It's wise to do some research on your job prospects before you start a long journey of study and training. Doing so could improve your chances of landing a job at the end of it all.
One place to start is to have a look at skill shortages in your chosen field. Knowing what skills are in demand may help you to make better career decisions. However, you wouldn’t want to choose an occupation based on this knowledge alone. The factors affecting skill shortages now may not be relevant in a few years' time.
What is a skill shortage?
The Australian Government defines a skill shortage as follows:
A skill shortage exists when employers can't fill vacancies in an occupation or in a specialisation of that occupation. For this definition to hold true, the vacancies must:
- reflect current levels of pay and standard employment conditions
- exist in a location that is easy to access.
What causes skill shortages?
Knowing what causes skill shortages puts you in a better position when you’re searching for a job.
- Australia is exposed to changes in the global economy. As a result, the number of job openings shifts up or down.
- Skilled personnel may be in short supply in a particular region.
- Jobs with a high number of mature workers could create a skills gap as they retire.
- There may be a low number of qualified workers with specialised skills.
- New technology or changes to the structure of the economy can lead to rapid changes in the demand for an occupation. This will create a sudden oversupply or shortfall of qualified people.
The demand for particular skills is useful to take into account. However, remember that the labour market can change quickly. A skill shortage does not guarantee you a job. Shortages are sometimes in occupations that require a mix of specific skills and experience.
So if you're preparing to change career direction, include all relevant issues in your decision-making. Some other factors to consider include interests, values, work preferences, and skill level requirements.
What are the current skill shortages?
The following sources provide information on current skill shortages in Australia's labour market.
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