Jobseekers choosing careers in health care

Robyn Wuth |

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a record surge of young Australians wanting to work in the healthcare industry – more than any other sector. 

One in five young Australian jobseekers is eyeing a career in health, according to a survey of 5000 people commissioned by career advice website and job board Skillsroad. 

After health care at 21 per cent, the next most popular sector was education and training at 12 per cent and professional services at 11 per cent.

Industry experts say the pandemic has raised the profile of health officials and highlighted the importance of health care. 

“During the pandemic, we’ve seen some of these health sectors ‘up in lights’ which you could call the rock-star effect,” Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said. 

National chief health officer Professor Paul Kelly has taken a critical role in guiding the country’s safety through the pandemic, closely followed by state counterparts. 

“Seeing high-profile people attracts people into the industry,” Mr Hunter said. 

The increase of interest in healthcare careers has been welcomed by an industry struggling with staffing shortages and pandemic burnout, he said. 

The pandemic highlighted the importance of healthcare workers, and staffing shortages have resonated with job seekers anxious for stable employment opportunities. 

“There’s a high labour shortage in health care, and young people are attracted to industries that are stable with better long-term career prospects and promotion opportunities.

“It’s an attractive industry because it also has meaning as you are helping people in their time of need, and young people are looking for that sense of purpose in their careers.”

The survey also shows that school leavers continue to struggle with the realities of online learning, with almost eight out of ten respondents believing they were underprepared. 

A further seven out of ten are now anxious about their employment prospects, with almost half not confident they could get a job in their industry of choice.

The Skillsroad Youth Survey was undertaken between November and December 2021 and surveyed 5012 young people, with more than 75 per cent aged 20 or younger.