Jobs in computers join traditional roles in the top 20 jobs of the next decade

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APP and software programming will be one of the top 20 employing occupations in Australia within five years but millions more jobs still will be in traditional roles such as sales, nursing and trades.

Employment Department data shows sales assistant is forecast to be the top employing job, with 618,600 people in work, by November, 2020.

The job will employ 60,000 more people than it does this year (558,600) and more than twice as many registered nurses (308,800), the second largest employing job by next decade.

General clerks (262,400), accountants (219,300) and electricians (191,600) will round out the top five, with other common roles such as teaching, cleaning and truck driving all still to be in the top 20 list.

The number of people in those roles eclipse the 116,300 software and applications programmers who will be employed by next decade, however, it will be the first time digital work will feature as one of the biggest occupations in the nation.

This year 54,300 people work in the job.

Career Development Association of Australia advocacy chair Rebecca Fraser said traditional industries still provided a lot of work for young people wondering where their jobs will come from.

Low-skilled jobs are definitely still going to be around, she said.

Garbage truck drivers, couriers, are still going to be needed; health is a growing field with jobs for a number of Australians because of the Baby Boomers.

But digital-type jobs are still going to increase.

Everyone needs to have some level of digital literacy.

The departments Australian Jobs 2016 report (PDF) finds the basic requirements for most jobs will not only be literacy and numeracy skills but digital skills as well.

Ms Fraser said technological developments would mean some workers would be replaced by machines.

However, even couriers today now used digital devices to be allocated jobs rather than past equipment such as CB radios, meaning digital literacy was an important skills to hold.

Everyone is being impacted and we're seeing a lot of movement in that space, Ms Fraser said.

What you need to do is make sure youve looked at what you want to do now, and what you need to do in future to make yourself employable.

Axios software developer Rebecca Schubert, 29, always knew she wanted to work with computers.

I did tech studies in high school instead of home economics or whatever, just because I was more interested in that, she said.

She studied a Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) at university and worked in the IT sector but was unemployed before landing her job at the custom software and application development company.

She said it was a hard field to break into, as many employers wanted experience in using certain systems that could be hard to get in such a rapidly changing field.

I found a lot of jobs specified requirements that I couldnt meet because they were in technologies you wouldnt learn those things in uni. I did some self study, she said.

News Corp Australia is campaigning to find 5000 jobs in 50 days for first-time job seekers, as well as tackling youth unemployment.

In the first 14 days of the campaign, 7578 jobs have been listed across Australia.

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