Students to Careers

Outlook for Health Care Careers

With the slowdown of the economy, many careers are slowing down as well. This isn’t true for health care careers, however. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the health care field will be growing at least for the next decade. As with any career, there will be greater needs in some jobs, facilities and geographical locations than others. Thus, when deciding which health care area you wish to pursue, factor in where you want to work.

High Demand

The U.S. Department of Labor also reports that 8 of the 20 most rapidly growing jobs are in the health care field. The top positions include dental hygienists; home health, personal, and home care aides; medical and physical therapist assistants and pharmacists.  In Oregon, there are shortages projected for family practice physicians as well.

Millions of Jobs

The health care industry is forecast to grow 22 percent through 2016, in comparison to 11 percent for all other combined industries. In total, there will be about 3 million new health care jobs. Positions in hospitals will be growing at a slower pace, about 13 percent, compared to smaller home health care providers that will have an increase of 55 percent.

Health Care Management

When considering a career in health care, also look at management positions. You may need additional years of education for a master’s degree, but your future potential will be well worth the effort. Health care managers are talented professionals who can bring about change and look outside the box to find new ways of handling medical challenges. With their varied responsibilities, they have considerable opportunity to greatly impact their local communities and the nation at large.

Alternative Careers

There are so many different types of health care careers. Although most people think about nursing, they can follow a variety of alternative paths. For example, music therapists work closely with children, many times with autism, to help their psychological needs. Chiropractors are needed more than ever due to the increased stress on our bodies and the growing number of automobile- and sports-related accidents. Genetic counselors provide help and support to families with members who have genetic disorders, as well as to families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions.

Careers to Think About

If you are interested in health care, but have no idea how you will pay for college, there are options available to you.  Of course financial aid, college loans, scholarships and grants can all be options.  But, you may not want to come out of college having incurred a high level of debt and with years of paying it off.  Worth thinking about are careers that only require a year or two of schooling (i.e., Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Nurse Assistant, Medical Assistant, etc.).  These careers can all be wonderful careers and earn a living wage , or can be a stair-step career that allows you to work toward a higher earning career (i.e., paramedic, nurse, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.) while continuing your schooling.