Companies are increasingly embracing new digital technologies and automation tools, allowing professionals to focus more on strategic, innovative and customer-focused work. This trend is expected to drive emerging job opportunities and growth in IT, communications, finance, insurance and professional services.

Robert Half has put together its insights from placing graduates and shares five useful tips for those entering the workforce

1. Equip yourself with in-demand technical skills

According to the 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide, digitisation is transforming roles and processes across a range of industries, including in the finance and accounting sector. Companies are looking for finance and accounting professionals who can demonstrate skills in areas like Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP/Oracle and are Chartered Accountant or Certified Practising Accountant accredited. In the financial services sector, the top skills in demand include IFRS 17 reporting, fund accounting and regulatory reporting. Experience comes from on-the-job training, so undertaking professional development programs and internships before finishing study can help foster this.

Within the IT industry, candidates with backgrounds in coding, especially Java, C#, C++, and in particular React are in high demand. At a minimum, new graduates should ensure they are able to read, work with, interpret and tell stories through data identifying and matching high appetite skills allows graduates to provide tangible value to an employer and as such distinguish themselves in the pool of competing applicants.

2. Soft skills matter

Alongside technical knowledge and digital prowess, emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly valued. Soft skills such as communication and negotiation, teamwork, creative problem solving and adaptability are now considered critical to career success, due to their role in influencing organisational stakeholders and making data-driven, strategic decisions.

Take, for example, the role of an accountant. Many businesses now have access to sophisticated automation software and AI, so they’re increasingly looking for trusted advisors that are excellent communicators, not just bookkeepers.

Following the Royal Banking Commission, financial institutions are under pressure to makeover their corporate culture and are looking to hire ethical talent with excellent personal skills.

To bolster their soft skills, new and upcoming graduates have a number of options available to compensate for the lack of professional experience. Internships, volunteering, temporary/part-time work, and adopting a ‘constant learning’ mindset can all help improve their employability in a thriving but highly competitive job market.

3. Prioritise professional development

With technology evolving faster than ever before, it is necessary for professionals to upskill regularly throughout their careers. In a skills-short labour market, public and private institutions alike recognise the need to train the incumbent workforce in high-demand skills, creating a new frontier of employable candidates that can then match and offset skill areas where industries are lacking.

Australian youth skills-focused programs include Microsoft’s National Skills Program, Qlik’s Data Literacy Program, and the Australian Government’s recently announced Skills Package for the VET sector.

Professionals entering the employment market would also benefit from choosing an employer who values upskilling and makes professional development and training a part of their ongoing activities. Training staff in both technical and soft skills is not only beneficial to the graduates’ careers, but it also encourages them to stay with the company.

4. Job for life is obsolete

While job-hopping has been traditionally frowned upon, many Australian employers have taken a more favourable attitude towards professionals who change jobs frequently.

While the broad and diverse skills that come with multiple jobs can help accelerate career advancement, it’s also recommended that Australian professionals who are still early in their career find a comfortable balance for themselves, as taking time to ‘grow into’ a role shows a loyalty that employers may reward with promotions and pay increases later on. Generally, however, young Australian professionals should not feel shy about seeking new opportunities if they feel they are lacking in their current workplace.

5. Consider temporary jobs

Graduates should also consider temporary or project work. Working on an interim basis can help people entering the employment market learn new skills and experience and build their professional network. Through these employment opportunities, they can also determine what type of company they’d like to work for over the long term. Many employers are receptive towards hiring temporary staff as they realise the benefits offered by having a mix of both contract and permanent staff, with 72% of CFOs surveyed for the 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide saying that contract workers are a key component of their department’s long-term staffing strategy.

This positive turnaround is also having a direct impact on the career paths of temporary professionals as top performers are in turn being offered permanent positions by their employer if and when there’s an available opportunity.

Are You Developing Skills That Won’t Be Automated?


The future of work looks grim for many people. A recent study from Forresterestimated that 10% of U.S. jobs would be automated this year, and another from McKinsey estimates that close to half of all U.S. jobs may be automated in the next decade.

The jobs that are likely to be automated are repetitive and routine. They range from reading X-rays (human radiologists may soon have much more limited roles), to truck driving, to stocking a warehouse. While much has been written about the sorts of jobs that are likely to be eliminated, another perspective that has not been examined in as much detail is to ask not which jobs will be eliminated but rather which aspects of surviving jobs will be replaced by machines.

For example, consider the job of being a physician: It is clear that diagnosing illnesses will soon (if not already) be accomplished better by machines than humans. Machine learning is spectacularly effective when data sets are available for training and testing, which is the case for a wide range of diseases and ailments. However, what about sitting with a family to discuss treatment options? This is far less likely to be automated in the foreseeable future.


Now consider a profession at the other end of the status spectrum: barista. In San Francisco, Cafe X has replaced all baristas with industrial robot arms, which entertain customers with their antics as they make hot beverages. However, even Cafe X employs a human, who shows customers how to use the technology to order their drinks and troubleshoots problems that arise with the robot barista.

Contrast being a barista with being a bartender. People often strike up a conversation with the bartender. This job clearly is about more than just mixing drinks. Like the physician, we can easily parse this job into two components: the repetitive and routine one (actually mixing and serving the drinks) and the more interactive, unpredictable one that involves listening to and talking with customers.

After reflecting on characteristics of numerous jobs and professions, two non-routine kinds of work seem to me to be particularly common, and difficult to automate:

First, emotion. Emotion plays an important role in human communication (think about that physician sitting with the family, or that bartender interacting with customers). It is critically involved in virtually all forms of nonverbal communication and in empathy. But more than that, it is also plays a role in helping us to prioritize what we do, for example helping us decide what needs to be attended to right now as opposed to later in the evening. Emotion is not only complex and nuanced, it also interacts with many of our decision processes. The functioning of emotion has proven challenging to understand scientifically (although there has been progress), and is difficult to build into an automated system.

Second, context. Humans can easily take context into account when making decisions or having interactions with others. Context is particularly interesting because it is open ended — for instance, every time there’s a news story, it changes the context (large or small) in which we operate. Moreover, changes in context (e.g., the election of a maverick President) can change not just how factors interact with each other, but can introduce new factors and reconfigure the organization of factors in fundamental ways. This is a problem for machine learning, which operates on data sets that by definition were created previously, in a different context. Thus, taking context into account (as a congenial bartender can do effortlessly) is a challenge for automation.

Our ability to manage and utilize emotion and to take into account the effects of context are key ingredients of critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, adaptive learning, and good judgment. It has proven very difficult to program machines to emulate such human knowledge and skills, and it is not clear when (or whether) today’s fledgling efforts to do so will bear fruit.

And in fact, these are the very skills that employers across industries consistently report seeking in job candidates. For example, in one survey, 93% of employers reported that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her undergraduate major.”  In addition, employers seek candidates who have other sorts of “soft skills,” such as being able to learn adaptively, to make good decisions and to work well with others. These sought-after abilities, of course, fit perfectly with the sorts of things that people can do well, but are and will continue to be difficult to automate.

All of this suggests that our educational systems should concentrate not simply on how people interact with technology (e.g., by teaching students to code), but also how they can do the things that technology will not be doing soon. This is a new approach to characterizing the underlying nature of “soft skills,” which are probably misnamed: These are the skills that are hardest to understand and systematize, and the skills that give — and will continue to give —humans an edge over robots.


Where are the jobs of the future?

Here are the skills that will get you ready for the future workforce. Photo: Getty

Monash Business School

There’s a lot of uncertainty about the extent of artificial intelligence on the jobs of tomorrow. Without bringing out a crystal ball, here are three areas that are already experiencing a significant rise in jobs with seemingly boundless opportunities for growth across multiple industries.

1. Risk management

The revelations from the Hayne Royal Commission into the banking and financial sector reveal Australians have been appallingly let down when it comes to governance.

If nothing else, it reflects the need to upskill to meet more complex compliance demands and hone the ability to identify and respond to key risks in your business.

The new Monash Business School Master of Regulation and Compliance is designed in conjunction with regulation, compliance and business law practitioners, so you’ll graduate expert in regulation and compliance across sectors such as financial services, sustainability and environmental regulation and corporate regulation, as well as the emerging area of artificial intelligence and technology.

But the important thing to remember about this course is that you don’t have to be a lawyer. It’s highly practical, with real-life case studies, but also explores compliance functions from an ethical and practical governance perspective.

If you have found the need for this skill-set seeping into your current role, then this is the course for you.

2. Project management

Australia’s infrastructure pipeline faces an increasingly critical skills shortage, according to a 2019 audit report from Infrastructure Australia. It expressed concern that the country is failing to achieve best-practice in planning, funding and delivering infrastructure projects.

“Projects are getting larger and increasingly complex, and will require new approaches. How the public sector makes decisions, handles procurement, selects contract models and handles risk will have significant bearing on the functionality and efficiency of our infrastructure,” the report says.

Monash Business School’s Master of Project Management covers areas such as as project and business finance, leadership, managerial problem-solving and decision-making, to infrastructure project and policy evaluation, negotiation strategy and skills, enterprise and IT systems.

Be ahead of the game and enhance your skills. Photo: Getty

It has also been designed as an interdisciplinary course across the Monash faculties of Business, Engineering and IT.

This sort of career move would suit someone upskilling, expanding their skill set or looking for a dynamic new direction.

3. Big data

In its ‘2019 Jobs Rated’ report, the US jobs site CareerCast reported a 30 per cent increase in demand for statisticians or data scientists and this is also an area of rapid demand across Australia with corporate, government and non-profit sectors.

Monash Business School’s new Master of Business Analytics is designed to help you better understand the world around you by analysing and interpreting data. You will also learn statistical thinking, probabilistic modelling and computational techniques and how to express data through web apps and interactive graphics.

If you’re already in data science or working as a statistician (ranked as among the top jobs in the world by CareerCast due to the demand for that skill-set), this course will really deepen your knowledge. It starts with introductions to concepts such as machine learning and data analysis and goes into intensive specialist areas such as high dimensional data analysis and even Bayesian time series econometrics.

This is the sort of career move that would most suit people who have backgrounds in engineering, computer science and mathematics and who are looking to work in government, education and the non-profit sector. Best of all, it is taught by some of the world’s leading econometricians.


More than 20,000 extra mining workers needed by 2024: report

The mining industry’s peak body has predicted 20,767 more workers will be needed in the next five years and called on government and business to “learn our lessons from the past” to prevent a skills shortage.

A report by the Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA says action is needed to avoid a repeat of challenges faced during the mining boom, when employers were forced to offer high salaries and generous benefits as they struggled to lure workers.

Australia will need more than 20,000 extra mining workers by 2024, a new report says.
Australia will need more than 20,000 extra mining workers by 2024, a new report says.CREDIT:VINCENT MUNDY

“We must learn our lessons from the past and be better at industry workforce planning, nurturing the skills pipeline, facilitating inter-sector labour mobility, and avoiding projects cannibalising each other for critical trades and semi-skilled roles,” the report, to be released on Tuesday, says.

The new jobs expected to be created by 2024 include 8660 mining plant operators; 2847 heavy diesel fitters; 4110 supervisors and other white-collar roles; 4180 engineers, technicians, geologists and related roles; and 970 other trades, such as electrical, mechanical and maintenance workers.

The forecast draws on official data relating to the 57 mining projects – worth about $41 billion – in the “committed” or “likely to proceed” phases, and takes into account the impact of automation and expected mine closures.

It includes 5714 mining jobs in Queensland, where the issue of coal mining jobs was pivotal at the May federal election, but attributes only 800 to the Adani mine. Coal mines make up nine of the 57 projects nationally (16 per cent), seven of which are either thermal coal or a mix of thermal and coking.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said Australia’s mining industry was “facing new workforce demand at levels not seen since the previous investment and construction ‘boom’ “.

“While demand across the next four years will be far steadier than the unprecedented growth we saw in 2005-12, it is clear that securing the pipeline of skills to support mining project growth to 2024 will be a significant challenge,” he said. “We must avoid a scenario where nationally significant mining projects are delayed by skills shortages, or competing for engineers, trades and skilled operators with the $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Australia’s development pipeline.”

The jobs forecast does not include 153 mining projects at the feasibility stage considered “possible” to proceed, “many of which are advanced in planning and awaiting final investment decision”.

Mr Knott said the report had taken a “conservative” approach to calculating the expected number of future jobs, meaning its forecast “could be exceeded very significantly”.Play Video

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Play video2:06WA mining industry heading for skills shortage

Thousands of positions in the mining industry are on offer with 20,000 new jobs available over the next two years.

Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash said the Morrison government was “acutely aware of the workforce requirements in the Australian economy” and was addressing them through “major reforms” to the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

The government committed $535 million in the federal budget to overhaul the VET system, including a regional apprenticeship wage subsidy trial and a review of the National Skills Needs List.

Senator Cash said while the Coalition was responding to “structural issues” within the VET system, business needed to play its part.

“Employers know better than anyone what their workforce requirements will be in the future, so it is just as important for them to effectively plan for, and skill up, the workforce they need,” she said. “Workforce planning is not simply a problem for government.”

The government is also reviewing the skilled migrant visa list.

source aap

20 skills needed for the future of work

The HR director of Stryker explains how to create a ‘strengths-based culture’

20 skills needed for the future of work

The focus at Stryker is on understanding and treating all employees as individuals, according to Erin Cramlet, Senior Director, HR, StrykerSouth Pacific.

“That’s why we have such a focus on a strengths-based culture,” she added.

“When we considered the pace of change over the next few decades, we wondered, what would it be like to meet our colleague of the future?

“Automation and robotics reduce repetitive tasks, therefore human-centric roles can offer more personalised experiences and provide meaningful work for our people.”

Cramlet’s comments come as the medical technology company has imagined the colleague of the future based on 20 human qualities Stryker sees as key for employees to succeed in the future of work.

As new technologies, including automation and robotics, are incorporated into the workforce, the nature of work will change. Stryker wanted to envision the human qualities that might support a great place to work for years to come.

Using publicly available research and its own organisational and industry expertise, Stryker identified 20 of the most important human qualities needed for individuals to succeed when working side-by-side with technology.

The following are 20 skills needed for the future of work:

  • Impactful communicator
  • Active listener
  • Team player and collaborative
  • Emotionally connected
  • Result orientated
  • Life-long learner
  • Human centric
  • Influencer and negotiator
  • Value driven and ethical
  • Purpose driven
  • Good under pressure
  • Opportunistic
  • Authentic
  • Strong judgement
  • Creative
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Problem solver and critical thinker – design thinking
  • Data interpreter
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Digitally literate

Cramlet added that Stryker strives to uncover how best to use people and technology side-by-side and decisions need to be made about how to help people grow and develop into the future.

“Stryker is dedicated to aligning a potential candidate’s talents and strengths to a role, not just focusing on their previous experience,” said Cramlet.

“The company acknowledges that as technology advances, the focus on human qualities becomes even more important.”

Moreover, identifying what attributes will be important in the future and helping employees to develop towards those will become paramount to a company’s success.

Cramlet added that while organisations are continuing to recruit for specific skills, the reality is that some roles do not even exist yet.

“With the acquisition of Mako, robotic technology, that is used during Joint Replacement surgery, Stryker now has over 50 people working in roles that did not exist four years ago,” said Cramlet.

“We were able to seamlessly hire for these technical roles by looking at what innate talent we needed and thinking outside the box for where to find this talent.”

For example, Cramlet said Stryker had great success in hiring driven physiotherapists whose understanding of anatomy and spatial awareness helped them to adapt to the technical nature of the role.

READ MORE: This is how the future of work will ‘reinvent L&D’

“When we find the right person, we help them identify their strengths and then adapt the role to fit the individual,” said Cramlet.

“We harness our employees’ natural talents and build their skills through ongoing learning opportunities, so our people are empowered. This ensures that we are building an adaptive, motivated and highly engaged workforce, that will meet the ever-evolving future of work.”


New Study Reveals Skills Gap Grew By Double Digits Since Last Year


The annual report by Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace shows companies are still struggling to adjust to the future of work

Wiley Education Services, a division of Wiley (JW-A) (JW-B) that provides tailored services and technology solutions for university and enterprise partners, and Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm preparing leaders for disruptions in recruiting, development and employee engagement, today announced the results of a survey of human resource leaders showing the skills gap grew by 12 percent since last year.

The finding comes from the second annual report, “Closing the Skills Gap 2019,” which was released today. According to the study, 64 percent of the 600 HR leaders surveyed said there is a skills gap in their company, up from 52 percent in the 2018 report. This year, 44 percent of HR leaders reported it was more difficult to fill their skills gap than it was last year, and 42 percent said the skills gap was making their company less efficient.

“The skills gap is growing, becoming a larger and more serious drag on business efficiency,” said Jeremy Walsh, VP of Enterprise Learning Solutions at Wiley Education Services. “Our research shows that, for the second year in a row, companies are grasping for solutions to improve their ability to find basic talent needs and one thing that is becoming very clear, companies that are willing to build talent versus simply buying talent will be the winners over the next few years.”

Other significant findings of the report include:

  • Pace of change is driving gap growth. Increasing changes in technology and required matching skills was the most often-cited cause of the skills gap (37%), followed by the lack of skilled talent capable of moving into positions with more responsibilities (31%) and lack of qualified candidates (30%).
  • HR leaders increasingly say needed skills are temporary. A significant share of employers (40%) estimate that a skill is usable for four years or less. Fast-paced obsolescence escalates the need for employers to hire or upskill workers when gaps form.
  • A college degree isn’t the only pathway. While 68 percent of employers say a degree is used to validate hard skills, nearly all (90%) employers said they would hire a candidate that doesn’t have a 4-year college degree.
  • Tuition reimbursement is popular. Over half (52%) of employers said that they use a tuition reimbursement program for upskilling and a significant majority (88%) cover at least some of the cost of upskilling for employees.
  • Companies say they need to invest in workforce skills, but many don’t. Although 68 percent of HR leaders say their company very often or always communicates the value of upskilling, less than half of companies (48%) spend more than $500 per year per employee on upskilling or continuing education.
  • Employers are working more with schools. Nearly two-thirds of employers (64%) say their organization has collaborated with schools to make curriculum more responsive to workforce needs in the past three years, an increase of 14 percentage points since 2018.
  • Hiring practices vary with respect to offering jobs to candidates with certain demographic factors. More than six in ten (61%) employers often offer jobs to military veterans, nearly two-thirds of employers have hired people considered retired or unemployed, nearly half (46%) often offer roles to non-Americans.
  • Employers increasingly prioritize solutions such as AI and outsourcing over upskilling. Forty percent say they prefer to invest in AI than upskilling, an increase of 11 percent over last year. And nearly half (47%) prefer to hire gig workers instead of full-time employees, a jump of nine percent over 2018.

“Now is the time for companies to take concrete steps to address this issue before it further impacts business outcomes,” said Jeanne Meister, Founding Partner, Future Workplace. “Companies should not choose between investing in artificial intelligence or upskilling employees, they need to do both! No industry will be immune to the shortage of skilled labor needed to remain competitive today.”

“The skills gap continues to get wider with more than seven million unfilled jobs in America. Companies can’t find the right talent, with the right skills at the right time and it’s preventing them from growth,” said Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace. “As a result, this study concludes that while they might have had a singular focus on a specific type of candidate in the past, that’s changed out of necessity. They are open to hiring candidates, such as retirees and veterans, because it expands their talent pool.”

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About Future Workplace

Future Workplace is a HR Advisory and Research firm preparing leaders for what’s next in the future workforce and workplace. Future Workplace works with heads of talent acquisition, talent management, human resources, corporate learning, and diversity to prepare them for the disruptions impacting recruitment, employee development, and engagement. Future Workplace is host of the Future Workplace Network, an Executive Council that includes heads of Human Resources, Corporate Learning, and Talent Management, who come together to discuss, debate and share “next” practices impacting the workplace and workforce of the future. For more information, please visit:

About Wiley Education Services

Wiley Education Services, a division of Wiley, is a leading, global provider of technology-enabled education solutions to meet the evolving needs of universities, corporations and ultimately, learners. We partner with more than 60 institutions across the U.S., Europe and Australia, and support over 800 degree programs. Our best-in-class services and market insights are driven by our deep commitment and expertise—proven to elevate enrollment, retention and completion rates. For more information visit

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company’s website can be accessed at

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