Joining the Healthcare Workforce

Growing Healthcare Industry Means More Jobs for New Grads

We’re on the verge of a number of groundbreaking advances in healthcare. Medical technology is fast approaching the realm of science fiction – scientists are implanting brain computer chips that allow paralyzed patients to move their limbs using only their thoughts, while new cellphone apps and wearable monitors will diagnose depression, sleep disorders, heart conditions and diabetes. Key breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research are likely to yield novel approaches to early, pre-symptomatic disease diagnosis. And new drugs currently under development have already proven successful in using the body’s own immune system to precisely pinpoint and destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy tissues and organs.

These innovations – as well as other factors, such as an aging baby boomer population and changes in healthcare prompted by the Affordable Care Act – guarantee that job opportunities for healthcare professionals will continue to far outpace opportunities in the rest of the economy. Since 2003, the U.S. healthcare sector has grown more than ten times faster than the rest of the economy – that’s impressive! In fact, the healthcare industry will produce one in three of the new jobs in the U.S. over the next decade and is projected to add about five million jobs overall by 2022. But which healthcare jobs will be most in demand?

More physicians, surgeons and nurses needed

By 2020, the nation will face a serious shortfall of both primary care and specialist physicians to care for an aging and growing population. According to the AAMC’s Center for Workforce Studies, there will be 45,000 too few primary care physicians—and a shortage of 46,000 surgeons and medical specialists—in the next decade.

Experts also predict a new nursing shortage as several situations converge. As the economy improves, baby boomer nurses will finally retire, but at a time when their contemporaries are developing chronic health conditions and requiring more care. Leading up to this critical moment, nursing programs in the U.S. have been contracting for the past several years.

Healthcare employers are already feeling the pinch. When Health eCareers recently surveyed healthcare recruiters, hiring managers and human resource professionals for its 2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Survey, respondents reported that they face the most difficulty hiring physicians, surgeons, registered nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Meaning that if you’re in one of these in-demand fields, you’re in luck!

Healthcare IT remains hot

This past January, U.S. News & World Report published its 2015 Best Jobs report, and software developers, computer systems analysts and information security analysts are among the top ten best jobs overall (also in the top ten were nurse practitioner, physician, physical therapist, registered nurse and physician assistant). The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts these highly ranked occupations will grow the most between 2012 and 2022.

The growing popularity of these IT professions is confirmed by Health eCareers’ 2014 Healthcare Jobs Snapshot. It shows that job postings are up 152 percent in software development and 116 percent in system security. And more opportunities are on the way. The fiscal year 2015 budget for the Office of the U.S. National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is $75 million, an increase of $14 million from 2014. This funding builds upon recent nationwide investments to promote the adoption of health information technology among a critical mass of providers, professionals, and consumers. The U.S. government also continues its focus on telemedicine, with the Department of Agriculture awarding more than $20 million in grants for telehealth projects in 2014.

Healthcare career = job security

Demand for healthcare services is predicted to mushroom in the next ten years, driven by an aging baby boomer population and increased access to healthcare for all Americans through the Affordable Care Act. Employment opportunities within the field will be strong in 2015, and for many years to come. With every single one of the ten best jobs in 2015 related to healthcare or information technology, high demand for workers will leave healthcare employers urgently asking – “When can you start?”

 

The first step to furthering and fine-tuning your career is to empower yourself with knowledge. American Sentinel University is an innovative, accredited provider of online nursing degrees,  including an RN to BSN program and advanced degree programs that prepare nurses for a specialty in case managementinfection control, or executive leadership.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Health eCareers. Health eCareers is your destination for medical and healthcare opportunities. Access jobs from thousands of employers spanning small medical practices to large integrated health systems. This post was written by Trish Joyce for Health eCareers.

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