The Future of Australian Jobs in the Disruptive Age

We’re transitioning into the ‘knowledge economy’. Digital is disrupting industries and industries are disrupting themselves. Technological innovations and machine automation are transforming the very fabric of our workforce.

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This is what everyone is saying about Australia’s future, but what does it actually mean?
Pay attention to the media and you’ll be bombarded with all of these buzz-terms. With so much noise, it can be hard to paint a clear picture of what the future has in store for Australia. Let’s summarise and point you in the right direction.

What is a knowledge economy?
It’s an economy driven and shaped by ideas. Leading the way is innovation. New ways to deal with old, current, and future problems are developed and these solutions are sold in one form or another for profit. Both the public and commercial sectors participate, and the often intangible intellectual skills and knowledge become the commodity.

So, instead of manufacturing cars, we’re manufacturing ideas – intellectual property.

Why does Australia need to transition to a knowledge economy?
We don’t make cars. In fact, we don’t make much of anything at a scale that can sustain Australia’s economic growth. We’ve also heard it a thousand times – the mining boom is over.

With traditionally tangible products becoming less valuable, Australia needs to to find value in its most widely available, yet currently most underused resource – brains!

Jobs – what will they look like in this crazy new economy?
On the whole, exactly the same. It’s where these jobs will be that will change. You can simplify what this will look like to some degree. Automation means less ‘traditional’ jobs on offer for everyone – neither blue collar or white collar are spared.

At the forefront of new and expanding job markets are the people with the brains – the scientists, the programmers, and the technical wizards. They are the ones who design the machines for assembly lines, who develop artificial intelligence to do the job of your amenable accountant and your local lawyer. They’re the ones with all of that lucrative knowledge tucked away, ready to be sold for a profit.

It’s the service industry that picks up the slack. Hospitality, tourism, and sales are where the next job boom will occur. In fact, these three industries – along with healthcare and social services – are tipped to see the largest growth of new employment over the next five years.

What’s the one thing I need to remain a valuable employee in this disrupted world?
The one single thing? Fortunately, it’s the one thing we all possess at some level or another – creativity.

No matter where you work, no matter what your role is, it’s creativity that will make you a truly valuable asset.

Technology is already taking care of the menial tasks such as counting, pushing buttons, and driving. These technological disruptions are set to continue as the knowledge economy picks up pace.

Thinking outside the box and creative problem solving is what will set you apart. Every business within every industry will need more creativity. Whether it’s taking a creative approach to customer service, developing the next creative billion dollar time-saving gadget, or even becoming that creative storyteller you’ve always dreamed of – it’s our creativity that the machines can’t take away from us. At least… not yet anyway.

This article was written by Simon Conibear from iRecruit Australia.

Image source: associationsnow.com

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