created in partnership with UniSA

How To Prepare For A Career That Doesn’t Exist Yet

When I was in high school and freaking out about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, my mum had some advice: “Don't stress, because the job you’ll end up doing probably hasn’t even been invented yet.” 
And, like most advice that mothers give, she was right. No one knew what a Native Content Writer was ten years ago and now look! You’re reading my words. But while it’s all well and good to hope that a great job will pop up, can you prepare for it if it doesn't even exist yet?
Dr Sarah Chua, a Program Director in Business at the UniSA Online says that you absolutely can. “The last few years have required businesses and people to be agile, and this is the fundamental essence of preparing graduates for future careers and positions.” 
According to Dr Chua, over the next four years, Australia will need an additional 6.5 million digital workers to keep up with our growing reliance on digital technologies and the rapid pace of technological change. For example, research by global professional services company Accenture, estimates that 80% of all business will soon be conducted in the digital cloud. However, the available cloud-skilled talent pool hasn’t kept up with the pace of demand in the workforce.
As technology like the cloud and the demand for data analysis continue to grow, Dr Chua foresees a number of future skills and jobs. These include digital solution specialists, digital change advisors, digital transformation project leads, and more. 
Getting a degree like UniSA Online and Accenture’s Bachelor of Digital Business is a great way to stay up-to-date with future growth areas. Degrees from industry leaders in technology can help to give you an edge over other grads and prepare you for the next few decades. Partnerships like The Innovation Academy also deliver educational training programs to address the emerging skills gaps in Australia.
But what if you’re already out of uni and in the workforce? Dr Chua shares the three skills she thinks employers will be looking for in the near-future.

Ethical Awareness 

Finally, it feels like many businesses are starting to keep the planet in mind from their inception. From being able to detect greenwashing to understanding ethical business practices, Dr Chua says that awareness of how to run a business ethically is key to staying relevant in our changing world. “With greater technological advances — and a rapidly changing external environment — people need to have a strong ethical grounding and an ability to act and work with integrity.” 
Advertisement

An International Perspective 

“Businesses are no longer operating in silos,” says Dr Chua. We live in an ever-changing global landscape and an increasingly connected and globalised world. Dr Chua says employers will increasingly want employees who are able to adapt to and understand different cultural environments with respect and ease. 

Digital Literacy 

In the same vein, digital literacy is almost an essential part of all jobs now, so will certainly be needed as we progress further into the digital age. The 'digital divide', which sees one in four Australians being excluded from the online world is also a real issue. People with low levels of income, education and employment, those living in some regional areas, people aged over 65, and people with a disability are at particular risk of being left behind. Ensuring that you're across multiple softwares, platforms and online jargon will continue to be an important skill into the future.

How can you start working on these skills now?

So, how do you start working on skills like these if you're working in 2022?
Dr Chua recommends exploring resources that are offered by your employer. Employers may offer a range of up-skilling support such as in-house learning, external training, study leave for formal learning such as university courses or programs, or paid access to online learning platforms such as LinkedIn Learning or The Innovation Academy.
One thing's for sure: we don't know what the future will hold. Whether it's political upheaval or the impact of climate change, we can only try our best to build a better world. But by enrolling in future-focused degrees, staying on top of growing industries and working on skills that will be in demand, Dr Chua says, "The world will really be theirs for the taking."
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!
Advertisement

More from Work & Money