Please don’t look at the latest Department of Employment projections and think it’s all rosy in the health industry

Once again the federal government’s industry employment projections data show that the Health Care and Social Assistance sector will be the leading provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market. However, just because the sector as a whole is performing well, do not interpret this to mean that all students who study degrees in health will find it easy to gain employment at the end of their course.

Why the health industry appears to be the place to be

The 2015 Employment Projections 2015 report released by the Department of Employment in March 2015 shows that in the 5 years to November 2015, employment is projected to increase significantly in the following sectors:

  • Department of Employment health industry projectionsHealth care and social assistance – 258,000 new jobs – 18.7% increase
  • Education and Training – 142,700 new jobs – 15.6% increase
  • Construction – 137,900 new jobs – 13.0% increase
  • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services – 136,600 new jobs – 14.4% increase
  • Accommodation and Food Services – 112,400 new jobs – 13.9% increase
  • Retail Trade – 111,100 new jobs – 8.9% increase

The report cites the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the ageing population, and an increasing demand for childcare and home based care services as the reasons for strong projected jobs growth in Health Care and Social Assistance. It also states that employment growth in this industry is likely to be dominated by part-time and female workers.

Why some professions in the health industry may not be the place to be

Here are 5 professions to watch closely now and in the coming years:

  • Dentistry – over 20% of 2014 dental graduates missed out on a full time job
  • Medicine – unless more vocational training positions are funded, 1 in 6 students commencing medical school in 2015 will be unable to complete their training to become fully qualified doctors
  • Nursing – in December 2014 the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation held a roundtable event to discuss ways of securing jobs for graduates
  • Optometry – an optometric workforce supply has been forecasted to start in 2016
  • Pharmacy – In 2014 it was predicted that over 2,000 community pharmacists would lose their jobs in the 12 months to April 2015

I have said this in many talks at career events, but it is worth repeating. Just because the health and community services sector looks as though it is growing on the whole doesn’t mean that every health graduate will go straight into a full time job.

Amanda Griffiths – Founder MHC.

More resources on My Health Career:

Image: Stuart Miles –

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