What are the top jobs for 2021? In this article written by Natasha Boddy for the Australian Financial Review, Michelle explains which jobs are set to boom and how you can land one.
Cybersecurity, IT, logistics, cloud engineering and accounting are just some of the areas that look set to boom and deliver lucrative job opportunities for professionals this year.
The rise of remote work as a result of the pandemic has meant geography is no longer a barrier for professionals eyeing a top job this year, but they could also be facing stiffer competition as the market heats up, warns workplace expert and author Michelle Gibbings.
The mass work from home experiment has demonstrated that you don’t need to be in the same location to achieve results, says Michelle Gibbings.
“The ‘work from anywhere’ mantra that many tech companies have adopted expands the range of employment markets and job opportunities,” she says.
“At the same time, with many expats wanting to come back to Australia, the local market will be exposed to more competition.”
The unprecedented disruption inflicted on jobs and the workplace by the coronavirus pandemic has left many professionals rattled and wondering where pockets of demand will spring up this year.
“The world of work and the skills required are constantly changing – this year more than most,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of recruitment firm Hays in Australia and New Zealand.
“With many organisations returning to growth and looking to protect their future, it’s no surprise that many of 2021′s most in-demand jobs are those deemed critical to project delivery or business operations.
Nick Deligiannis from Hays says permanent roles will bounce back this year as business confidence recovers. Chris Hopkins
“Also ranking highly are jobs that allow organisations and people to perform at their peak.”
Top jobs this year
The top 10 jobs in demand this year according to Hays are: cloud engineers, organisational design and development consultants and managers, heavy diesel fitters, residential estimators, civil and structural engineers, customer relationship management and loyalty managers, office assistants, qualified accountants, business development managers, brokers and lending managers and property sales agents.
An analysis of online job ads by Adzuna Australia from CSIRO’s Data 61 reveals the labour market has recovered well from the impact of COVID-19, with demand for new workers almost back to 2019 levels across nearly all big occupation groups.
Mr Deligiannis says although contract roles remained resilient during last year, permanent vacancy activity is expected to bounce as business confidence increases.
Claire Mason, principal research scientist at Data61, predicts there will be strong demand for healthcare workers, professionals, trade workers with engineering skills and workers in client-facing roles this year.
IT professionals and cybersecurity experts will continue to be in demand next year and, in particular, data management and privacy experts, says Ms Gibbings.
She says continuing regulatory failures and breaches will result in continued high demand for experienced risk and compliance professionals and, in retail, opportunities will open up for those with logistics experience.
“Retail is no longer about bricks and mortar. It’s all about logistics – quickly moving parcels from A to B,” she says.
“Customers are expecting seamless and super-speedy delivery, requiring a mixture of tech, supply chain and freight experts.”
Engineers and project managers with experience in large-scale projects and environmental and sustainability advisers will be sought after.
How to land a top job this year
To stay ahead in the current jobs market, workers need to embrace change or risk being left behind.
Data61′s Claire Mason says interpersonal skills are important as most Australian workers are employed in the services sector, which often requires such abilities.
“Rule-based and routine tasks which were previously performed by relatively well-paid middle-skill workers are more susceptible to automation, for example, legal searches and traffic management,” Ms Mason warns.
She says the changing nature of work means workers need to be highly skilled in different areas, but employers also want job seekers whose skills complement technology.
“In the digital economy, it’s not enough to be good with technology – today’s workers need to be good with people too,” she says.
Workers should identify ways in which their profession and industry is changing and how they can adapt for the future, says Ms Gibbings.
She recommends doing a skills audit, identifying which skills are transferable, adaptable and replaceable as well as considering what new skills may be needed to land a new job.
To remain employable, workers need to update their skills at the same rate as technology evolves, according to Ms Mason, who said there were many training products on the market, from free online courses and microcredentials to formal accredited qualifications.
There are also online tools available such as Skills Match which can infer what skills a worker has based on their previous employment and identifies occupations requiring similar skills that are experiencing a surge in demand.
Ms Gibbings says many jobs are not advertised and networking is crucial to identifying employment opportunities.
“Engage with the industry or sector and meet people who work in the area you want to work in,” she says. “These contacts will help you understand what opportunities are available and how you can target them.”