A Career Path in Healthcare

Healthcare is a fast growing sector for job prospects. A career path in healthcare appears to be promising. At the same time, the healthcare sector is facing recruitment challenges with existing skill and education gaps.

An excerpt report by William C. Symonds, Harvard University’s Director of the Pathways to Prosperity Project, was presented at a Conference in New Zealand. The Report  indicates that, according to Health Careers Futures/Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Health Careers Pathways Study, 78% of jobs within healthcare require less than a four-year degree.  InformationWeek indicates that there is a predicted demand for 50,000 new health IT professionals.

The Project’s report reflects key elements in strengthening methods in developing a career path in healthcare:

• elevate career education to world class levels
• provide high quality career counseling
• greatly expand and improve opportunities for work based learning

Reflected in the Report are model programs that are integrating the key elements:

Career Academies
Project Lead the Way
Massachusetts Regional Vo-Tech HS
Tennessee Technology Centers
• U.S. Military

The indicated programs give a focus to the health sciences sector as a career path, among other sectors. The basic premise is to link education with a specific career path, and involve the industry. Programs give attention to  strengthening the work-based learning component of academics along with enhancing college and career exploration opportunities. Programs have active government funding at several levels, as well as funding from potential employers and foundations.

A running theme through the programs is providing clarity in education, collaboration with the industry, and a specific career path. The range of programs offered include:
-a tight collaboration among educators and administrators, students and parents, corporate and foundation partners and sponsors, and colleges and universities;
-the promotion of critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in students;
-the offer of hands-on classroom experiences, engagement in activities, projects, and problem-based applications;
-exposure to real world aspects of a curriculum through close affiliations with professionals in local industries.

Strengthening our education system, expanding the role of employers, and strong collaborations should ultimately provide a strong pool of candidates within healthcare as we give close attention to the specific areas of skill needs within healthcare and prepare for expected trends. As we strengthen our systems, can being ahead of needs, and providing appropriate planning become the norm?

How would you tie this information to your organization?

Credits:
The Pathways to Prosperity Project, excerpt report. William C. Symonds, Director; Harvard University, Presentation at the Industry Trade Federation Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
InformationWeek, Illinois Schools Develop Future Health IT Stars, Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Career Academies
Project Lead the Way
Massachusetts Regional Vo-Tech HS
Tennessee Technology Centers

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