According to an article in the Huffington Post, the healthcare industry will create more than five million additional jobs between now and 2020. While some of that can be attributed to things like a rising population and a generally older population, those are clearly not the only elements at play.
The medical and healthcare industries are among the fastest-growing fields in the United States, which makes them especially appealing for aspiring college students who have yet to select the right degree for their futures.
If you are interested in a healthcare career, then find out why it makes sense to pursue employment in this industry as well as what kind of degrees might be the most helpful.
An Aging Population in the United States
One of the biggest reasons that the healthcare industry is seeing such a drastic size increase has to do with the average age of the United States population. As people live longer and longer with each generation, they require more medical treatment over their lifetime. In addition, an older average age means an increase in the overall population of the country.
Without question, this leads to a greater need for health and medical services. In particular, it encourages growth in areas of the field that traditionally focus on elderly patients. If you are interested in meeting these needs, focusing on a healthcare career that can lead to a focus on gerontology can be ideal.
Greater Spending on Medical Care Overall
Another reason that choosing to prepare for a career in healthcare can be a smart move is because the country is seeing greater spending on medical care overall. This is due to longer lifespans, yes, but it also has a lot to do with people’s awareness of holistic and complete health. While people may have ignored dental pain or arthritis in the past, for example, they are more direct about getting help right away.
This help can be in the form of traditional medical treatment by physicians, but it also extend to the services of chiropractic professionals, nurses, nutrition counselors and more, all of whom fall under the umbrella of the healthcare industry. Greater spending means both increased salaries, greater job security and more job openings for potential employees in the future.
Technological Advancements Translate to More Jobs
Every year, great technological advancements are made in the medical industry. From new ways of diagnosing cancer to better methods for setting bones after a break, the machines that meet these needs have to be taken care of in hospitals and private practices. While there is sometimes a fear that medical technology will reduce employment rates, it often means that the opposite is true.
It takes medical technicians to create the machines, maintain them, operate them and fix them, which means that new jobs exist within the industry. If you are interested in a technology-based career, but you want to take advantage of the growing medical field and the job security, then considering employment in the field of medical technology can be fantastic.
Healthcare Careers are Rewarding and Fulfilling
Ultimately, the number one reason that you can’t go wrong by choosing a healthcare career is because of how it makes you feel at the end of the day. Whether you work in a stressful hospital setting or you have just finished a particularly long shift in a nursing home, you can know that you have made a difference thanks to your work.
Working in the healthcare industry is fulfilling and rewarding, which is one of the keys to happiness. This is especially true for those who work directly with patients, as they can build relationships and get to know their patients on a deeper level. However, even those in administrative careers or research-based professions are making a positive impact on the world through their hard work.
Considering a Degree in Healthcare
If the idea of working in a field with impressive job demand, great earning potential, job security and fulfillment appeals to you, then a healthcare career is probably the perfect pick. Of course, there are countless different kinds of careers that you can pursue in healthcare. Most, if not all, will require some level of postsecondary education, which means anything beyond the high school level.
You might opt for a two year associate degree in order to quality for an entry level career in a hospital, a four year bachelor’s degree to increase your job eligibility or even a master’s degree, which can prove to be very lucrative in some medical fields. Of course, the kind of degree you pursue should also be dependent on your personal skills and abilities. If you want to work hands on with patients, then consider nursing.
If you are great at organization and communication, then healthcare administration might be a more suitable fit. With so many options, there will definitely be something that suits your personality and your career goals.
Fastest-Growing Careers in Healthcare
While some students will pick their degree subject based on personal interest and career objectives, others are most interested in those positions that offer impressive salaries and greater job security. If these are your goals as well, then consider some of the most lucrative and fastest-growing jobs within the healthcare industry.
Some of the fastest-growing careers in the American healthcare field include biomedical engineer, pharmacist, physician assistant, podiatrist, speech pathologist and optometrist.
One thing you might notice about each of these positions is that they require a bachelor’s degree or more. This should be encouraging if you are still on the fence about the right level of degree to secure.
Getting an Online Degree to Advance Your Healthcare Career
Once you have determined what kind of healthcare career you want to pursue, and you have established what level of degree will be the best for your career goals, then it will be time to actually apply to a college degree program, be accepted and enroll. With so many different colleges and universities to choose from, narrowing down all the options can feel overwhelming to many students.
The first step should be deciding whether you are interested in pursuing an online degree. A degree from an accredited online college is similar in almost every way to a traditional campus degree, but it is typically much easier to fit into your schedule. Instead of living on campus for four years, attending early morning lectures or dealing with the hassles of commuting to campus on a regular basis, you can complete almost every aspect of your degree from the comfort of home.
All you will need is determination, time and access to both a computer and a secure Internet connection.
Simply put, you can’t go wrong by choosing a healthcare career. The industry is growing rapidly, thanks to an increased population and greater medical spending, and there is no end to the career choices available to you. Plus, online healthcare degrees make it easier than ever to pursue your dream career.