While specialist employers struggle to find new skilled workers, it seems our schoolchildren lack the awareness of various career options available to them.
Career information portal CareerHQ examined the career and industry interests of over 1,000 senior high school students from 17 schools around NSW in 2017.
Its findings suggest that it is the more visible professionals, such as lawyers, photographers and primary school teachers, which are the most desirable among students. However, specialist roles, which can attract substantial salaries and impressive opportunities – such as IT, engineering and allied medicine – are largely off the radar among the next generation.
CareerHQ found that more students were interested in becoming a café barista than collectively in becoming a medical physicist, radiographer or robotics/mechatronics engineer.
And only one student named mathematician among their three most preferred career options – the same as the number who said abattoir worker.
“With the rise of social media and Instagram in particular, it is logical that becoming a photographer is increasingly popular. This is not to say that the demand for photographers meets the supply represented. But it does evidence that schools could better assist their students and communities by investing more heavily in expanding and broadening the range of careers young adults see as accessible and possible in their lives,” the company said in a statement.
The findings also present an opportunity for the business community and industry associations to reach out directly to school students to expand their horizons about the real-world jobs where their skills and knowledge will be needed.
Most popular industries among students
- Medical and healthcare
- Sports, fitness and recreation
- Advertising and the arts
- Media and digital media
- Community and social services
- Science, technology and environment
- Education and training
- Trades and services
- Agribusiness, horticulture and fishing
- Design and architecture
Least popular industries among students
- Insurance and superannuation
- Manufacturing and production
- HR and recruitment
- Mining, energy and utilities
- Consulting and strategy
- Transport and logistics
- Banking and financial services
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.