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The Future of Work: Graduate Employment & Australia’s Booming Industries

09 June 2022   |   by Explore Careers

PSA: The Future of Work? Not as big and scary as you might think it is!

It’s tough out there but not hopeless (despite what some naysayers might have you believe), and we’re here to set the record straight.

We’re on a mission to recast the Future of Work and Youth Employment in a positive light by bringing you the most up-to-date information and practical, actionable guidance to help you stay ahead of the curve. Knowledge is power and all that.

This week, we’re looking at Graduate Employment and Australia’s booming industries – let’s do it!

What Do We Mean by the Future of Work?

First up, no, the Future of Work is not all about robots and AI taking over everyone’s jobs – although, technology is definitely a significant influence on what work continues to look like.

The future of work is a projection of how work, workers and the workplace will evolve in the years ahead. It’s influenced by technological, generational and social shifts.

Australia’s skill and occupation landscape is changing – increasing digitisation, changes to in-demand skills and how individuals work have all been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers and employees need to rethink how they address changing skill needs – and this is what the ‘Future of Work’ is all about.

The Top 100 Graduate Employers Report

There are lots of reports that talk about future skills and in-demand skills. This report from RMIT is a must-read for anyone wondering what they should be focusing on right now in terms of their skills development.

But knowing the skills you need is only one part of the puzzle.

The next piece? Knowing who’s hiring and how those in-demand skills apply to the roles available within those organisations.

Every year, the Top 100 Graduate Employers Report looks at the Australian workforce for university graduates.

The Australian Financial Review publishes the report in partnership with GradConnection, and it lists the most popular industries with graduates, alongside great insights into the current job market.

While previous years might have painted a somewhat bleak picture for young job seekers, the current job market has led to more promising prospects.

You can view the full top 100 graduate employers for 2022 here, including detailed information by sector (which is even more useful when paired with reading our industry profiles, just an FYI).

The Top Ten & the Key Industries

The top 10 of the 100 highest-rated graduate employers are listed below with their student engagement scores.

Position Employer Student Engagement % (Rounded)
1 ANZ 20%
2 NSW Government 17%
3 Deloitte 15%
4 Westpac Group 13%
5 PwC 12%
6 KPMG 10%
7 DXC Technology 9%
8 EY 9%
9 NAB 9%
10 Suncorp 7%

Unsurprisingly, all Big Four accounting firms and three of the Big Four banks placed in the top 10. These organisations have always been on top of the student attraction and engagement campaigns, so it makes sense to see them all maintaining strong positions in the list.

Aside from banking and accounting, other key industries seem to be:

  • Digital development, IT, and technology
  • Human resources and project management
  • Customer services and accounts management

What Else Should You Focus On?

While we’re talking about graduate recruitment here, it’s worth keeping in mind that many of these top employers also have strong apprenticeship and traineeship pathways – so if getting a degree isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean these organisations are ruled out for you.

But aside from qualifications, what else should you focus on to be competitive in the job market now and in the future?

Dan Purchas of GradConnection advises there are some staple activities students can’t dismiss to stay relevant:

  1. Get as much experience while studying as possible: Say it louder for those in the back! Work experience, internships, job shadowing, experience days – it ALL counts. Apply a bit of strategy; it’s better to have a list of experiences that aligns with your future career plans instead of bits of everything everywhere.
  2. Get involved in clubs and societies or community groups: At university, you’ll find a great range of interest clubs and societies to be a part of. Whether as an organiser or a member, being part of clubs demonstrates a breadth of interests and a sense of commitment. If you’re not going to university, the same will exist in your local community – get stuck in or if the club doesn’t exist locally, set up your own!
  3. Volunteer in roles that help build your overall skills development: We know we’ve banged this drum before, but it’s true! Volunteering helps you develop communication skills, teamwork and just general people management. Pick a cause you care about and find ways to get involved.
  4. Mentor and tutor other students where possible: Whether at school or as you progress with your studies, putting your hand up to help mentor those in younger years shows a willingness to share knowledge and support others. A top-notch team member quality.
  5. Apply for scholarships: Scholarships are a great way to set your studies apart from others as they can be relatively competitive. They show determination and a savvy acumen that you’ve got what it takes to make things happen.
  6. Consider a gap year or studying abroad for a semester: Maybe a bit tricker in the current climate, but as things improve, studying abroad or taking a gap year will be personally fulfilling and give you a strong point of difference in future applications. It demonstrates you’re not afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges.

Stay Positive

It’s easy to look at the lists and the current booming industries and feel deflated if you don’t see your chosen industry making the top ten – but don’t fret!

These lists are a snapshot, and they tend to be dominated by the employers who’ve been killing it for a few decades now. It doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other booming opportunities out there – we should know, we keep writing about them!

Whatever your career goals, your mindset has a big role to play, so use the information these reports and lists give you and find ways to apply them to your own situation.


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