By Daniel Hoy
Robot repairman and flying-car mechanic still may be far-fetched, but medical roboticist and transhumanist designer are already among emerging careers of the future.
Many of the jobs that will provide sustainable employment in Australia for years to come are yet to be invented.
But experts say information communication and technology will pave the way in employment.
Roles in some fields are already declining and are likely to be redundant by 2016.
Employment projections from the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations show that by 2015-16, the industries to experience the greatest growth are healthcare and social assistance (323,300 jobs), construction (195,800 jobs) and professional, scientific and technical services (149,800 jobs).
The three sectors combined represent 50 per cent of the total jobs growth expected for the period to 2015-16.
Healthcare and social assistance is led by people living to an older age, ensuring aged care continues to be a big employer.
Growth in technical services in part is driven by the surge of technology use in the Australian community.
The industries with the highest percentage of new-job growth in the next five years are mining (6.1 per cent), healthcare and social assistance (4.5 per cent), electricity, gas, water and waste services (3.9 per cent), construction
(3.6 per cent) and professional, scientific and technical services (3.3 per cent).
To further improve chances of future-proofing a career, recruitment company Peoplebank chief executive Peter Acheson says to aim for IT.
``(There's) a creeping amount of technological proficiency required in mainstream jobs in the future,'' he says. ``There's also an increasing trend towards mobility, and the globalisation of markets means that we could have virtual teams from across the world working together.
Technology also will resign other jobs to the scrap heap. Business futurist Morris Miselowski predicts the end is nigh for job types such as:
* Machinist: Robotics will render this career obsolete.
* Desktop publishers: Advances in software will mean people do this role themselves.
* Fabric and apparel patternmakers: New software programs will mean this job is a career of the past.
Shops will be only self-serve.
* Film processors: Film cameras will no longer exist in the volume needed to justify film processing.
* DVD storeperson: People will buy more movies online.
But Mr Miselowski says some of the jobs that will be around for years to come include:
* Transhumanist designer/technician: They will work with people who have suffered disabilities such as amputation, loss of hearing or eyesight or lack of physical mobility.
* Retirement consultant: They will help people get the best out of their retirement, such as finances, lifestyle and living arrangements.
* Cyber security: As the community increasingly lives life online, people will need more security specialists able to keep their information safe.
* Genetic counsellor: There is a growing need for genetic counsellors to help address such questions as ``I have a gene that says I'm at increased risk for breast cancer, should I have a mastectomy?''
* Custom implant organ designer: They will build specific organs from scratch.
* Medical roboticist: The six-million-dollar man may one day be a reality, as medical roboticists take prosthetics far beyond what we see today.
Stuart Atkins, of HRnet, says staff in the following 10 fields have a sustainable career, for the foreseeable future: aged care, education, web development and IT, emergency services, veterinary services, financial planning, accounting, employment services, hairdressing and funeral directors.
Dr Raymond Choo, who has worked in cyber security for eight years, says there is a shortage of cyber security-savvy individuals.
``There is a range of career options ranging from national security, legal and policy advisers in governments to security consultants and digital forensic specialists in public and private sectors to cyber-security researchers in academia and think tanks,'' he says.
New jobs will have an increasing dependence on IT skills
Aged care is the top future-proof employment
50% of total jobs growth to 2016 in health, construction and professional sectors
Jobs growth in health to 2016 4.5%
Jobs growth in mining to 2016 6.1%
Jobs growth in construction to 2016 3.6%
Jobs growth in enervy and water to 2016 3.9%
Article from News Ltd newspapers, September 2011.