Children and jobs of the future

Ever-changing technology affects so many things, including the jobs market.

Technology is forever moving forward and this can opens up all sorts of possibilities for the future of employment for our children.

Here are some tips on how to help your children follow their dreams.

You only have to look at the label of your favourite jeans to know many products bought in Australia are made in China, India or other parts of the eastern world. This phenomenon has spread to customer service jobs - especially in call centres - as well as data entry roles and even programming and technology support.

On top of the increasing trend to hire cheaper labour offshore for less-skilled roles, technology will continue to develop faster and more efficient ways of doing things in many sectors from retail to automotive industries.

Retail jobs are expected to slowly decrease as stores start using self-scanners and check-outs, and there's also the impact of the internet to consider. Online shopping websites such as eBay have taken off, but on the flipside, online grocery shopping hasn't taken off quite so much yet.

Protect your children's future

Listening to warnings and predictions can be scary but you can steer your children down fun and stable career paths by following some common sense rules.

  • Perhaps the most simplistic is the 'be the best you can' tip, which simply means encouraging your child to always do their best. Such simple advice should see them do well in their careers, no matter what they choose to do.
  • Look at choosing a highly skilled industry, and industries in which workers need to do the job in person or to understand the local culture. For example, doctors and dentists are highly skilled and will always need to do the job in person, and the same goes for tradespeople such as plumbers and electricians. Hairdressers, others in the beauty and grooming industries, and entertainers will always be in demand, as these jobs tend to benefit from improved technology or even if work might be sent offshore. Meanwhile, marketing executives should understand the local culture by living in the country they work in so they can do their jobs in the best way possible.
  • 'join them' - your children will be well set up if they work in the science and technology industries that develop the very machines and inventions that could eventually see other sectors become obsolete.

However, some say Australia has a long way to go in terms of its research and development sector. Melbourne IT Systems Specialist Shalen Nand says the biggest job growth in the next 50 to 100 years will be in the areas of IT security and risk management, finance and environmental climate change.

"I think Australia needs to develop cutting-edge technology and invest more in research and development," Mr Nand says. "Other countries are spending much more on science and technology and getting further ahead in terms of productivity."

As the science and technology industries grow, Mr Nand says there will be strong job growth in the management and risk analysis of these fields. To make Australian children the top people for these sorts of jobs, Mr Nand says schools need teachers who specialise in different areas of technology, and research and development.

For famous inventor Walt Disney, the future represented a world of possibilities. Such a positive outlook inspired a lifetime of innovation for Disney, who left us with some valuable advice.

"A lot of young people think the future is closed to them; that everything has been done," he said. "This is not so. There are plenty of avenues to be explored."


Disney's inspirational words are important to keep in mind when hearing predictions about what the future will mean for the job market from career experts, commentators and economists.

Here's a list of industries tipped to have strong job opportunities into the future as technology moves forward:

Civil engineering
Emergency services
Management (high level jobs)
Project management
Real estate
Research and development
Science and technology