The healthcare industry has experienced rapid growth in the past few years. And as discoveries and modern medicine come to light, this field will only expand further.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 2 million more jobs will open up in the next decade—in healthcare occupations alone. So, while there are several industries you can build a career in, entering a health-related field might open doors to new opportunities for excellent career development.
Healthcare plays a vital role in the well-being of societies. Without the appropriate facilities and relevant professionals to manage them, entire communities will fall sick to easily preventable diseases. The quality of life will also worsen, impacting people’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
Thanks to recent advancements, medical facilities are now accessible to a larger percentage of the population. These have also given rise to new fields and subjects, allowing individuals to become experts in their chosen specialization and provide patients with attentive care.
Together, health-related fields take a holistic approach to ensure all aspects of an individual’s health remain optimum. If you’re planning to build a career in healthcare, there are plenty of fields you can choose from. But to give you a basic idea regarding the best and most popular ones today, here’s a list of the top 7 below.
1. Public health
Although the field of public health has existed for several decades, it now receives more recognition than before. This subject is crucial in promoting overall health, preventing diseases, and monitoring prevalent health concerns in particular populations.
If you’re interested in working with various health issues, enrolling in any of the CEPH accredited programs can provide you with an excellent foundation for it. You can earn high-paying salaries by working in multiple positions, such as an epidemiologist, health education specialist, biostatistician, or healthcare consultant. These jobs have better working hours than most medical occupations and leave plenty of room for career growth.
Nurses have consistently ranked among the top most respected professions across all industries and occupations. They are fundamental for the proper functioning of healthcare systems as they’re the primary link between patients, doctors, and other healthcare providers. Besides administering drugs and providing critical patient care, they advocate for health policy changes to have a large-scale impact on entire systems.
Traditionally, nurses were only responsible for looking after patients. But now, they can work in management positions as a nurse administrator, director, supervisor, or manager. These roles require you to work less grueling hours while benefiting from lucrative pay.
Additionally, modern medicine makes more people live longer. And to provide them with geriatric care, a larger number of nursing jobs will likely increase in the upcoming years.
3. Healthcare management
For someone interested in working in healthcare but also wanting to experience its corporate aspects—a career in healthcare management might be a perfect choice. This profession is critical for maintaining and upholding the standards of healthcare facilities. By ensuring their smooth and efficient running, healthcare managers can provide quality care to all patients who visit these hospitals or clinics. Using their knowledge and available resources, these professionals also work tirelessly to make medical services accessible to more patients, especially those from marginalized communities.
Like other healthcare occupations, healthcare managers can also earn competitive salaries and enjoy a diverse job market. But additionally, they can also make a difference by transforming medical structures and organizations to improve patient outcomes.
4. Clinical research
As time passes, new diseases and risk factors emerge, drastically affecting individuals’ mental and physical well-being. Clinical research is an essential field that bridges the knowledge gaps in medicine, even today. Without the relevant studies, health professionals will have no substantial evidence or data based on which they can design therapeutics or care for their patients. And the only way to identify the appropriate mitigation and prevention strategies is by conducting clinical research and trials.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic was an excellent example that highlighted the importance of clinical research in this era. Because of these trials and studies designed by researchers, vaccines developed during an ongoing pandemic and were finally able to contain the disease.
5. Medical technology
If medical laboratories cannot make quick and accurate diagnoses, doctors can’t treat patients with the appropriate care. Medical technology aims to make diagnoses as efficient and less-invasive as possible by using innovative devices and tools.
By studying medical technology, you learn about the basic principles and mechanisms of each body parameter and ways to measure it accurately. You can use this knowledge and skills to improve existing diagnostic tests and make them more accessible for larger groups of people.
6. Mental healthcare
For several decades, healthcare workers and the general public only focused on physical health to get better and improve their quality of life. But recent studies and several researchers show that mental health plays an equally crucial role, if not more, in impacting an individual’s well-being. Because of its growing recognition in healthcare, mental health professionals are quickly becoming one of the most demanding occupations out there.
Whether they work as therapists, psychologists, school counselors, or social workers—the respect they receive is unmatchable. More importantly, they have an option to get employed in multiple workplace settings, including hospitals, clinics, schools, rehab centers, and even private practices.
The science of developing and dispensing drugs and other medications has been a popular healthcare field for several years. Although this field has experienced little to no change for a long time, the recent shift towards personalized medicine has completely transformed this profession. One of the most significant evolutions of contemporary healthcare is the emergence of precision medicine. It aims to provide tailored therapeutics to patients based on their potential risk or response to a disease.
Healthcare professionals can screen patients for genetic mutations or anomalies using genome sequencing technologies and predict their likely outcomes. Pharmacists use this data to design medicines that particularly target these regions and therefore have the desired effect on the targeted organ of the body.
If you’re about to enter the professional period of your life, you must think long and hard about the kind of direction you want to take. The healthcare field is a new and emerging one, where occupations have moved way beyond traditional physician’s and nurse’s roles.
To pick the best option for yourself, first, identify your interests and what goals you want to achieve from your career. These will help you set on the right professional path and pave the way to success as you move along.