According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is going to be the main source for employment through 2018 and possibly beyond, with gerontology the fastest growing field. This is the time for healthcare workers to reassess their career choices, and while doing so, take advantage of online learning. With the number of degree and certification options available, professional success and career advancement is within everyone’s reach.
Healthcare in the Future
The next two decades will see an influx of baby boomers reaching the age of retirement in this country. Along with an aging population will be the need for medical care specifically designed for this age group. This includes doctors, nurses, home health aides and hospital administrators, to name just a few.
There are numerous healthcare jobs available, having a wide range of educational requirements. Distance learning programs, such as a master of public health online degree, are not only sensible, but an economically sound investment for graduates and professionals.
With hundreds of options comes the same number of educational requirements. Some jobs may require nothing more than a H.S. diploma, while others are looking for someone with a doctoral degree. Salary is another variable that has to be factored into the job equation. Suffice to say that salary often depends on the type of job, as well as the location of that job.
Salary standards have been a bone of contention in the healthcare field, particularly with lower-salaried home health aides and unlicensed nurse’s aides. Because of the lower pay scale, there has been a great degree of turnover in this part of the healthcare field.
Advancing employment opportunities by making use of online learning is one good way to step up to the next level when faced with a low-paying position, and their are advantages to continuing to work while studying for a degree or certificate, especially for working mothers.
Programs and Degrees
Programs and degrees in the healthcare field are numerous, and will continue to cover a wide ranging number of occupations. Because of the increase in the aging population, it should be stressed that job opportunities will exist in medical administration, billing, laboratory and even research.
In the same vein, bachelors and masters degrees, such as a human services degree, as well as a number of associate’s degrees are being offered online. With many diplomas and certificates, there is a requirement for re-certification, or what is often called “continuing education” credits. Online distance learning is excellent for keeping up with certification.
The healthcare field is going to continue to grow and expand, due mainly to the growth of our aging population. With this increase in the number of elderly in our midst comes the necessity to offer the best we have in healthcare. Graduates and professionals have a chance to improve upon existing knowledge and at the same time, improve and enhance their career chances. With the options available, there is no reason to delay in taking that first step toward self-betterment and greater job security.
Georgina Clatworthy is a freelance writer who often posts on topics relating to education, careers and coaching.