Take Advantage of Two Fast-Growing Health Care Careers

With every single industry changing rapidly, it’s understandable if you’re concerned about staying employable. The good news is that the healthcare industry remains one of the fastest growing fields, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 19 percent overall growth between 2014 and 2024. While the total rate of expansion fluctuates across different professions in the industry, two careers which promise similar growth are respiratory therapists and health informatics specialists. To take advantage of these possible trends, it’s a wise idea to go back to school and earn more education now.

Health Informatics Professionals: Working Behind Patient Care Systems

In the healthcare field, information technology systems must meet up to ever changing expectations placed on them by their healthcare facilities and extended care networks. New legislation and regulations governing how patient data are part of the reason for this. However, providers seeking more and better ways to deliver patient care are also contributing to the higher demands on health IT systems. Health informatics work behind the scenes, mapping out strategies and equipping facilities with the systems, hardware and software needed to meet each provider’s goals.

To answer the anticipated educational demands, schools such as UC Online are offering graduate degrees in health informatics. While curricula may focus on healthcare-specific types of technology such as electronic health records systems, health information exchange standards and portable medical data collection devices, these programs also may help matriculants learn management, strategizing and scalability. That’s because these professionals are less likely to be working in basic support functions but are more likely to be working at upper levels in both short-term and long-term planning, dealing with a systems approach towards patient care.

As the Senior Population Grows, More Respiratory Therapists Are Needed

It’s unsurprising that many agencies estimate a steady increase of the number of senior citizens. According to the U.S. Department on Health and Human Services, there are currently 46.2 million people ages 65 and older. With this number expected to grow to around 98 million people by 2060, this means that more people will eventually be diagnosed with respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), influenza or pneumonia. This could lead to a rise in demand for respiratory professionals, with estimates ranging between 12 and 19 percent.

The BLS states that an associate’s degree is typically needed to enter the field. However, with trends such as data-driven clinical decisions and ever-improving technologies in life support and therapy, it’s a wise idea to seek more advanced education in order to ensure your employability. Respiratory clinicians will need the additional training and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve. Curricula such as the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy available at the University of Cincinatti are designed to help learners do just that.

Advanced Education Increases Your Employability and Career Options

In the next decade, the healthcare field is predicted to expand to meet the demands of an aging population. Additionally, providers will be seeking better ways to deliver patient care. Attaining additional education and skills will likely put you in the lead when it comes to job possibilities. Going back to school now is the wisest thing you can do to remain attractive to employers in the coming years.