For college students, deciding on a career is something that can be a constant weight on their shoulders. Finding a profession that is both personally fulfilling and financially rewarding is a difficult endeavor, and it is a combination that many people never have the opportunity to achieve. However, there is one area where you can realize both goals while also working in a field that displays excellent growth potential in the coming years. Health care is already a multi-trillion dollar industry.1 And as the baby boom generation continues to reach or near retirement age,2 and millions of people gain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, it shows no sign of becoming a smaller part of the national economy.
Why health care?
Aside from its strong growth potential, the health care industry is one that generally pays well and offers a strong benefit package. And in today’s world, where workers across the country are seeing their benefit and pension plans being slashed by employers, having that kind of security has become even more valuable. While stability, income and benefits are crucial to most people, so is working in a profession where you can provide a service to your community, and humanity in general. That’s yet another reason why a career in health care is such an attractive option. Every job within the industry directly or indirectly relates to making people’s lives better, so you can have pride in your work knowing that it is making a positive impact on the world.
Health care professions
The first thing that comes to many people’s minds when they think about a job in health care is that they will need years upon years of schooling. But considering the immensity of the health care industry in America and throughout the world, there is a huge demand for jobs that don’t require an advanced degree. Opportunities in the industry include everything from medical office assistants and medical billing and coding professionals and certified dental assistants to pharmacy technicians. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are nearly endless. Most of these support positions allow you to be on the front lines of improving patient outcomes without spending a decade in college. As just one example, the U.S. Labor Department predicts that jobs for medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations.3 1 Department of Health and Human Services, “The U.S. Healthcare Industry.” http://selectuse.commerce.gov/industry-snapshots/health-and-medical-technology-industry-united-states 2 Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, “Aging Statistics.” http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/ 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians.” http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm