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Why making a career change into healthcare could be right for you

13 July 2017
Still deciding whether a career in health is right for you?
Health is one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia. Around the world nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals of all kinds are in constant demand.

Are you ready for a career in health?

Here are six reasons why a career in health could be right for you.

1. Make a difference to people’s lives

Nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists all play an important role in helping people prevent and manage chronic conditions and recover from injury or illness. If you choose this field, you’ll be helping to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities every day. 

“I think what drives me to come to work every single day is that I am making families happy that their child who may not have been talking from a young age, now has an abundance of words. To know that I was involved in that learning process is really fulfilling.”

Remona Mekdessi, Master of Speech Language Pathology graduate

"The most rewarding aspect of being a physiotherapist is when your patients return and tell you that your treatment for them has helped make a positive difference to their pain or disability."

Dennis Gerasimov, Master of Physiotherapy graduate

Nursing student Tasila George

"Nurses are in the best position to look after a patient as a person, rather than focusing on a medical condition they have. The most rewarding part of my career is seeing improvement in a patient from the time of admission to discharge and knowing that I had the opportunity to contribute positively in one way or another."

Tasila GeorgeMaster of Nursing (Graduate Entry) student

2. Flexible career options with the opportunity for growth

In Australia, the health sector makes up about 10 percent of the workforce. This figure grows every year, meaning you will have diverse career prospects with growing opportunities at every stage of your career.

Work in the health sector is available in:

— Hospitals

— Community organisations

— Private healthcare practices

— Pharmaceutical and drug development

— Business development

— Private sector agencies

— Owning your own practice

Flexible work practices, such as changing hours or patterns of work, are often available for health professionals. And the traditional office with 9-to-5 hours is replaced by taking on roles in many of the above areas.

“Pharmacy is not only about drug supply, it’s also about working with other healthcare professionals. What I love is the learning environment that the hospital provides and the many career opportunities that are available.”

Carmen Ng, Master of Pharmacy graduate

“I currently work at an oral language centre for deaf children where I work with many experienced speech pathologists, audiologists, teachers of the deaf, social workers and psychologists.”

Catherine Grace Way, Master of Speech Language Pathology graduate

3. Work anywhere in the world

Due to constant global demand, a career in health can set you up to work anywhere in the world.*

University of Sydney students are trained to think critically, be adaptable and globally aware - traits which serve our graduates well should they decide to venture further afield in their health careers.

“Thanks to my Master of Occupational Therapy degree, I have been able to work across many parts of the world. From providing humanitarian relief in Haiti, to conducting hands on training for local staff in Malawi, to raising awareness of the unique environmental and attitudinal challenges for residents living with disabilities in Mongolia.” 

Danielle Morante, Master of Occupational Therapy graduate

Overseas nursing student Ruth Jebb

Sydney Nursing School alumnus Ruth Jebb has worked in countries around the world in disaster zones for organisations from Red Cross to AusAid. Ruth was recently awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve.

“To receive this award is both overwhelming and incredibly humbling. Humanitarian work has been my passion for over a decade now, so to be acknowledged with an award of this prestige is such an honour.”

Ruth Jebb, Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) graduate

4. A background in a health- or science-related discipline is not required to study a postgraduate degree in health

Haven’t studied science and not sure you have the prerequisites needed to undertake a health degree?

Our graduate entry master’s degrees only require you to have completed a bachelor’s degree, it does not matter from which discipline. Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and their degrees are in many areas including: music, agriculture, business, event management, criminology, civil engineering and education, to name a few.

“I originally did a business degree. I started working in freight forwarding and logistics. One day I was sitting in my office and didn’t like what I was doing. I said I can’t do this for the next five years.”

Pardon Gondo, Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) student

“Before coming to this course, I spent 15 years working as a civil engineer and infrastructure project manager. I am currently employed as a Mental Health Recovery Support Worker. There is great privilege in walking alongside an individual on their recovery journey and also great rewards to be seen in often small, yet highly meaningful accomplishment.”

Andrew Zagninski, Master of Occupational Therapy graduate

“I came to speech pathology after initially undertaking an undergraduate degree in fashion and textile design. Speech pathology appealed to me as I felt I could be both challenged intellectually, and help others on a daily basis. The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know the families who are enrolled in the service and supporting them to help their children achieve to their full potential.”

Catherine Grace Way, Master of Speech Language Pathology graduate

5. Gain a health qualification in just two years

Our Graduate Entry Master's (GEM) degrees enable you to attain professional recognition in just two years. 

Our two-year courses build on your undergraduate education, preparing you for work in local, national and international healthcare settings These degrees are to designed to equip you with the leadership capabilities, clinical skills and human understanding to make a big difference to the lives of individuals and communities.

Our graduates are among the world’s most sought-after employees – we are ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability.**

“I was really excited to hear of the opportunity of a graduate program. You can do a master’s because you already have a bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t matter what you have done before.”

Pavana Sampath, Master of Nursing (Graduate Entry) student

Pharmacy graduate Jay Wu

"The Master of Pharmacy offered me the opportunity to expand on what I learnt in my undergraduate science degree. I enjoyed many aspects of the Master of Pharmacy, including being able to complete a postgraduate degree in two years and being in a small cohort of students.”

Jay WuMaster of Pharmacy graduate

6. Your salary could be more than what you think

Salaries for health professionals are generally well above the median weekly earnings across Australia.^

Median health weekly earnings graph


*Please note that to work in other countries you will need to meet the registration requirements applicable in those countries.

** QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017

Source: Australian Government Job Outlook

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