What is a white-collar job? The term “white collar” refers to people who work in professional, administrative, or managerial jobs. White collar jobs are performed in an office setting where you may have your own office, a cubicle, or a desk where you work. Accountants, lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, and customer service representatives fall under the white-collar category. This kind of work requires little to no manual labour. It’s common for white collar jobs to be highly desired due to the social status and/or pay scale of the job.
What is the current outlook for uni graduates in the white-collar sector in Sydney?
Man Versus the Machine
One of the major concerns within the white-collar sector is how machines will play a role in redundant/repetitive tasks in Sydney offices. Doctors, accountants, lawyers, and other professional and administrative job seekers are worried that their jobs will be taken by a machine in coming years. While that could happen for certain tasks, there are complex and unpredictable tasks that only humans in white collar jobs can perform.
For example, legal contracts and documents cannot be written by machines because not every situation is the same. Complex tax structuring cannot be performed by a machine. Computers cannot interpret legislation. There are things computers/machines can do better and faster than humans, but they also have limitations. There is only so much computers can do when mimicking human activities at this point in the technology’s development. Even tasks that a computer can perform are programmed to flag activities that require the human touch.
Alexandra Heath, head of the Reserve Bank’s economic analysis department, says that routine jobs will be automated, but the need for non-routine jobs have become more important than ever. Non-routine occupations in the architectural, child care, accounting, legal, and healthcare industries that require a person to be present are crucial to society and cannot be automated or replaced.
Outsourcing and Offshoring
Businesses that outsource jobs to save money seem to think that they aren’t harming uni graduates from Sydney. How can that be true if they aren’t hiring local graduates? Many jobs that could be done by qualified Sydney graduates are being taken by offshore employees, leaving graduates to work in “light-blue collar” jobs earning only a little bit more than an unskilled worker.
How will students pay off their exorbitant student loans on minimal pay? While a job is a job in any economy, uni students feel forced out of the fields in which they have been trained to work. Even if they happen to find a job in their field, the competition is fierce, which means they must work harder for less pay before they can move up the white-collar ladder.
The Recruitment Agency Edge
According to the Bureau of Statistics, almost 76,000 white-collar type jobs were added to the job market since just before August 2016. This is believed to be part of the post-mining boom. Therefore, jobs are out there, but could be difficult to find.
If you’re a Sydney graduate seeking white collar work, your best option is to look at recruitment agencies for help. Recruitment agencies have a large database of employers that hire white collar workers that you would otherwise not have access to when searching for a job on your own. You will have the edge in working off your student loans with a good paying job in the white-collar sector when you use a good recruitment agency.