The Rise of Health Services: what it means for your career

The Rise of Health Services: what it means for your career

As the mining boom comes to a close, the question on everyone’s mind has been “what’s the next growth area?” The health services industry is now emerging as the top candidate for that auspicious role. Social assistance and healthcare have become the largest contributors to Australian economic growth over the last decade. With 1.5 million people or one in eight Australians now working in this sector, it’s no surprise that it’s being celebrated as the next big boom. But, can we trust that this growth is going to continue and what exactly does it mean for your career?

What the trends say

The promising thing about this boom is that the underlying causes consist of predictable social factors. Rising wealth and an ageing population are the two major contributors to health services growth. Demand for these services will not decrease due to market fluctuations, so that allows for some confident projections of future growth.

Currently, the sector is growing at a rate that is double the overall growth in GDP. Plus, these underlying social trends are not isolated to Australia. China and the Asia Pacific are undergoing a similar boom, with growth expected to continue over the next two decades. There are both some significant challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

Aside from the prediction that growth will continue, what else do the trends say? There are a number of projections floating around which can give us a more nuanced sense of how the services industry will grow.

Shift towards home care and ‘smart communities’. With the healthcare system potentially becoming stretched, it’s inevitable that governments and private providers will turn to models requiring less infrastructure spending such as home or community based care.

Technological developments are expected to alter the way healthcare systems operate, allowing for better systems and treatments. This trend presents an opportunity for Australia to improve our already significant export of medical technology.

Public spending is increasing faster than private spending. Greater efficiencies and public-private partnerships will be needed to keep up with this demand.

The Health Services sector is growing at a rate that is double the overall growth in GDP. Plus, these underlying social trends are not isolated to Australia.

The ‘health services’ sector has a lot of variety to offer a professional seeking to change a career. Chances are you’ll be in high demand, for the foreseeable future.

So what does this all mean for my career?

If you’ve been struggling to get work in highly competitive, slow growth industries, then this might be your ticket to a better ride. Encompassing the whole range of roles in medicine, aged care, child care, physiotherapy, dentistry, administration and many other jobs, the ‘health services’ sector has a lot of variety to offer a professional seeking to change a career. Chances are you’ll be in high demand, for the foreseeable future.

In a recent study, C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh have attempted to estimate how many health services workers the world will need by 2030 to meet the growing need for care. According to their predictions, the Asia region alone will need 384 million health workers, 175 million childcare workers and 52 million aged care workers by the end of next decade. To state the obvious, that is lots of jobs.

Plus, there’s even better news. In a recent survey by Business Insider Australia, jobs were ranked according to worker satisfaction. Out of all the jobs in Australia, health services professionals consistently ranked the highest, with #1 being nurses, #3 being pharmacists and #4 being medical assistants. Australians like to help people, it seems. Maybe it’s time to try something new and retrain. You might be rewarded with a more satisfying career.

The demand for health services executives and managers is growing along with the rest of the sector. There is a broad range of positions opening up from clinical managers to record administrators, nursing home managers, industry consultants and unit managers. The industry is also changing as it grows. Executives across both large and small facilities will be expected to respond to technology and regulation change, and to develop strategies to improve efficiencies and the quality of services.

KBS has just launched an MBA specialising in health services. Developed in consultation with an industry advisory board, the Health Services MBA seeks to address this need for administrative and management professionals with a specific understanding of the private and public healthcare environment. If you want to transfer your skills to this growth area, this MBA could be perfect for you. Find out more here.

Want to know more about the KBS MBA with a specialisation in Health Services Management?