While job growth in many industries is stagnating in an age of automation, Australia’s healthcare sector is thriving, opening doors for young people seeking job security and career flexibility.
Healthcare and social assistance is Australia’s largest and fastest growing industry, with a significant number of new jobs added over the past decade (Australian Jobs Report, 2019).
Employment growth in the industry is part of a long-term trend driven by population growth, Australia's ageing population, and the rise of the 'digital health' market. Growth has also been supported by the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
According to the Australian Jobs Report 2019, the sector has grown 21.4% since 2013 and is expected to grow another 14.9% by 2023.
The main sectors within the industry recording large jobs growth were hospitals (up by 34,000), residential care services (32,500), other social assistance services (30,800) and allied health services (25,600).
Healthcare is evolving with artificial intelligence and technology, but unlike other industries where automation threatens to replace jobs, 'human-centred tasks' remain critical to healthcare.
While major advancements in medical technologies and data collection are revolutionising the future of diagnosis and treatment, communication, critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills will always be needed when working with patients, carers and families.
For that reason, clinical placements form major components of most University of Sydney health courses, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills in real settings, working with health and social care teams, patients carers and families, to help them become well rounded, employable graduates.
This is just one example of why the University of Sydney was ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings in 2020.
Digital health services and technologies have been quietly evolving in Australia over the past two decades, with advancements in this area leading to real improvements in quality and safety of patient care.
New and exciting job opportunities are on the rise, attracting specialisations in information technology, medical software, informatics, records and practice management, medical devices, life sciences, biotechnology and consumer technology.
This evolving market demands multi-disciplinary knowledge, with health students now encouraged to diversify their studies to include data and informatics, engineering, design and computer science subjects so they have the flexibility to consider new career pathways within digital health.
For that reason, the University of Sydney is rapidly developing its educational programs for all its health courses, to equip students with the data science and digital health knowledge they will need to be well-placed in the future job market.
For five years running, the University of Sydney has been named as Australia’s leading university for graduate employability. Our transformed undergraduate curriculum has been designed so that our students graduate ready for the workplace.
In 2018, 97 percent of medicine and health undergraduate students and 90 percent of postgraduate students were in full-time employment immediately upon graduation (2018 University of Sydney GOS).
"We are committed to ensure that every University of Sydney student has the opportunity to take on real-world industry, community, research and entrepreneurship projects as part of their degrees", said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.