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The Search for Tomorrow’s Health Care Leaders

As the recent coronavirus pandemic has shown, health care providers are today’s superheroes. And these heroes are in short supply. Older providers are retiring while younger physicians are choosing specialties over primary care. Our growing geriatric population combined with the rising incidence of non-communicable conditions like cancer, diabetes and obesity strain our health care resources. And while advances in diagnostic and treatment technology present opportunities for longer, healthier lives, they have triggered more health care visits and expenses.

It all adds up to a huge and growing demand for professionals in all areas of health care, and the demand outweighs the supply. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that health care occupations will grow by 14 percent through 2028, creating 1.9 million new jobs, more than any other occupational group. Of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations, 11 are in health-related fields.

The demand isn’t limited to conventional medical practices, either. With the escalating abuse of opioids and other prescription drugs, Americans are becoming more interested in forms of health care that don’t rely on drugs or invasive procedures. The CDC reports, “Approximately 38 percent of adults in the United States… and nearly 12 percent of children use some form of complementary and alternative medicine.”

According to USA Today, the top five careers in alternative medicine are: Chiropractor, Homeopathy, Dietician/Nutritionist, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture.

The need is great. The rewards are greater.

In 2019, the World Economic Forum predicted a health workforce shortage of 18 million worldwide by 2030, writing, “It is therefore imperative to address the shortage of healthcare workforce across the gamut – doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, community outreach workers.”

Not only is this growing demand creating thousands of well-paying jobs for health care providers, but it is also offering young professionals an opportunity to make a real difference in the health and well-being of their patients and their communities.

As health care issues continue to make headlines, more Americans are turning to holistic healing methods to supplement their care options. Trained to understand the connections between body systems, mental health, diet and movement, chiropractors, nutritionists, sports science specialists and other natural health care practitioners take an integrated approach to patient care.

Of course, not all health care jobs involve direct patient care. Allied health professionals (laboratory and diagnostic technicians) make up 60 percent of the health care workforce and the demand for qualified experts is growing.

With predicted job growth of 18 percent through 2028, health Informatics is the science of organizing and analyzing medical data of all kinds. Informaticists assist doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators and other health care professionals in improving patient outcomes and lowering costs. Professionals from a variety of backgrounds find success in health informatics, including retail, education, IT and accounting, as well as nurses, doctors and health care administrators.

In even greater demand are the professionals who will train future generations of health care leaders. “There’s an acute nursing shortage in the United States,” reports CNN Business, “but schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants as they struggle to expand class size and hire more teachers for nursing programs.” The BLS predicts post-secondary health specialties teachers will experience an incredible 23 percent job growth through 2028. Advanced degrees such as the Doctor of Health Professions Education (DHPE) or the Doctor of Education (EdD) prepare clinicians and administrators for rewarding positions as teachers increasing the pool of qualified workers in a variety of health care fields.

Whether you are interested in a clinical, administrative, analytical or educational career, opportunities are growing for qualified health care professionals. And Logan University offers exceptional degree programs in a variety of in-demand health care fields, including Doctor of Chiropractic, Doctor of Health Professions Education, and Master of Science degrees in Nutrition & Human Performance, Sport Science & Rehabilitation and Health Informatics. To learn more about these programs and schedule a virtual one-on-one meeting with a health careers expert, visit our virtual experience page.