Increased demand for health care workers: Traditional roles grow while technology creates additional opportunities
Published May 20, 2021.
The need for healthcare professionals is on the rise in Canada due to a number of factors. An aging population is putting strain on the Canadian health care system, with more seniors requiring urgent care at the same time retirement-aged professionals are leaving the sector. A shortage of skilled labour to replace them has left hospitals understaffed and healthcare workers overworked. According to Stats Canada, job vacancies (open positions) in health care and social assistance reached a record high of 100,300 in the last quarter of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional strain on Canada’s health care system, resulting in the continued surge in the demand for workers – especially in rural and remote locations. Now more than ever, medical skills are in high demand. Internationally-educated healthcare professionals wanting to get back into the sector have an opportunity to fill shortages and achieve career success.
But it’s not just healthcare professionals that are in demand. New technologies are transforming the way doctors and nurses approach medical care. From digital record keeping and telehealth to research technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality, cutting-edge roles in information technology (I.T) are also on the rise.
See related: Future proof your career: Top 10 tech jobs in Canada
Windmill Microlending’s client success coaches study labour market information and follow employment trends within the different sectors. They have identified the following as the top 10 emerging occupations in healthcare:
- Medical doctor
- Registered nurse
- Personal support worker
- Nurse clinician/Nurse assistant
- Licensed practical nurse
- Dental hygienist
- Managers in health care
Although these jobs are in demand, it takes time and money to train for them. Most healthcare occupations are regulated by self-governing colleges. It is important to research the regulatory requirements (based on province or territory) for the desired occupation and develop a career success plan.
Understand the licensing pathway for your occupation to prevent spending more time or money than you should. For instance, instead of enrolling as an undergraduate at a university pharmacy program for five years, a bridging program allows an internationally trained pharmacist to be licensed in about two years.
Hospitals, care homes, laboratories and clinics need workers to help fight COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. Under the pressure of the pandemic, we are realizing how essential it is to have the right resources in place to care for thousands of critical patients. Post pandemic, the demand for skilled labour will likely remain due to an aging population and shortage of workers. This demand is an opportunity skilled immigrants can seize in order to fill labour shortages and reach career goals.