September 18, 2019

Big data: mapping a path to a new career

A new paper that explores how large, local and international data sets can help workers and job seekers transfer their existing skills to new jobs and identify new skills to develop was published today.

Reskilling Australia: a data-driven approach, published by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, identifies that moving towards a skills-based approach to labour market analysis could help Australia respond to this changing demand for skills

After analysing US careers database O*Net and Burning Glass Technologies job advertisement data from 2.6 million online job postings in Australia, the department developed a ‘job similarity model’ that shows how the skills of one job compare to another to help identify practical avenues to a career change.

Angela Hope, who leads the Future of Work Branch in the department, said that the new model can help job seekers and workers find alternative career pathways.

“We can look at occupations that are likely to decline and then map out pathways to jobs in growing sectors,” Angela said.

“What we have found is that most workers in declining occupations do have good transition options based on their existing skills but they may not recognise their skills can be transferred.”

For example, the department’s employment projections indicate that while the number of information officers in Australia will shrink by 6.3 per cent by May 2023, tourism and travel advisers are expected to grow by 5.3 per cent by 2023.

Information officers already have most of the skills needed to fill tourism and travel adviser roles —communication, customer service, relationship building, organisational and computer skills — and would need only to build their sales, scheduling and negotiation skills.

An information officer making the transition to a job as a tourism or travel adviser would also earn, on average, $102 per week more than in their previous role.

“The Skills Match tool recently released on the Job Outlook website uses this new model to provide a practical way of helping individuals navigate the changing labour market,” Angela said.

Reskilling Australia – A data driven approach September 2019