Things are looking bright for those in the sustainability consulting, renewable energy and app development fields, with just released research from IBISWorld tipping upward trends for bottom lines for the next five years.

The sector overall is expected to see continued growth in demand for its expertise, according to IBISWorld senior analyst Nathan Cloutman.

This is being driven by increased private capital expenditure, with companies seeking advice from consultants before committing to acquisitions of capital expenditure.

The growth of outsourcing at all levels of government is also expected to increase demand for consultants’ services.

Overall, the sector is expected to see annualised employment growth of 1.5 per cent over the next five years, Mr Cloutman said.

Within the management consulting sector, which is expected to generate $9.6 billion in revenue in 2016-17, sustainability consultants represent 8.2 per cent of business activity.

The research noted that sustainability had generated increasing shares of revenue over the past five years.

“Sustainability consulting is growing throughout the general economy due to heightened environmental consciousness and rising energy prices,” the research said.

It found that incentives to generate electricity using renewable energy sources is likely to drive rising enterprise and establishment numbers in the Wind and Other Electricity Generation industry over the next five years, with a flow-on benefit in terms of growing job numbers.

Employment is expected to grow by an annualised 2.1 per cent over the five years through to 2021-22 and revenue to rise by an annualised 3.9 per cent over that period.

For 2015-16 the renewable sector comprised 330 companies across solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and bioenergy generation. The sector had revenue of $2 billion, created profits of $596.2 million and paid $246.5 million in total wages.

An analysis of installed capacity shows NSW lagging behind, with only 15.3 per cent of the installed national capacity, compared to Queensland’s 16.9 per cent, Victoria’s 23.8 per cent and South Australia’s leadership position of 26.7 per cent.

Other job hot spots

The sector where IBISWorld is tipping the strongest jobs growth is online shopping. Establishment numbers are expected to rise by an annualised 7.5 per cent over the next five years, especially as more bricks-and-mortar retailers invest in online platforms to complement traditional sales.

Mr Cloutman said this was good news for point of sales technicians, web and UX designers, and digital marketing coordinators.

“Warehouse and distribution coordinators are likely to be especially sought after.”

IT Security Consulting is also running hot, with projected employment growth of an annualised six per cent over the next five years and revenues growing by more than eight per cent each year. The NBN rollout, and surging demand for digital security, counter-threat technologies and artificial intelligence software are expected to be key drivers of jobs growth.

Data Storage Services is another field in a strong growth phase, with the NBN rollout and increased use of cloud storage delivering an expected annualised 5.9 per cent growth in employment to 2022.

“Surging demand for online data storage solutions is forecast to drive the number of enterprises entering this industry,” Mr Cloutman said.

“This is positive news for cloud management consultants, data centre managers, storage design consultants and storage engineers.”

Other sectors where employment and profit prospects are bright include smartphone app developers, sports administration services and intellectual property legal services.

With the government expected to continue to support innovation, companies will be looking to professionals including trademark and patent lawyers and attorneys to protect the results of their research and development, Mr Cloutman said.

Interestingly, the booming fitness sector is having some unintended flow-ons, with the research tipping the opening of many new physiotherapy services as the demand for fitness centres and gyms grows.

“The need for additional auxiliary staff, not just qualified physiotherapists, is expected to drive employment growth,” Mr Cloutman said.

The final sector in the “top 10” for jobs growth is road and bridge construction due to the large number of ongoing projects. Qualified engineers will be particularly sought after for this sector, and Melbourne’s proposed Western Distributor toll road project will likely be a key driver of construction-related jobs growth in Victoria.

“Even so, employment in this industry is anticipated to rise by an annualised 0.7 per cent over the five years through 2021-22, which represents limited growth,” Mr Cloutman said.