The healthcare field is among the most rewarding to work in, both personally and financially. But while the field in general is always in need of workers, the specific jobs within it vary greatly when it comes to demand. And for those interested in joining the medical profession, the good news is that there are certain “subfields” within healthcare that have seen significant growth recently whereas there are still many others that are consistently in demand. With all of the available choices, it can be tough to know which healthcare career to commit to. Looking at projections for the next decade can help aspiring healthcare professionals to choose their area of specialization. With this in mind, here are important to questions to ask about the top healthcare degrees of the next ten years.
What are the Three Most In-Demand Healthcare Jobs?
Those interested in a career in healthcare should check out the educational requirements of the physician's assistant, pharmacist, and physical therapist subfields.
What Degrees Are Required for These Most In-Demand Healthcare Jobs?
Physician's assistants require a Bachelor's degree (usually in a basic medical field) and then completion of a specialized program. A pharmacist requires a pharmacy technician degree, and a physical therapist requires a degree in physical therapy.
What’s the Fastest Healthcare Degree to Earn?
It’s no secret that even some of the most in-demand healthcare positions require degrees that take a long time to get. Nevertheless, there are some that require less schooling that will also still be very relevant over the next decade. For example, becoming a radiologic technician requires only a specialized associates degree or graduation from a certificate program, and it is projected to remain in demand.
What's a Newer Healthcare Degree That's Going to Be Relevant in the Future?
As it has with many industries, modern technology has drastically changed the healthcare field. Because of this, a lot of jobs have sprung up on the IT side of medical support staff and are bound to become increasingly important within the next several years. As such, a degree in Health Systems Management or Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Health Infomatics is one of the best choices out there.
Is Getting a Doctor of Medicine Still a Good Choice?
Becoming a full medical doctor has long been considered one of the best (and most respected) degrees a person can get. Nevertheless, more recent years have seen a fall in students pursuing their doctorate thanks to constantly rising tuition costs, the years of school required and the rise in medical support staff (such as physician's assistants) that decrease the need for many doctors. It is possible that within 10 years the demand for doctors may rise after the shortage really begins to hit, but for right now it may not be the best choice.
What's the Top Degree For Working Directly with Patients?
Nurses will always be relevant, but surprisingly a nursing degree is not among the top degrees for the next 10 years. Instead, those who want to work with patients every day would do best to look into a degree in Occupational Therapy. Becoming a full Occupational Therapist usually requires a Masters Degree, but these programs are getting more flexible due to the healthcare field's rising demand for them.
Is There Financial Assistance Available for Any of These Degrees?
Yes! However, available scholarships and financial aid programs vary greatly between degree programs and schools. It is also worth noting that a lot of hospitals will consider helping their employees pay for additional medical training and career advancement programs (for example, if a nurse is interested in becoming a physician's assistant) if the demand is there.
What is the Best Healthcare Degree to Get Online?
For those looking to get a degree online, the best one to get for the next 10 years will be one in Healthcare Administration. This multifaceted degree can be earned entirely online, teaches people to be an integral part of healthcare support staff / management and will continue to be in demand for a long time.