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How to become an employable Health graduate

“From my experience, employers like well-rounded graduates – not necessarily the top student in the class, but those with good team-working skills and passion for the profession.” – Professor Lynne Emmerton, Deputy Head of the School of Pharmacy, Curtin University

For all those thinking of taking up study at a University overseas, it’s likely that graduate employability rates will be among your greatest concerns. If you’re going to pay for a world-class, global education, one thing you’ll want to guarantee is the possibility of finding a job after graduation. And for those looking to forge a career in the rewarding field of health, you’ll be pleased to know that in terms of international employment opportunities, the future is looking impeccably bright.

According to the latest UN figures, the world’s population is expected to rise by at least one billion by 2025. Closer analysis reveals that out of that one billion, 300 million people will be above the age of 65, highlighting the true extent of our aging population. Above all else, this calls for a considerable increase in healthcare resources and service innovation with experienced, qualified, healthcare graduates meeting heightened demand for long-term care and chronic disease management duties.

But with so many students competing for the very same roles, how can you ensure you’ll be perceived as the most employable global graduate?

“Many of the health professions require the same skill sets, such as excellent communication (with patients/clients and with other health professionals) and a strong focus on accuracy and detail,” says Professor Lynne Emmerton; Deputy Head of the School of Pharmacy at Curtin University.

At Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences – home to the respected Pharmacy School and seven other specialised healthcare divisions – graduates constantly strive to find the most effective solutions to pressing national and global health issues. Curtin is an Australian institution that ranks within the top two percent of universities worldwide, and its Health graduates enter the workforce equipped with a reputation for dedication and prestige, forming an integral part of the highly-skilled professional health network that helps maintain wellbeing in Australia and worldwide. The 2015 Graduate Destination Survey indicated that 93.1 per cent of Curtin health students secured employment upon completion of their degree.

Increasingly committed to helping students secure the most rewarding graduate jobs, Curtin’s Health Science Faculty places heavy emphasis on practical factors like industry experience and relevant clinical placements.  The Faculty prepares students in a simulation-based learning environment where they practice clinical skills utilising state-of the-art medical facilities. Interactive, hands-on and engaging learning experience throughout the course gives students an opportunity to master clinical competencies in a safe environment, and to proactively pursue industry opportunities.

“Health Sciences students at Curtin are from a very broad range of cultures, and this can provide a rich international study experience. Secondly,” Prof Emmerton adds, “make sure you understand the material, rather than just learn it. Many assessments require students to apply their knowledge, rather than memorise information. It’s helpful to study in groups. If you learn a concept, try ‘teaching’ it to your study buddies. This will help consolidate your learning, and can sort out any gaps in your understanding.”

“Students generally return from placements buzzing with anecdotes about cases they’ve seen, and excited about having been able to apply their knowledge into practice and understand how everything ties together,” the Professor explains. “Reflecting on your experiences from clinical placements can be helpful when applying for graduate employment – what sort of work environment do you find motivating? How well did you interact with qualified staff in that workplace, and what were your strengths and weaknesses during your placement?”

“The best thing about this course is the clinical practice and experiencing real-life situations. In the future, I want to work as a Nurse and further my career by studying a postgraduate degree in Midwifery,” says Dorathy Ejukonemu, current student of Curtin’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“I chose to study Nursing because I’m passionate about working with people and supporting them on their journey to recovery,” says Dorathy.

“My advice to people who are choosing Nursing as a profession, is that you ask questions when you are not sure of something, work hard towards your study, and always make sure that you’re enjoying yourself – after all, that’s what it’s all about!” Dorathy concludes.

More detailed information about courses at Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University is available: healthsciences.curtin.edu.au. 

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