Pathways to Healthcare: One of the World’s Fastest-Growing Industries
Becoming a healthcare professional requires hard work and drive. Skills, experience, and education requirements vary depending on the career you hope to pursue; with some requiring a tremendous amount of post-undergraduate training. It is helpful to carefully examine and understand why you want to pursue a career in healthcare so that you may best align your academic and experiential pursuits with your goals. One way to explore the multitude of career options in the field is to see them in four main health occupation buckets that are divided into health and medical research, administration and management, service, and clinical occupations.
Four Main Buckets of Health Occupations
- Health and Medical Research
Are you interested in scientific exploration and have a desire to work on running trials, designing studies, working with other healthcare professionals, and collecting and analyzing data?
The purpose of health and medical research is to learn more about human health as well as find better and new ways to prevent and treat disease. These health care professionals prove that you don’t have to be a hands-on provider to have a health care career. Health and medical research take place in a number of settings, some of which include hospitals, colleges, universities, labs, insurance companies, health consulting firms, and more.
- Administration and Management
Are you interested in the leadership, management, and administration of public health systems, health care systems, hospitals, and hospital networks?
Healthcare administrators, managers, and executives are typically responsible for the smooth operation of a healthcare facility, looking at it more from a business and operations perspective. Every healthcare facility needs people to serve in these management or administration roles. Although the size of the organization will determine the scope of the role some of the duties can include overseeing scheduling, the facilities, working with the finances, compliance, customer service, marketing, and more.
Are you interested in a values-driven opportunity with a focus on making a difference whether that be in the public, private, or nonprofit sector?
There are many service programs and service-oriented jobs that provide fulfilling healthcare careers geared around a specific cause. These roles can exist within healthcare facilities, non-profit organizations, or a domestic or international service program. With service roles, the responsibilities are going to vary widely based on the organization and can include anything from direct patient care to community education and fundraising.
- Clinical Occupations
Are you interested in contributing to the direct treatment of patients?
Clinical roles often have face-to-face contact with patients and have responsibilities related to diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care. Some clinical professions are behind the scenes, such as laboratory professionals whose work supports diagnosis and treatment. These roles exist in healthcare facilities, hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, schools, summer camps, and more.