By Scott Neverett (@scottneverett)
Its a good time to pursue a career in health care.
According to the most recent data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care added another 37,000 jobs in April. For new graduates turning the tassel from right to left, why not consider a career in a thriving industry that offers a wide range of options and career paths?
Like many industries, pharmaceutical and health care is changing due to evolving regulations, an explosion of new drugs, new technologies and varying population requirements. Additionally, an increased focus on the promotion of wellness, health improvement and disease prevention is opening the doors and creating new opportunities for graduates with a strong foundation in the sciences.
The U.S. population is growing older, on average because life expectancy has increased. As a result, the need for personal and home health care aids, substance and behavioral disorder counselors, social and human service assistants, physical therapists, mental health counselors, and marriage and family specialists is anticipated to increase to treat this aging demographic.
Theres also growing demand for nurses and pharmacists, providing ample opportunities to individuals pursuing a career in medicine. With increased complexity and sophistication of medicines, and a greater focus on disease management and prevention, the role of the pharmacist is becoming increasingly important. Skilled nurses are also steadily in demand. Last October, The Institute of Medicine released The Future of Nursing, which called for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce to 80 percent and doubling the population of nurses with doctoral degrees to meet the demands of a rapidly aging population.
A rise in chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease are also spurring demand for medical practitioners and pharmaceutical professionals. Higher incidence of childhood obesity is increasing opportunities for school health professionals and fitness trainers. With a sharper industry focus on prevention and wellness, this will also increase roles for nutritionists, counselors, and therapists.
Technology advancements are also spurring a greater need for medical ethicists and communication professionals. As hospitals place greater emphasis on social media, many are hiring staff dedicated solely to social media to improve communications with patients and the community where they operate. Social media managers may fall under the communication or public relations departments, but regardless of where they report, they are serving an increasingly important role in a hospitals communication plan.
Its an exciting time in the field of medicine; in addition to new product developments and treatment therapies, there are many possible careers to pursue in the field of health. Whether youve already graduated or are planning ahead, consider one of the many jobs in health care and develop your potential in this life-changing industry.