Crunching the latest (2013) GradStats Report data (Australian Graduate Survey - AGS) from Graduate Careers Australia has thrown up some interesting insights with regards to the employability and prospects for those graduating with a Medical Science-related Degree.
In terms of finding full-time employment, Medical Science graduates generally fare better than average. Alongside those graduating in Engineering they are half as likely as graduates in other disciplines to still be seeking full-time employment four months after graduating and almost three times less likely to be seeking full-time employment than those in other Science-related disciplines.
Breaking down Medical Sciences into the different disciplines reveals a number of different employability stories, with those graduating in Pharmacy and Medicine being around five times less likely on average to be seeking full-time employment four months after graduating. Those most likely to still be seeking full-time employment are those in nursing and other health related disciplines.
However, employability is not the only measure of success for graduates, starting salaries also play a role and salaries for those graduating with a Medical Science-related degree are generally higher than the average for a graduate aged under 25. However, the starting salary for Pharmacy and Veterinary Science graduates fall below this average. For Pharmacy graduates, this is only while they work towards registration, but for Veterinary Science graduates this is potentially symptomatic of a graduate oversupply in this field of medicine.
When compared to other educational fields, Medical Science-related degrees appear to be leading the way in most cases – being on par with Engineering and Law for level of starting salary.
High starting salaries are just one reason for the current influx of graduates and there is an expectation that supply is soon going to exceed demand, even for those that have qualified with a medical degree.
Since 2008 the number of GPs in Australia has already increased by 2.5% and the number of specialists by 10.5%. With the numbers entering the profession exceeding the population growth rate, we can expect our graduates to be facing an even more challenging employment landscape in the future.
Workforce planning in the medical field isn't an exact science and our healthcare systems are currently stretched. To help solve these problems, research conducted in this area needs to recognise the wider contect of the market into which new graduates are entering, as well as the challenges these professional audiences are experiencing. Research in this field should also be tailored to ensure that outcomes don't just consider the current needs of healthcare professionals, but also what can be done to support them going forward. If you would like to read more about healthcare graduates have a look at our blog on the future of veterinary graduates in Australia. Otherwise, for more inforamtion on healthcare market research please click on the button below.