It’s an understatement to say that times are changing. The Australian government predicts that unemployment numbers will hit 10 per cent sometime in the middle of this year.
Still, the market is like an elite boxer — every time it gets hit in the face, it climbs back to its feet. So what will the economic climate look like after the worst of the coronavirus threat is over?
For one thing, across almost all industries, it’s unlikely the 9-5 workday will remain so strict. Even before the coronavirus, many organisations were (slowly) transitioning to flexible hours and work conditions. That evolution will only accelerate post-COVID-19, with the working population now having had a month of working from home.
In addition to that change, here are five industries that can expect to see job growth in the wake of the coronavirus catastrophe.
1 . Healthcare
Prior to the coronavirus, healthcare was already Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industry, employing over 1.5 million people across the country. As people live longer across the country, older Australians make up a larger portion of the population, and healthcare naturally becomes more important. Still, the crisis has shone the spotlight on our heroes in the overburdened healthcare sector.
We’re already seeing the growth in this industry. CSL Limited, an Australian biotechnology company that created the world’s first vaccine for the Swine Flu, currently rank #1 by market capitalisation in Australia. At the end of the trading day on 14 April, they outvalued second-ranked Commonwealth Bank by nearly $38 billion.
The healthcare industry doesn’t only include nurses, surgeons, physicians, dentists, and other medical professionals, there’s a glut of administrative jobs on offer as well, plus roles for technicians such as those who operate x-rays and other medical imaging.
Plus, if the healthcare sector is overburdened like it currently is, that means you can reorganise your skillset to include them in your target audience. If you’ve been a world-class sales executive for many years, for example, you can look at transitioning into healthcare sales. If you’ve been a business analyst in a big bank, a shift in perspective could allow you to become successful in a position that works with healthcare data.
The other industry still powering on is the education sector. Term 2 for Australian students will continue as distance education, and online learning has charged to the front of public consciousness.
After this forced period of enormous change, many schools, universities and technical education providers will be inclined to include more online learning programmes into their curriculums. With all these changes come new problems, and new problems mean new jobs to solve them.
The education sector encompasses teachers and professors, of course, but it also includes psychologists, counsellors, after-school directors, college campus managers, and many more. If you’ve got transferable skills, it could be an optimal time to look at entering the education sector.
Plus, as parents may be reluctant to let their children return to schools, face-to-face learning will be at a premium. If you’ve got key skills of your own, you could take on an additional side gig as a private tutor to help provide a much-needed boost to Australian education.
3. IT, SaaS and other technology
Like healthcare, the IT industry has been growing naturally, but it’ll only accelerate in the wake of this catastrophe. For one thing, those education providers we mentioned earlier that are transitioning to online learning will require talented IT professionals to manage and troubleshoot their platforms and/or providers.
But every organisation, not just education, must take a genuine look at taking some of their activities and processes online. For example, a consultant travelling interstate to meet with a key client introduces exorbitant flight and hotel costs, which will become hard to justify given the limited cash flow.
Instead, the consultant may choose to organise the meeting online. While this is much cheaper in terms of expenses, it’s also additional revenue for the video conferencing provider which has previously been going to the hotel and aviation sectors.
There’s another reason the IT sector may be more well-equipped to handle this crisis than any other. Over the past 40 years, technology has been changing at a breakneck pace, and IT businesses have been forced to adapt throughout this time. That flexibility will come in handy as we grapple with the biggest economic and market shift of our lives.
Marketing and sales represent arguably the most fundamental part of any business: getting people to buy your product or service. Unfortunately, this industry may take longer to climb than the healthcare, education and IT industries.
Still, if a company can’t sell itself, it won’t be able to survive. As such, when the economy begins to recover post-COVID-19, the marketing industry will no doubt come roaring back.
Even right now, however, it isn’t all doom for marketing, particularly across social media and online channels. With everyone at home and hunched in front of their computers, some sites are reaching unprecedented levels of engagement (but probably not conversions). Australians, for example, are currently spending 71 per cent extra time on cooking sites.
If you’re not currently in the marketing industry but have got some talent or interest in the area, or if you’ve successfully collaborated with your company’s marketing team in the past, now could be the time to shore up your marketing skills for a future transition into the sector.
5 . Temporary or part-time jobs, and large companies
These two sections aren’t specific industries, of course, but they may offer two of the bigger changes in the Australian economy for the next 12 months — and two of the most important psychological shifts for potential jobseekers.
As companies no longer have enough cash to sustain themselves, they’ll have to cut costs, and often the first and most expensive organisational expense is salary. Instead of onboarding full-time employees, companies may look to hire part-time or temporary employees first to test them out.
On the other side, small businesses may struggle to compete with larger companies. If that’s the case, employees may have to get used to working in large organisations, accepting both the benefits and negatives of that decision.
Jobseekers who are quick to adjust their strategy in the wake of these two shifts, and who focus their efforts on staying relevant with temporary roles in large organisations, may find themselves in a full-time job again before long, while those who stubbornly grit their teeth and keep doing what they did in the past may lose out.
No matter what happens, it’s clear that the economic market will undergo a sizeable shift. If you find yourself in between jobs, here at Executive Agents we’re passionate about helping and guiding you in your job search. Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation today.