A Future-Proof Career in Public Health
If you’re looking for future-proof careers with long-term employment opportunities, the public health industry is a great option. Due to public health issues like demographic changes, COVID -19 and rising rates of chronic disease, public health services in Australia are expanding rapidly. According to the Australian Jobs Report 2019, the health care sector has grown by 21.4% since 2013 and is expected to grow another 14.9% by 2023.
To find a future-proof job in public health, learn more about how the industry is changing and the most promising public health careers available to graduates.
Demand for graduates
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the number of public health jobs needing to be filled by qualified graduates.
In its Impact of COVID-19 report, The Australian Government identified several core areas of focus for building out Australia’s health care capacity in response to the virus, including:
- The opening of new respiratory clinics
- Expansion of emergency departments
- Increased availability of hospital beds.
Strengthening these areas will require increased numbers of specialists in both direct care roles like doctors and nurses, as well as hospital administration staff. This will inevitably lead to long-term growth in the number of jobs available to graduates, providing a progressively higher standard of job security.
Even before COVID-19 put increased pressure on Australia’s health care system, it was already experiencing a skills shortage. The Department of Jobs and Small Business found that 45% of employers in health care had unfilled vacancies in 2017-18, compared with 34% in 2016-17. This shows that even if Australia succeeds in eradicating COVID-19, there will still be plenty of jobs for graduates in public health.
Learn more about Global Trends Affecting Public Health in Australia.
The public health system offers a versatile range of career pathways to graduates. Whether you want to specialise in a clinical care role or your strengths lie in administrative duties, there are many possibilities to consider when weighing up your options.
We asked Monash’s Master of Public Health Course Director, Associate Professor Dragan Ilic, for advice on how graduates can build a career in helping the public health system in Australia navigate some of the biggest challenges facing the industry, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The current COVID-19 situation has highlighted a number of public health issues; infectious diseases epidemiology, public health policy, research design, data analysis and interpretation, and health promotion,” stated Professor Ilic.
Beyond the challenges of COVID-19, Profession Ilic says the qualification will allow students to access career opportunities across many areas of public health.
“Our Master of Public Health graduates will have the opportunity to play prominent roles across all facets of public health in Australia and abroad. Students will gain valuable knowledge and skills across a broad range of public health areas including epidemiology, chronic and infectious diseases, data analytics, health promotion, health policy, knowledge translation, occupational and environmental health, clinical leadership, and law and ethics”.
From pandemics to increased rates of chronic disease, completing the Master of Public Health will ensure you’re prepared to rise to Australia’s ever-changing health challenges. No matter what the future holds, you’ll be able to use your skills in health care leadership to play a part in helping people achieve improved health outcomes.
Transitioning into public health
Broadening your skill set through further education is key to transitioning into a career in public health. No matter which area of public health you want to focus on, you’ll need both soft and hard skills to succeed. These skills can be acquired through the Master of Public Health, allowing graduates with the necessary competencies to reach their career goals.
Professor Ilic describes the kind of skills students will acquire by completing the qualification.
“Graduates will gain practical skills in all facets of public health – including critical appraisal, communication, teamwork, reflection, problem solving and enterprise. They’ll also learn discipline-specific skills such as project management, epidemiology, study design, data analysis and evaluation.”
The knowledge and skills gained during the course are directly applicable across all facets of public health including epidemiology, health promotion, global health, health policy, and data analytics. Upon completion, graduates will be able to apply their new skills across different disciplines, be it clinical, management or industry.