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COVID Lifestyle transforms aspirations of young Australians

A survey of demand for information on careers and university courses has revealed tremendous change in aspirations across Australia in wake of COVID-19.

Analysis by Good Education Media, the publishers of the Good Universities Guide, and higher education consultancy Twig Marketing studied millions of searches in the 18 months prior to the pandemic and in the subsequent 18 months.

The research revealed that after the pandemic hit Australia, and borders closed, demand for careers related to travel dropped dramatically – combining to an average 43% drop in searches for travel-related roles. This also extended to jobs sustained by travel and migration, such as interpreter jobs, which fell sharply.

Demand for information about IT fell significantly, possibly as a result of too many students having to spend day after day studying and socialising solely online.

There was a slump in a range of office jobs, while demand for information about outdoor essential jobs such as parking inspector, builder’s labourer and farm worker all rose significantly.

The sector which most benefited from this trend was the construction sector, with a 26% increase in demand for information about building jobs.

The past 18 months saw a huge growth in demand for roles relating to mental health, in particular psychology, which grew from 25,000 searches in the 18 months pre-pandemic to more than 40,000 searches in the 18 months beginning in February 2020.

There was increased demand for frontline health roles at the expense of allied health roles – with a 108% increase in demand for information about surgical careers and a 65% increase in demand for registered nurse career information, while demand for the physiotherapy courses fell 15%, occupational therapy searches fell 13%, optometrist searches fell 25% and chiropractic searches fell 38%.

According to Twig Marketing, uncertainty has also driven demand towards some traditional professions and jobs considered secure in any conditions – with strong growth in demand for law, engineering and defence. Policing careers with the Australian Federal Police also remained the most popular search across Australia throughout both periods.

Searches for prosthetic technician jobs were relatively common pre-pandemic, with 1,434 searches, but fell to just 70 in the past 18 months. With kids locked out of sporting teams, interest in sports science plummeted by 88% and climate change analyst searches fell 39%. In contrast, there was a 355% increase in searches relating to real estate sales.

(Source: analysis conducted by Good Education Media, the publishers of the Good Universities Guide, and Twig Marketing)

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