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More than 3 million to seek career change post COVID-19

Published on 20/05/2020

More than 3 million to seek career change post COVID-19

New ING Future Focus research reveals Australians’ post COVID-19 career sentiment


20 May 2020: The ING Future Focus Report, out today, shows 3.3 million* Aussie adults are rethinking their career path, this includes 1.38 million Millennials and 1.31 million Generation Xers.

ING’s Head of Retail Banking, Melanie Evans says:  “COVID-19 has made many Aussies re-think their work choice with some questioning whether their existing skills will always be needed while others have spent time dreaming about a change in career direction”

“Millennials and those who fall into Generation X are at points in their life where stable incomes are really important. Many Millennials are experiencing big life changes like marriage, children and home ownership. For Generation X they’re probably paying off mortgages and planning for their retirement.”

“We’ve had a good run of booming job growth in Australia so many Millennials may have never experienced an economic downturn in their working careers. This could be why so many are taking the initiative to re assess careers and learn skills.”

Despite many wanting to change jobs, 32% are expecting  opportunities to be very hard to come by, and one in four (23%) feel anxious or fearful about the prospects of finding work.

“There’s no denying Australians are nervous about what lies ahead, but our report reveals Aussies are being resourceful – using this time to plan for the future and upskill so they can move with the times,” says Melanie

The research highlights more than a quarter (28%) of Aussie adults are learning new skills whilst in isolation, whether that’s in an attempt to progress their careers (17%) or simply to learn something new (11%).

“This increase in learning will help people feel more optimistic about the future of work beyond COVID 19,” adds Melanie.


COVID-19 accelerates the future workforce

Futurist, Anders Sörman-Nilsson comments on the research findings:

“Pandemics have a history of spawning cultural and labour transformation. Just as the Spanish Flu and Black Plague shifted ways of working, COVID-19 will lead to an even closer relationship with technology, with the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics,” says Anders Sörman-Nilsson

“Not only are there thriving new industries to take advantage of, but Aussies can transfer their current skills, learn new ways of working and adapt to the current climate.”


Key predictions from Anders Sörman-Nilsson

Workplace trends

  • Robots join the team – digital connectedness will thrive, from robots and drones utilised in healthcare, to tech connecting people who are separated.
  • STEMpathy will get you hired – whilst some machines might take over old jobs, emotional intelligence is not something that can be programmed. It will be important for people to have multiple skill sets that combine creativity and entrepreneurship with digital technologies.
  • Eco companies will lead the way – as we look to tomorrow, businesses that focus on sustainability, renewable energy and carbon neutrality will be the leaders of our new economy
  • EdTech the new normal – within schools and workplaces we will continue to gain access to world-class mentors and teachers through hybrid education models that fuse virtual learning with face-to-face.
  • Your wellbeing is the priority – we will see workplaces place greater emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, including access to online therapy, mediation apps and dedicated wellbeing spaces.
  • A home office will be common place – as more workplaces offer the opportunity to work from home, we will see a rise in those looking to build or buy properties with home offices.
  • Those who can adapt quickly will thrive – whilst niche skills will still be needed, it will become increasingly important for people to diversify their skill sets and continue to learn outside of traditional education to ensure they are flexible and ready for change.

Top 10 growing industries 

  1. BioTech, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences
  2. Cyber Security
  3. Healthcare
  4. Robotics
  5. Agriculture
  6. Renewable Energy
  7. Sustainability & Wellness
  8. Grocery Delivery
  9. EdTech
  10. Online Entertainment

Top 10 job of increasing demand

  1. Medical Tele-storyteller
  2. Financial Coach
  3. Black Swan Risk Manager
  4. Agricultural Technologist
  5. Sustainability Consultant
  6. Industrial Robotics Engineer
  7. Executive Creativity Coach
  8. Cyber Security Defender
  9. Digital Literacy Coach
  10. Nurse


Notes to editors

The ING Future Focus Report was commissioned by ING in conjunction with futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson.

This research survey was commissioned by ING and conducted by YouGov in April 2020. The nationally representative sample comprises 1,005 Australians aged 18+ years distributed throughout Australia and weighted by age, gender and location to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

Gen X: People born between 1965 and 1980

Millennials: People born between 1981 and 1996

Source: YouGov

*3.3 million based off the adult Australian population, taken from 17% of those surveyed agreeing COVID-19 has made them rethink their career path.

For more information contact Megan Landauro on 0413 317 225 or

About ING

ING changed the way Australians bank 20 years ago by launching the country’s first high interest, fee free online savings account. Since then, we’ve brought continued value to customers with home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending and insurance.

ING is Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFi XPRT Survey October 19 – April 20 (n = 3839) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia.

ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24000893292 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. Information in this media release is general information only and we have not taken your financial circumstances, objectives, needs or requirements into consideration.

About Anders Sörman-Nilsson (Global Executive MBA / LLB)

Anders Sörman-Nilsson is a futurist and the founder of the Sydney-based think tank and trend analysis firm – Thinque, which provides data-based research, foresight and thought leadership assets for global brands across four continents. His vision is to disseminate ‘avant-garde ideas which expand minds and inspire a change of heart’, and clients like ING, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, McKinsey, Jaguar Land Rover, MINI, Rugby New Zealand, and Lego trust his future guidance. He is an awarded keynote speaker who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what’s next and turn provocative questions into proactive answers. He has published 3 books including ‘Aftershock’ (2020), ‘Seamless’ (2017) and ‘Digilogue’ (2013), is a member of TEDGlobal, and was nominated to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders in 2019. His futurist thinking has been shared by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Review, Monocle, BBC, Esquire and ABC TV.


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