Healthcare has recently taken over as the largest employment sector in America. In 2017 it blew past retail and manufacturing, largely on the strength of an aging population. The scale and diversity of the sector offers a great opportunity to those in search of a reliable, future-proof career. Here are our five top reasons to consider pursuing a career in healthcare:
Healthcare is a growth industry. That means new jobs, more opportunity, and long-term job security. The population in the United States is aging, with a full quarter of all Americans projected to pass the age of 55 within the decade. Seniors require more care then working age adults, adding to healthcare demand. There’s a baseline demand spurred on by public health coverage, and healthcare as a service is also growing in popularity, with increasing investment in value-added treatments to improve quality of life, appearance, health, and life expectancy for those who can afford extra care.
Resistant to outsourcing
While many industries have fallen prey to outsourcing, healthcare is one of the few remaining in-person services. Clinics and treatments serve a local – or at best, regional – community, meaning those jobs can’t be shipped offshore to markets where the currency is more favorable, and the labor is cheaper. Healthcare offers long-term, stable jobs to Americans, with better future prospects than most other industries.
AI can’t take over
On a related note, healthcare jobs are resistant to automation. While manufacturing, service, and knowledge-work careers have seen employment drops as technology has taken on more of the load, healthcare is still provided by humans. There will be increasing opportunities for those who provide and support healthcare technology services, but robots aren’t taking over primary care anytime soon. Medical professionals, support services, and related careers have stronger prospects than other industries that are more vulnerable to widespread automation.
Because healthcare careers are so diverse and widespread, they generally offer strong growth opportunity, in addition to long-term stability. Even very entry-level positions can grow into supervisory, management, and leadership roles over time, and, with additional education and experience, it’s possible to upgrade or specialize your skills. Rather than investing in an expensive education with limited prospects, an entry-level healthcare education is affordable, accessible, and can be upgraded as you earn, learn, and discover what career direction best suits your interests and skills.
Variety & flexibility
The healthcare sector is massive and diverse. It’s possible to start in one position and use that experience to shift to another if you find it’s not the best fit for your personality, skills, or work style. You can do a limited amount of education, work for a few years, and then upgrade your courses and shift to another job once you learn about the opportunities – or create your own opportunities and launch a medical services venture. There are roles for those who like working with people, those who gravitate toward technology, those who prefer management or administration to direct care, and a whole host of other opportunities. Depending on the direction you take, there are opportunities for flexible, freelance, and remote work, or to launch your own business. American healthcare education and experience is also highly transferrable, making it a good choice if you’d like to travel and work overseas in the future.
If you have a good idea of what type of work you’d be interested in, you can dive in with the appropriate degree or training right away or start small and work your way up. It’s worthwhile looking for a school with a diverse healthcare course list so you could start with a medical office assistant diploma, work a few years, and then go back to upgrade once you discover where your skills shine and your interests lead. Or you could take a short healthcare aide program, work and earn funds for further schooling, and then specialize in technology, or management, or a full-on primary caregiver or specialist degree in nursing, pharmacology, or med school.
Healthcare careers let you gain firsthand experience, earn money, and choose the path that’s right for you. They have some of the best long-term prospects of all sectors, with the security of an aging population that will require care for years to come, and limited capacity for outsourcing to offshore suppliers or automation by AI or robots. The healthcare sector is served by all sorts of hands-on, professional, and specialist roles, making it a diverse and flexible career choice. You can get started earning quickly and easily or invest up front in more education and then dive right into whatever role most interests you.