Future Careers for the Emerging Generations

Thursday, January 05, 2017

In Australian there are more than 3.7 million school students around 1.5 million university students with another 1.2 million tertiary students in the vocational education sector. This means that more than 1 in 4 Australians are students and so an understanding of the future of work is an important area. 

Based on the current trends, almost half of the Year 12 students about to complete their exams will end up with a university degree. While they will start their earning years later, they will live longer and work later in life than any previous generation – on average, into their late 60’s. They will stay on average 1.8 years per job early in their career and average about 3 years per job over their working life which means they will have 17 different jobs in their lifetime, across an estimated 5 careers.

Some of the jobs they will hold don’t currently exist, just as mainstream jobs today such as app developer, social media manager and cyber security professional didn’t exist when they began their schooling. Already, working as a virtual reality engineer, cognitive computer expert, data visualisation designer or medical nanotechnologist is nothing unusual. This is very relevant in an area where almost 2 in 3 workers (63%) are white collar, employed in professional, managerial and administrative roles compared to less than half the workforce nationally (49%).

The last few years of disruption has shown us that any role that can be replaced by technology will be. While technology is great for automating systems and replacing repetitive functions, it is not strong at adapting to complex change and engaging with people. Therefore, to future proof careers and skills, today’s young people will need to develop their social interactions, their creative problem solving and their resilience to adapt to a constantly changing workplace. In other words, by being collaborative, responsive and innovative, today’s local students will be enabled to thrive in global careers, now and over the decades ahead.


1. Let’s look at education in Australia, how many students are there?

A total of 6.4 million students in Australia. 3.7 million school students, 1.5 million uni students and 1.2 million tertiary students in the vocational education sector.

2. So how will employment and careers look in the future for these current students?

Firstly, they will live longer than previous generations, work a lot later as well – into their late 60’s, they will move jobs more frequently, staying about 3 years per job, which means they will have 17 separate jobs in their life time and work in an estimated 5 careers. They will be a generation of lifelong learners having to plug back into education to upskill and retrain throughout their lives. In this era of online services like Uber, Airtasker and delivery services, we have seen the rise of the “gig-economy” and more of this generation will end up being freelancers, contractors or contingent workers than ever before. Recent research shows that a third of the national workforce currently participates in contingent work, and more than 3 in 4 employers believe that it will be the norm for people to pick up extra work through job related websites or apps.

3. So what are some of the jobs of the future and what is creating them?

Technology is the first driver. While it is replacing many jobs as seen in manufacturing sector it is also creating many new jobs such as virtual reality engineers, cyber security, nanotechnology digital services, block chain engineers.

4. Are there other factors that are creating emerging jobs?

Yes, the demographic change is creating new opportunities. Australia is growing and the ageing population means that we will need more people in health care aged care and retirement services than ever before. Our increasingly culturally diverse population is creating greater opportunities for people working human services, social work and translation services. And social trends and generational changes are creating new opportunities too. It’s a visual area, so data visualisation or indeed virtual reality applications have created new and emerging roles. Our lives are more complex and in an era of mobility, app development, user experience manager and online shopping experts have emerged to respond to our new customer needs.

5. So how do we future proof our careers in times of great change?

Firstly, be responsive. Everything that can be automated will be and if a job can be done more efficiently through technology, outsourcing or offshoring then it will be. Therefore we need to look at our industry and career and respond to the trends both local and global and upskill and retrain to remain relevant.

Secondly, be innovative. Computers are great at doing repetitive tasks but they are not designed to being creative or add innovation. If we can develop the ability to solve problems, improve systems, be proactive and add value our roles will be indispensable.

Finally, be collaborative. Future careers involves not just an understanding of technology but an understanding of people. Those who can effectively communicate, deal well with others, create a collaborative environment, lead people and motivate teams will always be in demand, and these are areas that computers cannot replace.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


children 2016 waverton careers vegetarian media release society trends equip faux-cilising Aussie global financial crisis mother's day FOMO spend Australians Northern Territory weekly earnings fresh teach Education Future Forum society engage narcissism work renter of the future mccrindle research census safe cooking Charlotte royal nfp case study DESTEL overcast housing the average aussie public speaker focus group blaxland group suburb teleworking ease of travel social trends economy panel market research census results brand experience social researcher HSC commute australian communities trends report personalities housing market emerging technologies daily telegraph darwin entertainment woolworths the hills teaching grandparents Scouts mythbusters resilience trends of 2017 home owner Engineering Manager wages priorities Res Vis Do It Yourself goal eliane miles property market ethnography environment resource greatness innovative government education research christianity goals results Christmas lunch communities Caregiver going out apartment stay home volunteers australians staying home more communications Deaths weather IT Specialists unaffordable salary news program mortgage car the australian dream trends analyst experience perth ageing population social researchers emerging generations hopes demographic trends staff rain keynote internet poker master Royals logan Geoff Brailey World Water Day internships school students coffee The Daily Edition social impact bondi Australian Trends relational business index shopper's pick The ABC of XYZ social lifestyle TAS couple 2014 cloudy days research services twentyseventeen PSI gender water Social Trend tertiary education healthy future communication paying to work research gen alpha housing growth omnibus divorce wolloomooloo demographics WA speakers household wellbeing report property price infographic Myth Australian communities Kiwi 40 million generational trends Gen X schools students Gen Y ideas rising house prices year 12 house JOMO winter households online baby name statistics leadership workshop Births presentations australian communities forum social media facts annual income population dream year 7 ACT charity know the times geomapping Australian Communities Trends menai award winner graphs workforce living social issues deloitte world trend researcher pyrmont Northern Beaches Christian School REIV National Conference rule keeper families survey design Christmas season mentor travelling sustainable divorce rate define Queensland social change brands census 2016 global neutral bay church in depth interviews motivate sydney event Real Estate networking moreton bay tattoos monarchy baby boomers parents acf15 domestic meetings friendship rent social life recap digital google for education baby name trends earn hornsby forecasting young people growth quote teacher VIC SMSF online shopping Financial Planning Association of Australia insight cost of living victoria global generations local communities follow millenials 23 million innovation data millionth urban taskforce village internship optus culture future proofing work-life schools school learn Australia Day EFF eliane slideshare Australian Families daily commute generation cold mccrindle in the media snapshot proactive Australia Day 2017 Territory community easter hobart mythbusting wedding summer cars stats commuters future of education sentiments changing face of sydney sector criminal life study school satisfaction optimistic small business urban living index forecast Channel Seven REIV Conference sydneysiders social commentary investing Canberra hills shire 2012 Real Estate Institute of Victoria research pack townhouses high density 1980 celebration ultimo Aussies learner TDE work mates relevant ACF keynote speaker mover and shaker employment baby names educhat Adelaide sunburnt country SA australian social research collaborative entrepreneurial Tuesday Trend Financial Planning Week Queensland: QLD demographic transformations selfie CBD Australian Home Kirsten Brewer thought leadership financial future proof futurist intern baby boom insights real ageing dreaming non profit builders property conferences February 16 public speaking investor 2016 census results consumerism marriage national wealth youth medicine ashley fell Mark McCrindle tv Tuesday Trends litter student university data analyst meals capital city religion optus my business awards presentation analysis clothing tuesday brand GPO business national private wealth child care New South Wales demographer McCrindle Speakers dare to dream millennials office opening collaboration plans 1975 award conference presentation identity food population growth Research Executive sun social commentator princess charlotte skills Word Up seasons change cancelling plans Sydney keynote speaker winter blues marrickville research visualisation toys social research visual moderators guide Generation Y authenticity video housing affordability marketing land of the middle class Australian demographics sydneycity students demographic family new office communicate interactive sydney metro consumer shopping capital cities click financial independence workplace culture sunny days leadership list 2016 census youth unemployment New Zealand wage population map community engagement research data cost workplace housing trends alpha forum thrive sports Crime Rates NEETs entrepreneur cancel plans Financial Planning Association Duchess of Cambridge wealth and income 1994 young australians educated mateship socialites crows nest new york times holidays System's Architect Australian Census aged care puzzle Northern Beaches participants professional speaker product cash generations organisational culture unemployment census fail future-proof aussie culture social lives Wellington 2015 baby name predictions affordability anzac employers conference professional development prince george cancelling event manly social analysis economic holiday wealth jobs of the future staying in learning Christmas presents challenge media activity 2020 sector wide study the changing face of huffington post home ownership etiquette budget January 26th area faux-cilise sector wide high school Australian schools university degree infographic wall royal influence financial future jobs cultural diversity high density living finance christian earnings gen z shifts trends parenting sydney hills visualisation Melbourne social shifts retirement training buildings low density poor australia office world youth day gold coast Christchurch trends of 2016 wealth and income distribution middle class residents investment rich local ABS office space men urban baby megatrends growing population rise of local rental stress qualitative research newspaper tea education marriages Wagga Wagga transport suburbs "know the times" pharmacies events personal growth community event trend tuesday South Australia income states 2013 Channel 7 lalor park the hills shire debate women contiki brisbane workshop supply and demand pharmacy christmas ipswich Merry Christmas potts point 24,000,000 Hornsby Shire Council typical australian not for profit royal baby generation alpha emerging trends outsourcing story norwest repayments technology dessert customer Love generation Z bus event Tasmania education future fears easy rider kate middleton faux-ciliser debt vegemite names Australian Dream engagement long weekend crime tips house price not-for-profit New Zeland cartodb survey wealth distribution publication father's day mccrindle tea energy in the media organisations Australian Bureau of Statistics future data visualisation Generation X leader Valentine’s Day balance social enquiry suburban living city conference speaker focus groups Population Clock happiness national crime rates public holiday professional renting Northern beaches Event ashley mckenzie culturally diverse financial dreams politics responsive train travel ferry mining boom learning styles average aussie financial fears Sydney socialising entrepreneurs of today 2017 tableau shbc affordable #censusfail ACF 2016 hello fresh 10 years Western Australia storytelling sydney speaker media house prices aged care owning a home post rationalism mccrindle Wodonga curiosity royal family education sector population milestone future of work house price rise English bureau DIY NT Bathburst Netflix FPA education future report earning urban living NSW offenders Assistant Store Manager 1968 google career high density apartments professional services home 24 million friends teachers mobile language state media commentary increasing densification environmental scanning group session