There’s no doubt the challenges of the last few years changed the way we work. Economic uncertainty lingers around the globe. But it’s also an exciting time for business, and many industries are growing and thriving.
So, what does this mean for your career?

Businesses in thriving industries are expanding and can offer staff job security and attractive salary packages. There are also more jobs available and more opportunities to be part of innovative teams. A growing industry can be challenging, but it can also present opportunities for those prepared to retrain, upskill or embark on further education.

Want to know how to future-proof your career? We’ve done the hard work for you and found the fastest-growing industries in Australia. Here are our top six, where new opportunities are available for workers in a variety of roles.

Which business industry is growing the fastest?

The business industries that are growing the fastest in Australia include:

  • healthcare
  • software and analytics
  • renewable energy
  • virtual reality
  • tourism
  • e-commerce

1. Healthcare

According to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), in August 2023, there were a total of 877,119 registered health practitioners in Australia across all professions. This was an 18 per cent increase on the 744,437 registered practitioners in June 2019.

Ahpra reports that in the 12 months to July 2023, almost 5,300 new practitioners were registering every month to work in Australia’s health systems. This includes 700 new medical practitioners and almost 3,000 new nurses a month, powered by internationally trained workers and local graduates. We expect the numbers to continue to grow, largely due to the Australian Government’s 2022 investment of $537 billion over four years to deliver a better healthcare system.

Healthcare is one of Australia’s biggest industries and largest employer.

We’ve also seen significant investment in innovative technology platforms and software solutions to improve patient outcomes in Australia. This opens up new career opportunities for job seekers with technical training or those prepared to upskill and retrain through postgraduate study.

While this industry has faced unprecedented challenges over the last three years, the road ahead looks bright for those wanting to pursue careers in healthcare.

2. Software and analytics

Of all the growing industries in Australia, software and analytics has to be one of the most dynamic. Businesses need to constantly adapt digital technologies to meet their customers’ needs. According to a recent study from Gartner, spending on IT in Australia is expected to grow to more than $133 billion in 2024, equating to a 7.8 per cent increase in 2023 expenditure.

Australian businesses are also undergoing wider digital transformations, increasing the strong demand for technology workers. ACS Digital Pulse forecasts that there will be more than 1 million technology workers in Australia by 2024, growing to 1.2 million by 2027. In February 2023, lobby group Tech Council of Australia reported the nation had a 935,000-strong tech workforce, so we are well on our way to the numbers projected by ACS.

Anna Furlong, the Executive Director of The Virtual IT Department, says, “The software and analytics industry is undergoing a remarkable change. Software development roles are expanding, and new specialisations, such as cloud architects and cybersecurity analysts, are taking shape. As organisations increasingly leverage complex, interconnected systems, there’s a growing demand for professionals skilled in IoT [Internet of Things] development, DevOps [software development and IT operations] engineering and more.”

AI, too, is changing everything. The careers now emerging in this space are numerous. Anna believes the most successful careers will be those that adapt to AI being integrated with our way of working. “From AI ethicists ensuring the moral integrity of algorithms to machine learning engineers crafting predictive models, the roles are diverse and multidimensional,” Anna says. “AI hardware specialists work on optimising physical components for AI tasks. There are plenty of careers that are going to need to adapt to the AI phenomenon.”

3. Renewable energy

The Australian Government has promised billions of dollars in an effort to reach the nation’s emissions reduction target of 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Each state in Australia has also committed to net zero by 2050.

While the Clean Energy Council reports that Australia will need to considerably increase investment in the renewables sector to remain competitive, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised to do more to help fast-track the switch to low emissions. And the sector is growing.

In 2023, it was estimated that the nation’s renewable energy market size was 46.06 gigawatts, with the expectation that it would grow to 79.77 gigawatts by 2028.

It’s not one of the largest industries in Australia, but there’s an opportunity for significant investment in clean-energy technologies, such as solar, wind, hydro and big battery storage. Along with that investment comes jobs. According to the Clean Energy Council, demand already outstrips supply in the clean energy workforce, and that demand will only increase in the coming years. The National Jobs and Skills Summit in 2022 positioned the clean energy industry as a clear focus. It recognised vast opportunities for hundreds of thousands of jobs to be created in the sector across the nation.

In 2019, about 25,000 people across Australia were employed in the industry, and that’s expected to almost double to 45,000 by 2025.

There are many untapped opportunities in this sector, and with skill shortages nationwide, skilled workers will be highly employable.

4. Virtual reality

Valued at about $16.8 billion in 2022, the global virtual reality market grew to about $22.2 billion in 2023 and is forecast to be worth close to $120 billion in 2030.

Virtual reality (VR) isn’t just gaming. VR is used in medicine, education, the automotive, real estate, hospitality and fashion industries. As existing technology such as 3D effects, motion tracking and cloud-based technology continues improving, the market will only increase.

“VR and augmented reality (AR) have transitioned from gimmicky technologies to powerful tools reshaping how we engage with tech,” says Anna. “Industries across the board are harnessing their potential for training, simulations, and enhanced user experiences. We are just getting started in this space. Their growth trajectory suggests an even more immersive future.”

Looking to get in? Careers in this growth industry are becoming highly sought after, and you may just find your professional fit as an engineer, coder, game artist, software developer or project manager. But as a broader range of industries adopts AR and VR, other professionals with AR and VR experience will also become more employable.

5. Tourism

There’s no doubt the pandemic had a devastating effect on tourism, leading to a collapse in international travel and devastating all sectors of the industry. But tourism operators are recovering and enjoying a resurgence, particularly on the domestic front, making tourism one of our most exciting re-emerging industries.

In late 2022, the Reserve Bank of Australia reported that spending on domestic tourism had recovered and was above pre-pandemic levels. Australian tourism operators are enjoying a strong domestic market. By 2027, domestic expenditure, including overnight and day trips, is expected to total almost $180 billion.

International travel, however, has taken longer to rebound. Global tourism numbers were still down in 2023, but the International Air Transport Association forecasted 4.35 billion flight passengers in 2023, not far off the 4.54 billion passengers recorded in 2019.

Closer to home, Tourism Research Australia also expects international visitor spending to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2024 and then grow to $48.8 billion by 2027.

With our politically stable and resilient economy, Australia is low-risk for tourism operators and investors. In October 2022, the government announced a $48 million investment to attract, retain and upskill workers and support tourism and travel businesses.

There is much to be optimistic about and plenty of opportunities for workers and investors in the industry.

6. E-commerce

During COVID-19, Australians embraced online shopping like never before, and while social distancing and lockdowns seem to be a thing of the past, our love of online shopping is still going strong.

Cost-of-living pressures are having an impact. Australia Post reported in its latest e-commerce update that consumers in the first half of 2023 slowed their spending. However, they became more strategic in their shopping habits and looked for ways to maximise every shop. They sought ways to save money via sales events like Click Frenzy, looking for cheaper alternatives, and expecting free delivery and easy returns.

According to McKinsey, e-commerce retailers of the future will need to change focus, proactively connecting with their customers by creating highly personalised and seamless experiences and becoming an essential part of their lives online and offline. The new wave of successful e-commerce businesses will become essential to the customer through a deep level of engagement.

To succeed in this space, businesses must employ digital leaders and talent who can execute cultural change. As well as skills in data science, design and cloud engineering, they will need to be customer-focused, creative and willing to take risks.

As a result, there are exciting opportunities for workers in this space. Market research analysts, web developers and computer systems analysts are just some of those in demand.

Future-ready your career with an MBA

The world is changing rapidly, and for those ready to retrain and upskill, there are a plethora of opportunities in the fastest-growing industries in Australia. Skills such as cognitive flexibility, digital literacy, emotional intelligence, decision-making and innovation are highly regarded by employers. An MBA can provide you with the skills you’ll need. How can MBA Discovery’s university partners help you?

Whether you’re looking for a professional pivot or simply want to accelerate your current career, an MBA can open up a world of opportunities, and open the door to more generous salaries.

To find out how an MBA can help advance your career, speak with one of our Student Enrolment Advisors. They’ll guide you through the process and help you find a program that’s right for you.u.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments