Ever since the Internet took off in the early 1990s, it has been a change driver in just about every aspect of our daily lives. Its importance was so apparent here in Australia that the nbn™was purpose-built to spread super-fast Internet access to every home nationwide. The rollout of the nbn™network has enabled industries of every kind to grow and thrive as a part of the new digital economy, but there’s been another, much more vital consequence of the project: increased access to educational opportunities.
All around Australia, the nbn™is making it possible for students and learners of all ages to access high-quality educational materials and participate in distance learning like never before. Even in the most remote areas of the country, kids can now get an educational head start that will leave them well-prepared for higher education. Already, the first groups of students to feel the effects of this shift are making their way into universities and vocational training programs from coast to coast.
For them, the question is no longer one of how to get an education; it’s one of what educational track to choose. In an economy that’s shifting right before their eyes, that’s no easy choice to make. The good news is that there are some can’t-miss industries that are sure to see massive growth here in Australia in the coming years, and for which students can train to build a lucrative and stable career. Here’s what they are.
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Of all of the industries with a bright future here in Australia, the healthcare and social assistance industry stands head and shoulders above the rest. Why? It’s because the nation’s population is ageing and that’s increasing demand for healthcare and social services every year. The speed that this is happening indicates that this is a trend that’s going to have staying power – with an estimated 16% of the total population being over 65 by the year 2020. For today’s students, that means training for a career in healthcare or social assistance will get them into a field that’s going to see steady job growth for at least the next few decades, and that could also see higher-than-average wage growth over the same span. Best of all, training to begin such a career is accessible to students nationwide – even in far-flung Perth, with TAFE courses in WA open to all qualified applicants.
Professional and Technical Services
Another sector that’s seeing steady growth is professional and technical services, which includes a wide range of career types ranging from legal and accounting services all the way to computer and network systems design. In fact, it’s the same sector where you’ll find NBN Co. hiring large numbers of recent graduates. Students looking for a career within this sector will find an almost limitless number of opportunities, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it’s the biggest driver of job growth in the whole nation, at 6.2% in the latest annual data. Although the educational requirements will differ for the many career tracks in the professional and technical services arena, most require a university degree or equivalent at a minimum. For a career with almost no limits, though, it’s well worth the educational investment required.
Education and Training
Perhaps it should come as no surprise, but the growth in educational opportunity in Australia is creating a boom in the education and training industry here and providing a wealth of opportunities for students to find careers as teachers, administrators, and educational support staff. The booming industry has also been attracting the attention of an ever-growing cadre of international students, which is, in turn, fueling even more growth. That translates to expected growth of jobs in the sector of 12% or higher over the next five years, with no drop-off in sight. For students, that means there’s never been a better time to aim for a career in education and training, and those that do should have a secure future ahead that’s filled with opportunities for growth and advancement.
As the effects of climate change continue to manifest in and around Australia, and experts warning that the worst may be yet to come, there’s been and will continue to be growth in the environmental sciences sector. Students who want to make a difference in the world around them and help Australia prepare for an uncertain environmental future can do so, secure in the knowledge that they’ll find careers waiting for them – within research institutions and businesses like NBN Co. Members of the environmental sciences sector carry out critical tasks such as conducting environmental impact studies and pollution measurement and abatement. They’ll be at the front lines as Australia formulates plans to confront the effects of climate change and transform itself to manage risks going forward. It’s a worthy – and growing – field of work that should be a top choice for today’s students.
The Opportunity of the Future
What’s clear is that today’s Australian students have plenty of options for careers that are both rewarding and challenging. As they begin to embrace them, they will start to leave their marks on the world in the same way that their forebearers have. They will do so because they will have had the advantage of a world-class educational system, made stronger by technology like the nbn™. With so much promise already unleashed, one can only wonder what the future will hold for Australia as it moves further into the 21st century. If these past few years are any indication, it will be a future that was worth the wait.
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