When there aren't enough people with the skills to do a particular job, that skill is called a ‘skill in demand’.
For example, a new hairdressing salon in a country town needs four experienced hairdressers. They advertise the jobs, but only two people with the right experience apply. This means that hairdressing is a skill in demand in that town.
What are job skills?
Having job skills means being able to do the things involved in a particular job.
For example, job skills for a plumber include being able to connect and weld pipes. To get a job as a plumber you need to have these skills. To get these skills you will need to have had either the right training or the right experience, or sometimes both.
Why some skills are in demand
There are lots of reasons why some skills are in demand. It might be because:
- there's a lack of skilled people in a particular area
- people don’t want to do some kinds of jobs
- there is more demand for some kinds of goods or services
- changes in technology have created new kinds of jobs.
Skills that are in demand can change from place to place. For example, one area might need skilled hairdressers, while another might have a shortage of doctors.
Skills in demand can benefit you
If you’re looking for a job, it’s useful to have skills that are in demand. There will usually be more vacancies for people with those skills. Wages and conditions may be also better in jobs that require skills in demand.
You can use information about skills in demand in a number of ways.
If you want to get a job in your local area, finding out what skills are in demand where you live can help you work out:
- what jobs to look for
- what training you could do to get those skills.
If you want a specific kind of job, finding out where demand is high for those skills could help you work out:
- where you need to look
- whether you need to move to improve your chances of finding that kind of job.
Find out what skills are in demand
The Australian Government keeps track of the skills in demand in Australia and publishes lists that show:
- skill shortages in each state
- which jobs are experiencing skill shortages
- the prospects for work in various careers (select the career profile you are interested in and then select the ‘prospects’ tab).
Having skills in demand isn't a guarantee of a job
Here are some things to keep in mind about skills in demand.
Just because a skill is in demand doesn't mean you can automatically get a job in that field if you have that skill. You may still need experience to be able to get certain jobs.
Remember that skills in demand can change over time. You might spend time getting training in a skill, only to find it's no longer in demand when you finish training. If that happens, you could either retrain in a different field or just accept that it might be harder to find work that uses that skill.
Developing a skill that's in demand may not be the best way to get a job. It might be better to develop a skill that really interests you.