Considerations When Choosing a Healthcare Career

health-careWorking in the healthcare field can be very rewarding; depending on the path you take, it can also be very lucrative. Generally speaking, this industry continues to experience growth and there is an increased demand for various types of professionals that is expected to keep growing over the next several years. Contrast this with many other fields where people are getting laid off in large numbers and graduates are struggling to put their degree to us. Healthcare covers a vast landscape and the career options are many. If you are not quite sure which direction to take, here are some considerations to help you narrow down your options.

What Is Your Motivation?

There are over 200 careers in the healthcare industry and while they all fall under the broad scope of addressing health in some way, they go about this in different ways. When trying to decide on your path, it is important to figure out what is motivating you to enter this field. What is it you want to do exactly? Are you more inclined to work directly with patients or do you have a love of science that you want to apply in your career? Are you hoping to make a certain amount of money? Knowing what drives your wish will help you focus on the fields that will help you best express it.

Education and Training Considerations

According to Sector1 jobs and careers: When choosing a field, it is important to carefully consider the education and training requirements—becoming a licensed practical nurse is far easier than completing a masters in nursing education necessary to qualify for certain types of nursing careers, for example. You need to decide how much time you are willing to invest in developing your career; you also need to consider finances. Becoming an RN will take two years of community college or vocational school and is relatively inexpensive, while getting your bachelor's degree in nursing will take four years and run you tens of thousands of dollars. The latter may qualify you for better pay and increased opportunities but the former is all you need to become an RN. You need to consider your career goals to find whether more intensive paths are right for your needs or if you should consider paths with less training and education required.

Get to Know the Industry

While simply picking a career based on the greatest demand is not the best strategy (you need to consider many factors such as skill set and interest), knowing what careers are in greater demand in general and in your geographic location, can be a good starting point for picking a field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, can give you some good background on a career such as the average salary and whether jobs are expected to increase in the future.A site such as the Healthcare Intelligence Network offers detailed information on different segments of the health care industry and related careers. There are many sites that provide information solely on healthcare careers and offer the opportunity for you to receive more information.

The author of this article, Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things education and health.

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