-person engagement took a hit. With an increasing number of channels and tools to measure performance, digital marketing is rapidly evolving. Professionals are opting for online Digital Marketing course to keep themselves up to date with the changing trends. Top titles in the sector include growth hacker, content designer, search engine optimisation specialist, social media marketing manager and growth specialist.
Mr Kumar said the roles served the needs of everyday Australians adjusting to a new way of life.
“We’ve seen such a growth in e-commerce, so therefore social media marketing type roles have been very important to companies try to meet the demands of customers increasingly shopping online,” he said.
The report also found content was king in the digital age, and the demand for it was “insatiable”. LinkedIn observed a sharp increase in content in 2020, not only on social media but in podcasting, where revenue was tipped to reach $47 million. As such, bloggers, podcasters, writers, copywriters and content co-ordinators are all in demand.
The demand for digital specialised engineering roles has continued in 2020, as industries continue to adopt new technologies. From back-end developer to data manager, organisations are rushing to fill people able to deliver functional websites and keep them online.
Cyber security roles have always been a mainstay of Australia’s emerging job list, as both the public and private sectors continue to heavily invest in securing data. From developing software to analysing cyber security, there are a range of roles in need of filling to keep out cyber criminals.