The present direction of employment in the healthcare industry indicates an upsurge in demand for proficient professionals. Notably, only a limited number of employment sectors worldwide are experiencing such rapid expansion as healthcare, and the surge is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.
However, while this increasing demand comes with diverse opportunities, it poses some challenges, particularly regarding sustainability. There is a growing realization among medical students and professionals looking to break into healthcare that the field will be different in the next few years.
Technology has helped to streamline several medical processes, and its impact will only continue to grow with time. While innovations such as AI and robotics can indeed replace existing professions, these same technologies will undoubtedly create new jobs. As such, attaining relevance and sustainability in healthcare depends on how well a professional adopts these technologies.
This article highlights the current demand for healthcare workers and how to get involved in sustainable medical careers for the future.
Increasing demand for healthcare workers
As the world continues to evolve, so does the healthcare industry. The need for healthcare professionals continues to grow, driven by an aging population, the rise of chronic diseases, and technological advances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare jobs will grow more than twice as fast as non-healthcare jobs in the next decade. However, the growth rate will be uneven across different areas of healthcare.
The growth rate of healthcare careers in different areas is influenced by multiple factors, from demographic change to policies, public health priorities and technological advancements. These factors interact in complex ways to shape healthcare services’ demand and future sustainability.
Some of these factors are unpredictable. For instance, no one can say what healthcare policies will be in place in the next decade. However, with the current health trend regarding public health priorities and technological advancements, it’s possible to identify relevant healthcare careers for the future. Ultimately, a medical professional’s relevance in healthcare depends on their involvement in sustainable career paths.
Healthcare careers for the future
From physicians and nurses to telemedicine experts, the medical field offers a wealth of fulfilling career paths for those seeking to make a difference in people’s lives while also securing a stable future for themselves. In choosing a career path, sustainability is a crucial point to consider. Below, we highlight some of the most promising healthcare careers for the future.
These professionals have the highest projected growth rate across every other medical career path. Registered nurses (RNs) are healthcare professionals who have completed a nursing program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to obtain a nursing license.
RNs work in various healthcare settings and can specialize in a particular area of healthcare, depending on their interests and public health priorities. Practicing nurses can become registered by taking the licensure exam. However, a BSN for non-nurses will enable you to develop skills relevant to the nursing field before pursuing a license.
Physicians and surgeons
While technology is and will continue to revolutionize many aspects of healthcare, it cannot fully replace the need for physicians and surgeons. The demand for these professionals will always be high as they provide human judgment, critical thinking and interpersonal skills, which are difficult for technology to replicate.
Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and treat injuries or health concerns across all age groups. They can also train and specialize in different areas. However, the educational path is usually extensive. A bachelor’s degree in a healthcare-related field is typically required, followed by a residency program and potentially a fellowship.
Physical therapists (PTs) are healthcare professionals who specialize in assisting individuals in recovering their mobility, alleviating pain and preventing long-term injuries resulting from accidents or disabilities. PTs provide hands-on medical care to patients of varying ages and conditions, fitting into the current trend of a highly aging population.
Due to the broad scope of their profession, many PTs also assume other roles, such as social workers, teachers or related positions. Most people get involved in physical therapy by obtaining a graduate degree. Some professionals receive advanced degrees, such as Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT), but this is not a requirement for most PT jobs.
Aside from typical medical professionals, contemporary healthcare practice requires individuals trained in a wide range of skills to oversee patient care. Healthcare administrators possess expertise in managing the administrative elements of a healthcare institution, from marketing to accounting and human resources.
These individuals build proficiency in handling specific healthcare challenges and requirements, including regulatory compliance, patient safety and quality assurance. The requirements for this position vary depending on the particular role. However, the general educational path includes a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration, management or any other related field.
Not all healthcare career paths require extensive medical knowledge. Some professionals are tasked with improving the outcomes and productivity of medical professionals. With the amount of digital data doubling every two years, making sense of such big data and how it can improve the medical field is necessary. Analysts play a crucial role in this context.
Healthcare analysts use their statistics, data analytics and healthcare informatics expertise to help healthcare organizations make informed decisions and improve patient outcomes. Unlike other career paths in this list, a degree is not required to become an analyst. Most professionals gain competency through online education, which is now capable of outperforming their traditional counterparts.
Healthcare careers are evolving rapidly to meet the changing needs of public health priorities. Technological advancements, an aging population and new healthcare challenges have created a demand for a diverse range of healthcare professionals. The long-term sustainability of any career path depends on how well it complements these driving forces.
The careers highlighted above are some of the many healthcare roles that will be in high demand in the future. Nonetheless, as the healthcare sector changes, individuals should stay up to date with the latest developments to ensure that they can contribute to the industry.