As we enter 2021, many of us do not want to look back on the year we’ve left behind. A global pandemic shook the world and took the healthcare field by storm. Many of us are now looking ahead, including current professionals and future students considering their next career move.
As hard as 2020 was, many of us now recognize the insurmountable value of health professionals. The 18 million healthcare professionals that work in this country have saved lives, researched and developed treatments, and helped to create a vaccine against COVID-19. On top of this, healthcare is considered one of the best industries to work in today – filling 46 of U.S. News’ 100 Best Jobs of 2020.
Whether you are looking to make a career change or simply looking to make a difference, 2021 may just be the time to do so. If your life has been forever changed by the pandemic, and you want your life’s work to have a real impact, you may be thinking about a career in healthcare, too. But you still may be asking yourself, “Why pursue a health career?” Read on as we explore the top reasons to pursue a health-related career in 2021.
- A Bright Outlook
It’s no secret that healthcare is one of the largest job industries in the U.S. – and the U.S. Bureau of Statistics (BLS) expects that it will only grow more. Employment of healthcare professionals is expected to grow 15 percent over the next several years, with 2.4 million new jobs entering the mix by 2029. This is more jobs than any other field today, and it is mainly due to an increased demand for healthcare services. As the baby boomer population continues to age, the demand for healthcare among our senior population will reach record numbers.
In addition, the pandemic has increased the need for more healthcare workers. Take mental health, for example. The nation’s mental health was put to the test in 2020. From quarantining and social distancing to social injustices and political turmoil, we faced more challenges in one year than many face in a lifetime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40 percent of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse in June of 2020. This underlines the need for more clinical professionals in the field.
- Better Pay
Healthcare is one of the highest-paying industries today. In fact, it dominates U.S. News’ list of the best paying jobs in 2020. In 2019, the median pay for registered nurses was $73,300 per year. The median annual wage for all healthcare practitioners and technical health occupations (from physicians to dental hygienists) was $68,190 annually. These figures are considerably higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, of $39,810.
- A Diverse Choice
Unless you have a clear-cut idea of what you want to do with your future, it can be hard to decide the exact career you crave. The beauty of the healthcare industry is the amount of variety that comes with it. You may pursue a degree program that leads you to becoming an occupational therapy assistant, a healthcare administrator, a community health educator, or even a dental hygienist.
Check out this list of growing healthcare careers from the BLS. Or, take a look at some of the healthcare career options available through Goodwin University:
- Dental Hygienist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Registered Nurse
- Medical Assistant
- Nurse Manager
- Health Educator
- Medical Biller & Coder
- Healthcare Administrator
- Public Health Nurse
With a degree in healthcare, your career path is wide open. You may start a program with your heart set on nursing, but ultimately decide you would rather be a medical biller. The healthcare field is your oyster!
- An Exciting Career
If you’ve ever watched a medical drama or taken a trip to the ER at your local hospital, you might already have an idea of how exciting the medical profession can be. Each day is different, and oftentimes, health professionals work with a variety of patients from different walks of life. Recent events from the past year have only added to that excitement. From protests to wildfires, there have some unprecedented events causing medical emergencies. Working in the healthcare field today is like, as Forest Gump would say, a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.
- More Flexibility
In 2020, we saw more people working from home than ever before. And despite what you may have thought, this includes many front-line healthcare workers! Telemedicine is here to stay. Virtual healthcare appointments, and telehealth overall, will give professionals in the health care field more options to work from home, offering greater flexibility. Learn more here.
- A Rewarding Professional Life
After the year we’ve all had, you might be looking for a meaningful career. As other healthcare professionals in the field would tell you, this is not just a job – it’s a calling. The individuals who work in the healthcare industry, the essential workers who have put their lives on the line, felt a calling to help those in need. This is the foundation of their values and their desire to work in healthcare. They have bravely put on their PPE and continued to serve patients in the face of a global pandemic. They work tirelessly to help people who are sick, injured, or disabled. They improve quality of life and save lives on a daily basis. At the end of the day, is there anything more rewarding than that?
If you’ve reached 2021 feeling anxious and in need of a change, you may be looking for a big move in your career. Perhaps your desire for something more rewarding, exciting, and meaningful is just what the doctor ordered. So instead of asking “Why pursue a health career?”, you may want to start asking yourself “Why not?”
Learn more about the healthcare degree programs at Goodwin University today. Call us at 800-889-3282 to learn why we’re a leader in healthcare education in Connecticut.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.