COVID drives career reboot as Australians look to upskill or career change in wake of pandemic

06 Sep 2021

New research from MYOB shows the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many people to reevaluate their career choices, with 63% of respondents surveyed indicating the pandemic drove their desire to re-train or up-skill following a challenging 18 months of change.

The survey revealed employment stability (64%), career progression (50%) and increased flexibility (45%) as the key motivators for those seeking to enhance their skills or change their career direction altogether.

The survey of more than 1,000 Australians found that more than half (52%) had applied for an on-the-job upskilling program in the last five years and over a third (37%) had applied for a graduate program or internship in the same period.[1]

An increasing appetite to learn on the job presents an opportunity for Australian businesses in a post-COVID landscape, according to MYOB’s Head of People Talent and Advisory, Sally Elson.

“The pandemic has provided people with the opportunity to reconsider or reassess their career aspirations, due to significant disruption to current working patterns, a desire for change or to seek greater certainty or employment prospects post-COVID.

“Unemployment is a low 4.6%[2] and with borders remaining closed for the time being, there’s a greater necessity for domestic hiring. One way for businesses to attract employees and bridge talent gaps is through graduate, upskill or internship programs.

“Now is a good time for businesses to rethink their offering and how they can incorporate graduate or upskilling programs for both new and existing employees,” Ms Elson said.

The MYOB research also indicated that the most important aspect of a graduate, upskill or internship program was the learning opportunities. This was supported by almost one third of respondents (27%), with salary (22%), and career opportunities (19%) also identified as high value features.

MYOB’s graduate program, Future Makers Academy, and female-focused scholarship initiative, DevelopHer, are two key initiatives offering up-skilling and re-training support for individuals looking to carve out a career in the technology industry.

Ms Elson said that interest in both programs had increased over the past 18 months with applicants seeking to grow their skills or looking for support to take a new career path.

“What’s really encouraging is that despite the challenges that COVID has presented, these results highlight a clear focus on a future state - and with individuals keen to invest in their professional development, the view of a post-pandemic employment market is positive,” said Ms Elson.


For further comment or other information please contact:

Selina Ife, Communications Consultant, MYOB


About MYOB

MYOB is a leading business platform with a purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. MYOB delivers end-to-end business management tools and accounting solutions for SMEs and the mid-market, direct to businesses, as well as a network of accountants, bookkeepers and consultants. MYOB operates across three key segments: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Enterprise, and Financial Services. For more information visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

[1] MYOB Commissioned Research: Graduate Research (August 2021).