A career as a spy may become more mainstream with new data indicating their jobs will be among the fastest-growing in Australia in the next few years.
The latest figures from the Department of Employment predicts intelligence and policy analysts jobs will increase by more than a third to 40,200 in the five years from May 2018 to May 2023.
Jobs growth for psychologists, adventure guides and audiologists are also being forecast. Personal assistants, the retail sector, switchboard operators and secretaries are among the jobs in decline with 13,600 fewer secretaries forecast to be employed in five years, a decline of almost a third.
Overall employment is predicted to grow by 7 per cent or 886,100 jobs with many of these likely to be part-time with an increase from 20.4 per cent to 31.7 per cent over the 30 years to May 2019.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is presently recruiting for intelligence officers and analysts.
An ASIO spokeswoman said intelligence analysts identify and investigate patterns and anomalies, draw intelligence value from large data, solve complex problems and produce high-quality advice.
"The role of intelligence analysts is vital to our work to protect Australia from violent, clandestine and deceptive efforts to harm its people and undermine its sovereignty," the spokeswoman said.
"Intelligence analysts work in a broad range of analytical roles within ASIO, and have the opportunity to develop a diverse career across a range of specialised analytical areas."
ASIO intelligence officer 'Emily' said over the past 10 years her role had changed significantly and would "continue to do so into the future".
"Our information comes from a variety of sources that includes technology and people. We now have new ways of addressing problems using technology - however we also now need to turn vast amounts of data into a clear picture and figure out what it all means," she said.
"I wanted this job because I wanted to make a contribution, and I have a real sense of challenge in accomplishing this."
However, some jobs are in steep decline in NSW, for example, telemarketer job ads have reduced 91 per cent from 708 options in June 2006 to 61 in June 2019, the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) of new job ads lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch shows.
Accountants are being sought less, down more than 60 per cent from 4261 positions over the same period. Meanwhile, registered nurses are in demand with ads for their services growing from 555 to 1400, and psychologists are up from 26 positions to 148.
The biggest growth will be in the relatively low-paid aged and disabled care sector with their workforce expected to rise to 245,000 by 2023, an increase of 39 per cent.
The Australian Psychological Society is bracing for an 18.9 percentage point increase in the number of psychologists by 2023.
The society's chief executive officer Frances Mirabelli said it was aware of the Department of Employment figures predicting a need for 11,300 extra psychologists by 2023.
"I think a burgeoning mental health problem in Australia that is driving the increase," she said.
"There is a general shortfall of psychologists at the moment, particularly in rural areas. I think it is a societal issue. We are all a lot more stressed."
Clinical and counselling psychologist Elisabeth Shaw, who is also the chief executive officer of Relationships Australia, said there has been consistent growth in the profession.
"The positive reflection of that is that mental health issues and awareness of self care has been stronger in terms of public discussion," she said.
"The impact on workplace productivity, well being, more open discussions about the severity of mental health risks has led to people seeking well-trained help faster."
During her 10 years at ASIO, Emily has had a variety of roles including running investigations into people deemed as possible security threats.
"In my role I need to be able to make sense of vague information from a range of different sources, understand what this means and communicate this to whoever needs to know," she says.
"As an ASIO intelligence analyst you need to be courageous in your judgments but also able to learn and adapt. "You need to be curious, creative, strategic and tenacious. I derive a lot of satisfaction out of working in this environment."
- SMH/The Age