Growth in technology is contributing to career options at an increasing rate. Many industries, from information technology to environmental science to health care, benefit from new and enriching career opportunities afforded by rapid advancements.
Ten of the 20 fastest-growing careers are health care-related, with 26 percent of all new jobs created falling into this category, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition.” New career possibilities are opening for individuals with vocational training, college diplomas and advanced degrees.
Growing demand for health care professionals
“In terms of health care, the speed of change is anywhere from two days to six weeks. Knowledge is doubling faster than in the 1990s when IT was producing software on average every few days,” says Micki Holliday, director of career services at Brown Mackie College – Kansas City, located in Lenexa, Kan. “In addition to knowledge expansion, research indicates that the aging population is pushing science and health care to the forefront in needs. New people, new habits and skills and new orientation to the world are bringing in new opportunities.” she added.
The unique baby boomer population represents a large demographic that, despite growing older, is staying active longer. “It isn’t just young people jogging and exercising today. It permeates all generations. Technological advances in medicine are helping people stay active longer. We’re building bodies better,” she says, referring to the ability to replace hips, knees, and organs with more advanced technology. “The demand for a higher quality of life through technology drives innovation. Most things involving health care are considered a boom industry.”
While scientists and doctors are in demand, it is critical that health care facilities hire correctly trained support staff so that others can do what they do best. Doctors need others to provide care. Entry-level employment opportunities arise at hospitals, doctor and dentist offices, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and home health care companies, says Holliday. “Industry can’t move forward without trained professionals. They want to hire workers with education, knowledge and certifications.” Health care positions in growing demand include all types of medical and lab technicians, as well as insurance, financial and administrative professionals.
Advancements in science spawn new opportunities
Growth in the science and engineering sectors feed the health care boom. The biotech industry is huge and growing in every area, from operations and manufacturing to clinical research and quality control. This opens the door for a myriad of trained professionals to find employment. To learn more about health care career opportunities, visit www.brownmackie.edu.
“What type of people are needed to support biotech companies? Everyone from lab technicians and research associates to cabinet-makers who build lab-safety storage,” Holliday says. “One scientist I know of was about to culminate a two-year research project when a lab tech walked by with a test tube in hand and scratched his head. That single act negated the whole project. It is of the utmost importance for companies to hire people who are trained and certified in lab protocol.”
Biotech companies also need trained, entry-level people to fill positions in administration, billing and research. “You can contribute to this growing industry without becoming an engineer,” Holliday says. “The title isn’t new, but the work is new due to advances in technology.”
In all disciplines, health care and science industry employers need workers who are educated and are skilled in protocol. Schools provide the foundation for working in a specific environment. Companies and device manufacturers then provide additional training on the job. “That’s another career opportunity,” adds Holliday. “There is a growing need for trainers, too.”
Holliday’s father was a research assistant in the late 1940s. “Can you imagine what he’d think of today’s equipment? Tests taking minutes instead of weeks. Noninvasive surgery that enables patients to go home a few hours later,” she says. “Our students are contributing to these miracles of time and science by providing businesses with the manpower needed to run the experiments, provide the treatments and create the tools and remedies.”