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


meals Assistant Store Manager census data research on coffee not for profit research Lower Hunter area culture networking thrive jobs Australia Day entrepreneurs of today online national crime rates moreton bay events storytelling housing market analysis australians staying home more global professional services rich sydney speaker house price NFP event gen alpha food micro apartments professional development future of shopping 2017 census fail Jura Coffee ACF Australian schools demographics selfie children suburban living ipswich greatness TAS social change hunger education future not for profit households collaborative marketing pyrmont politics christmas study property survey goals year 12 media release typical australian Christmas lunch Queensland bondi social trends clothing mining boom church dreaming Australian communities pharmacy organisations overcast Channel Seven transport 2016 Lower Hunter Region speakers ethnography post rationalism housing VIC mccrindle research The Daily Edition Elderslie-Harrington park New Zealand NSW rain average aussie crows nest spend charity increasing densification TDE research pack generations suburb growing population growth salary mccrindle healthy future royal family hello fresh easy rider emerging generations FOMO the great screenage conference presentation generation alpha logan sector wide study norwest affordable SRE earning volunteers video presentation mccrinlde dreams youth unemployment leader national wealth celebration sydneycity long weekend university English results Australian Communities Trends group session employmee lalor park REIV Conference megatrends friends 1980 workshop princess charlotte media activity perth commuting define education future report generational trends the average aussie financial independence cloudy days education hornsby train graphs winter blues generation Z Tuesday Trends shbc Crime Rates future-proof language the lucky country Australian Home unemployment cultural diveristy Channel 7 future proof Australian Dream employers relational home ownership The ABC of XYZ ACT Report authenticity WA summer sun woolworths baby name predictions interactive suburbs cancelling event faux-cilising bureau personalities innovative collaboration trends of 2017 Tuesday Trend christianity mateship professional speaker meetings work from home public speaking relevant younger generations education research Hunter Valley new office school satisfaction experience NT high density apartments TEDx conference in the media Territory education sector Cobbitty-Leppington learner work-life optus tuesday Financial Planning Association of Australia housing growth repayments waverton personal growth hills facts Myth online shopping teaching keynote marrickville giving TED talk Gen X brand poker master news SMART digital customer divorce Population Clock Australian Census Australian Bureau of Statistics gender consumer aged care puzzle DESTEL tertiary education sunburnt country cash urban living index trend tuesday hopes New South Wales schools marriages social cold royal baby donation financial ultimo future of work christian capital cities research report baby name Education Future Forum social media friendship cancel plans Melbourne coffee lovers narcissism retirement young australians moderators guide holidays tableau student Geoff Brailey engage Royals sydneysiders socialising parents trends of 2016 rising house prices educhat recap trades crime schools students water future of education australian communities forum Kiwi communicate workforce social research wealth and income distribution Aussies mythbusters McCridle panel deloitte year 7 staff award winner plans monarchy demographic 2014 casual hobart social impact blaxland australian community trends report presentations Hornsby Shire Council equip Sydney Hills Business Chamber going out builders census results home owner cost of living students curiosity identity Bathburst research visualisation public transport ageing Sydney keynote speaker sentiments economic supply and demand dessert national private wealth global financial crisis global generations in depth interviews FPA census 2016 wealth and income Sydney’s south west Netflix report Caregiver NBRS workplace debate work Australian Trends ease of travel paying to work 1994 purpose holiday Vocational education annual income Research Director goal showreel baby boom ABS australian communities trends report parenting economy rent communications happiness Jura Australia baby Northern Beaches darwin EFF tv wolloomooloo the hills shire social analyst census Generation Y organisational culture Charlotte speakers pack community engagement living social life property market breakfast business performance offenders wellbeing aged care slideshare Word Up geomapping sector eliane South Australia demography Valentine’s Day Aussie daily commute Queensland: QLD sydney metro government researcher 1975 professional presenters population growth ashley fell priorities Scouts population map public speaker event financial future the australian dream household unaffordable small business charities property price wedding high school who is generation z proactive investment average Australian Australian community trends royal shifts future proofing youth Australian demographics urban weather Wagga Wagga 24 million market research mccrindle tea states social shifts not-for-profit population milestone Love gen z PSI population australia toys food insecurity gig economy leadership renter of the future rule keeper marriage What is food insecurity? life trend baby name trends 24,000,000 cultural diversity Skilling ferry motivate focus group 2016 census emerging technologies IT Specialists shopping centre demographic transformations NBRS Architecture capital city volunteer leadership workshop local community weekly earnings cancelling plans participants Births the changing face of speajer lifestyle ACT millennials story award financial dreams snapshot screenagers challenge media commentary conference speaker Financial Planning Week outsourcing Northern Territory publication millionth poor JOMO choice workers omnibus belief school skills data analyst innovation manly 1968 Australians religion live the dream office space Maxim Accounting faith click wealth distribution 2016 census results sector wide forum qualitative research prince george Social Trend focus groups SA travel names communication thought leadership visualisation insight newspaper TED communities world youth day 2012 domestic 23 million product high density living brisbane daily telegraph the hills January 26th infographic wall social lives conferences mythbusting Work place 10 years Northern Beaches Christian School donate teach house price rise resource internet statistics twentyseventeen public holiday home money social enquiry university degree tips school students research services urban living CPI baby names australia report employment young people financial planning social commentator data Macquarie University seasons Canberra ACF17 staying in australian real estate shopper's pick apartments vegetarian cartodb society trends Tasmania group employmer vegemite 2015 sunny days learning styles neutral bay teachers cooking mobile eliane miles alpha keynote speaker debt non profit hills shire royal influence NEETs culturally diverse Andrew Duffin socialites visual ideas Performance Sentiment Index Mark McCrindle in the media faux-cilise internships dream gold coast mentor energy consumerism budget McCrindle Speakers optus my business awards wage easter baby names report menai average sydneysider land of the middle class Financial Planning Association Christmas presents nfp criminal Research Executive sustainable mccrindle in the media Business analysis city System's Architect social issues Western Australia internship office growth of sydney insights Deaths couple potts point community trends analyst urban taskforce HSC gig travelling Mark McCrindle Real Estate Institute of Victoria ageing population brands 2013 ACF 2016 Sydney population renting infographic social commentary speaker volunteering data entrepreneur buildings baby names housing trends Hills Shire Council winter fresh acf15 medicine care support mother's day know the times Kirsten Brewer office opening affordability cica Wellington New Zeland Sydney wealth February 16 earn housing affordability high density VET society baby boomers faux-ciliser teleworking cars entrepreneurial spirituality low density middle class ACF2017 Willowdale sydney event new york times futurist Res Vis Real Estate workplace culture survey design data visualisation state brand experience environmental scanning etiquette real responsive Do It Yourself Christmas season stay home emerging trends Australia street infographics James Ward entertainment social researcher rental stress google for education car fears list income tea village social researchers family huffington post forecast rise of local intern finance Australian Families future environment Merry Christmas media child care Engineering Manager safe careers men bus business index teacher work mates #censusfail Christchurch changing face of sydney CBD google case study business research educated demographer follow quote grandparents australian change Adelaide dare to dream commuters apartment program Wodonga kate middleton community event contiki aussie culture owning a home victoria technology World Water Day forecasting jobs of the future professional research data REIV National Conference pharmacies wealth inequality Gen Y trends screenage "know the times" Northern beaches Event cost local communities chairty career investing training VET sector generation families litter wages 2020 house prices grave decision Australia Day 2017 balance townhouses impact local australian social research food bank Australian Population GPO mortgage earnings SMSF DIY anzac engagement optimistic tattoos shopping ashley mckenzie mover and shaker residents resilience learn Mount Annan-Currant Hill Generation X Duchess of Cambridge micro stats father's day commute millenials coffee social analysis women investor sports financial fears 40 million sydneysider world house divorce rate learning demographic trends sydney hills volunteering