Health Care Job Opportunities Spike in US After Pandemic

The fastest growing jobs in the fastest growing field — STEM, or science, tech, engineering and mathematics — are in health care. “Health care is still booming,” said Marisa Streelman, the national director of the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses, a professional association for nurses in the U.S.“Cybersecurity in healthcare, physical security, system improvements, telehealth, and the need for monitoring in the home and community health,” Streelman said, are some of the jobs in health care that are experiencing swift growth.Among the top 30 fastest-growing professions are medical and health services managers, physician assistants, speech pathologists, substance abuse and mental health counselors, and marriage and family therapists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paying jobs in health care, according to BLS, are physician assistants, who make $115,390. Tech jobs like software developers by comparison make $110,140. Epidemiologists, or those who investigate patterns and causes of diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, make an average of $74,560, according to BLS figures.Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
FILE – Critical care workers insert an endotracheal tube into a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida, Feb. 11, 2021.Emerging jobsNursing informatics is a discipline that will be in high demand and analyzes data to improve nursing practice. It is focused on technology helping the nursing workflow, such as managing electronic health records, or EHRs, that are required of all care facilities.“Nursing informatics is huge right now,” said Streelman. “As more and more of our systems become electronic, and more and more of our equipment is used at the bedside and beyond, you see more and more equipment, wireless equipment and monitoring equipment that can be used in the home.”Opportunities in biotechnology and biomedicine will be on the rise to assist the changes in health care.Artificial intelligenceArtificial Intelligence, or AI, experts say, will move healthcare forward, as well. AI can analyze large volumes of data to more quickly diagnose and treat patients and illnesses. “On the information technology side, we’re seeing engineers and scientists utilizing AI tools to transform the traditionally unstructured data, like MRI images, audio sounds, and diagrams which pose different kinds of information, which are unstructured and very hard to interpret,” said Linxin Gu, a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum.Gu began with a degree in biomedical engineering from Sichuan University in China and has studied at six institutions, including in China, Japan, and the United States.Artificial intelligenceThere are numerous applications for AI in healthcare, Gu said. She said someone interested in joining the industry should research it first to find where their personal interests fit.“First understand yourself and then, second, do research about the people that are already holding your position,” she told VOA.An early start and experimenting in different areas within the industry is crucial for success, she added. Qualifications and degrees needed to join the technological side of the healthcare industry also vary depending on the person’s goal, Gu said.“If you want to work more on the information side,” she said, “there’s no required degree, but most people would get at least a bachelor’s degree to work on the IT side, either in biomedicine, biomedical engineering, or bioinformatics or computer science.”Location is another key factor, Gu said. “In China, you have to get a master’s degree, because there are so many people with abundant degrees,” she said.“If you want to conduct research,” Gu added, “master’s degree and a Ph.D. are both good. But in terms of independent research, you have to get a Ph.D.,” she said.But ultimately, Gu said, several factors guide a person to achieve success in the industry. It depends on “where you want to go, what really interests you, and will you feel like you’re passionate about and where you want to work,” she said. 

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