You want your teen to succeed in life, which is why you’ve worked hard to raise them right, get them into college, and figure out how to finance it. If they’ve expressed interest in a healthcare degree, then you want to be sure it’s a good fit for them. Look out for specific signs that it is. Also, help them understand the particular paths available in that field and what career outlooks are like in the healthcare industry.
6 Signs a Healthcare Degree is a Good Fit for Your Teen
There can be many indications that a healthcare degree would suit your teen well. Here are six, in particular, you can watch out for:
- Interest in Job Growth: Hopefully, your teen is old enough to understand that some industries are shrinking. Some are even dying. If your teen is looking for something with undeniable growth, then the healthcare sector is where to be. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is due to grow by 16 percent over the next decade. That’s far more than the average growth of all other sectors.
- Job Stability: The healthcare industry already accounts for 1/6 of the entire economy. While Millennials have technically surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation, the ranks of Boomers in their golden years are significant. With an aging overall population, demand for healthcare services isn’t going to reduce anytime soon. Healthcare careers are safe and offer many opportunities for advancement or transfer.
- Work Anywhere: Healthcare degrees are usually transferable across the entire country, and healthcare services are in demand across the country. Urban areas are in constant need of medical professionals given how much population resides in them, and rural areas are actually in dire need of professionals in the healthcare field since many are retiring or relocating. Your teen could find meaningful employment in any region of the country as an adult with a healthcare degree.
- Fascinating Work: A lot of the work involved with modern medicine surrounds the diagnosis of many different ailments and problems and then determining how to best address the issues. Clinical diagnosis isn’t just the work of doctors, as anyone from technicians and nurses to EMS personnel has to employ serious investigative and problem-solving skills to find out what’s hurting people before they can help them. The scientific side of all of this is intellectually stimulating like few other fields of employment.
- Variety of Options: The broad spectrum of options is very wide in terms of both educational possibilities, discussed more in the next section, and on the employment side of things. Certain healthcare positions might be attainable after just a training course and certification testing, whereas doctors might need many years of schooling to get started with their work. Once employed, healthcare professionals can seek the adventure and fast pace of hospital settings or move into the more laid-back atmosphere of family practice. Everyone can find their desired groove and lifestyle.
- Help People: Perhaps the biggest sign that your teen would do well with a healthcare degree is if they enjoy helping people. Healthcare requires working with people in most positions, but actually helping them get better is another matter. Seeing a patient heal from something and get their health or quality of life back is a satisfaction unlike any other. It’s one that no other employment field can really compete with.
If you see any of these signs in your teen, especially multiple ones, then you might want to reinforce them or just point them out to help your teen narrow down their eventual goal.
Potential Healthcare Degrees to Consider
Going into healthcare doesn’t mean your teen has to be a doctor. There are other specialties available:
- Certified Nurse Midwife: A CNM medical professional undergoes graduate-level education to be someone who can help an expecting mother prepare for, plan, and execute a birth. However, these professionals can also serve as independent healthcare practitioners in all 50 states to patients throughout every stage of their life.
- Physical Therapist Assistant: Physical therapist assistants help patients in all age groups in getting more mobile and physically stronger. They do this through various therapeutic training exercises. An associate degree is required, but it can be done in under two years with a combination of on-campus and remote learning.
- Medical Assisting Services: Medical assistants are in higher demand than even the average growth within healthcare. Doctors and nurses rely on them for clerical and administrative duties. Specific certifications are available in under a year, and associate degrees can lead to more pay and responsibilities.
- Radiological Technologist: These professionals are crucial members of medical imaging teams. Physicians and nurses rely on them for diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-ray exams. An associate degree in this discipline opens up entry-level positions, while a bachelor’s degree and experience can lead to specializing in mammography, CT imaging, MRI technology, nuclear medicine, and supervisory positions.
The Future of Healthcare
Health insurance might be a politically volatile topic for some time to come, but the need for healthcare won’t be. Baby boomers need it a lot right now, and the day will come that Millennials start retiring and need it, too. Along the way, the rank and file of current healthcare professionals who already work hard keeping 1/6 of the economy moving will eventually hang it up and retire as well.
The healthcare industry and the nation at large need passionate professionals to keep hospitals, clinics, and offices open for the healthcare business. New faces will be needed to replace the ones that move on with life, much less fill the many new job openings that will be created in just the next 10 years.
Your teen’s choice of degree is ultimately up to them, but they might rely on you for guidance and wisdom. Now, you’re in a position to:
- Know six signs a healthcare degree is a good fit for them
- The kinds of healthcare degrees available
- What the future holds for the industry
Use all of this to help your teen pave the right path forward. It’s important to be a reliable asset to your teen in order to give them the best chance possible at achieving their goals and accomplishing something great with their life.