The future of jobs will be technology-driven

The jobs of the future will be tech-heavy, portable and, most interestingly, they will put the worker in the driver’s seat.

As employment expert and careers consultancy TwoPointZero CEO Steve Shepherd pointed out, the standard nine-to-five with a clearly defined career path will no longer be the norm.

“What people need to realise is that employers will only train you to do your current job,” Mr Shepherd said. “They will not train you for your next role at another organisation. It will increasingly be up to people to make sure they’re taking on their own learning so they keep up with the pace of change.”

And change is definitely on the horizon, with Mr Shepherd noting that some of the top jobs of the future haven’t even been invented yet. “If you think about it, the iPhone was invented in 2007, a little more than 10 years ago,” Mr Shepherd said. “Now there are some people — not all, but some — who are making very good money off their apps, which was unthinkable a decade ago. Technology is changing the nature of work.”

Top five sectors over the next five years

Each year, the Department of Employment releases job forecasts using data from the ABS Labour Force Survey. The latest survey, released last August, covers the five years to May 2022.

The largest growth during this time is tipped to be in the healthcare and social assistance sector, which will increase over the next five years by a staggering 16.1 per cent.

This is owing largely to funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s ageing population and more demand for child care and home-based care.

Employment in professional, scientific and technical services is projected to increase by 12.5 per cent, while construction industry employment is expected to grow by 10.9 per cent.

“This isn’t surprising because post-mining boom the Federal Government has tipped a lot of money into infrastructure, so lots of building of roads, bridges and tunnels,” Mr Shepherd said.

Employment in education and training, meanwhile, is projected to increase by 12 per cent, closely followed by accommodation and food services at 11.2 per cent — the latter on account of Australia’s thriving cafe scene, as well as an increase in tourism expected from the Asian middle class.

Employment in mining was expected to grow by just 2.4 per cent, while it comes as no surprise that manufacturing was expected to decline by 4.2 per cent. Mr Shepherd said that the important take-home message from the data was the sheer range of jobs in the various sectors.

“The notion that university is the only path is wrong,” Mr Shepherd said. “There are so many roles within these future sectors. You don’t need to be a teacher to work in education, you can take on a managerial role.”

Top careers of the future

Mr Shepherd said over the coming decades more and more people will be employed by more than one company. People will parlay their professional skills into portfolio careers with workers completing a handful of different jobs for a range of employers.

“Some of these people will be musicians or artists who use the gig economy to supplement what they love to do,” Mr Shepherd said. “But there will also be people who have specialist freelance skills that are in high demand at certain times by companies who will contract these out.”

Mr Shepherd said that he could also see a return to an artisan marketplace as people made money from old-fashioned skills or retro trades.

“Someone might decide to sell their homemade cheese online and all of a sudden they have a booming business,” he said.

It will also be a golden age for those wanting to start their own business. “These days, if you have a product that you want to sell, all you have to do is set up your own eBay store,” he said. “You don’t need a uni degree, just a good idea.”

Mr Shepherd said that because jobs would change so quickly — some disappearing, some disrupted, others newly created — those workers who kept growing would be the ones to thrive.

“Curiosity is the key,” he said. “As industries evolve, workers will want to keep learning about the field they’re passionate about.”

Career crystal ball: The jobs of the future 

It’s always hard to predict what the exact roles of the future will be, but the Good Education Media had a stab at it in its most recent Good Careers Guide.


Using video game design in non-gaming fields, the gamification designer deploys easy-to-use experiences to teach humans new things, such as fine motor control.


As water becomes increasingly scarce, the hydrologist will create ways to maximise existing water reserves by using knowledge of geometry, geology and meteorology to predict and plan.


These professionals will upgrade, service and repair the chip implants humans of the future will insert so they don’t need to look at their phone or laptop.


Companies will turn to modern-day project managers to oversee projects by using their connections in an industry and social media to pull together teams of experts.


Fitness trackers are big business, and in the future there may be people who are employed to analyse that data and offer people advice about their health.


As sustainability becomes more important than ever, certain professionals could be employed to develop projects that return environments to their natural wild state.

For a further look into the future of work, including comprehensive descriptions of the jobs of both today and tomorrow, visit


This article originally appeared in The Weekly Times – The future of jobs will be technology-driven

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