Health jobs of the future

Ever thought the reason you might not be 100 per cent sure what you want to study is because the job doesn’t actually exist yet? You know you want a career in health but the types of roles available by the time you graduate could quite possibly change from what's available today. If you are in your early years of high school and are planning on attending university, it could be up to 8-13 years before you graduate. Even if you are closer to university age and starting out in a program (particularly if you plan on postgraduate study) a lot can change in during the time you are studying.

So how do we predict the future job market?

The employment landscape is forever changing. It is a balancing act based on the population needs at the time and is heavily influenced by technological advances and market demand. 

We've had a look at the latest data from the Federal Government, and it's no surprise to see that healthcare continues to be a growing industry in Australia. The Federal Employment Department predicts that by 2025 the health industry will add an extra 798,000 jobs into the Australian market.

According to the data, Health Care and Social Assistance has remained the largest employment industry in Australia for the past four years. It continues to offer the highest predicted forecast of future demand, with an accurate forecasted increase of over 13 per cent over the past three years (the highest percentage of any employment sector).

The Australian population aged 65 years and over is expected to increase substantially in the coming years. By 2031 the percentage of the population in this age bracket is predicted to be just shy of 20 per cent (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016). With stats like this there will be a growing need for qualified professionals in aged healthcare. If you are interested in learning more about these statistics you can read more in UQ’S Ultimate Guide to Health Jobs in Australia. 

According to the Federal Employment Department, the largest demand for a health professional will be for registered nurses within the next two decades. UQ offers nursing and midwifery programs at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level - if you're interested in finding out more visit Future Students.

But what about the jobs that don’t yet exist? Given the ongoing advances in technology and science, and the changing needs of the world's population - will careers in healthcare change in the future? Who knows what will happen over the coming years! We think this is a really interesting question and have had a bit of fun in brainstorming what health jobs of the future could be.

What could be some cool health jobs of the future - brought to you by the Health Hub team and some futuristic blog posts we found [Cue sci-fi music and don't mind us as we pull out our crystal ball]:

  1. Neuro-Implant Technician
    We think the best way to imagine this job is to think of Luke Skywalker and his robotic hand. As technology develops, the connection between the human brain, research and science is a rapidly-developing field. Some scientists are even predicting that by 2045 we could have the ability to download memories from our minds into a computer, be able to successfully conduct brain transplants and even place brains in robots (see fastcoexist.com). 
  2. Telesurgeon
    Expanding on the concepts already being used with the exciting field of telehealth and telerehabilitation, Telesurgeons of the future could quite possibly undertake medical procedures without having to be anywhere near the actual patient. Technology such as robotic arms, micro-robotic controllers and advanced sensory systems regulators are paving the way for opportunities like this to occur. This could open a whole new element to health surgery and patient care and increase the need for highly trained specialists.
  3. Health Navigator
    The healthcare system is extensive and at times complex, and navigating personal care might be confusing for clients and their families. Health Navigators to the rescue! We think Health Navigators could be responsible for the smooth coordination of health services for clients though the healthcare system. Health Navigators could use their wealth of knowledge in inter-professional healthcare to achieve the best outcomes for individual patients. At UQ, we value the importance of interprofessional healthcare - so much so that UQ health student teams have been successful in winning a national interprofessional healthcare competition for the past two years! Check out the Health Fusion Team Challenge here.
  4. DNA Analyst
    DNA specialists can already discover abnormalities and identify patient risk to a variety of disease, with some amazing results to date. Fast forward another 40 years and imagine what the possibilities in this area might be! The opportunities and medical breakthroughs are endless and we're excited to see what develops in this exciting area.
  5. Home Health Aid Professionals
    With the ageing population there's an ongoing need for specialist care of the elderly. As well as nursing homes and aged care facilities, we think there could be a need in the future for Home Health Aid Professionals who can provide quality healthcare for the aged in their homes. 

Who knows what the future will bring - what we do know for certain is that the healthcare industry is the largest employment industry in Australia and career opportunities are promising. Who knows, in a couple of years we could be offering a Bachelor of Robotic Counselling or a Bachelor of Wearable Technology Therapy, but for now check out our current undergraduate and postgraduate health programs.

          - the Health Hub team

Last updated:
8 June 2016