We’ve never needed our health care industry more than we need it now. Throughout the last few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, these amazing professionals have worked tirelessly to take care of us all. Many healthcare professionals have come out of retirement and returned to the frontline to help fight against this deadly disease. But once restrictions are lifted and the number of cases starts to reduce, will we still need all of these professionals? The simple answer is yes. Keep reading below to find out why healthcare is a future proof sector:
Reasons Why Healthcare Professionals are Needed Now More Than Ever Before
The healthcare industry is growing at a faster rate than any other industry in the U.S. If you want to work in a career where you can earn a brilliant wage, make a difference, and know that your job will be there in the future, then this is the place to be. Completing an accelerated BSN nursing program from Baylor University is a great way to get your career started.
Whether you’re interested in a specialized area of medicine or you simply want to care for others, there are a number of reasons why the healthcare industry is a brilliant choice for you:
- The Affordable Care Act – the Affordable Care Act has transformed the U.S. health care system. It was introduced to make sure that all Americans had access to affordable care. This has led to more healthcare professionals being needed around the U.S. in order to support the increase in demand. Approximately 30 million Americans can now receive insurance through this act.
- The population is getting older – The baby boomer population is reaching retirement age. The U.S is expected to see a 50% shift in age demographics between 2000 and 2030. By 2030 there will be approximately 72 million Americans over the age of 65. This aging population has led to an increased need for medical professionals who specialize in looking after the elderly. Currently, 12% of the population is made up of elderly people, but this is expected to increase to 21% by 2050.
- Needs are changing – the healthcare industry is huge and there are currently hundreds of job opportunities available to graduates. As our needs continue to change and technology becomes more advanced, we expect to see even more specialist roles becoming available.
- Wages are higher than average – if you’re looking for a career that pays a good wage, then this could be the perfect choice for you. The national average wage in the U.S is $44,321 but healthcare professionals can earn much more than this. Podiatrists earn approximately $116,440 per annum. Pharmacists earn approximately $116,670 per annum and dentists can earn approximately $149,310 per annum.
The Healthcare Sector and the Future
For a number of years now, we’ve heard rumors that humans could be replaced by robots in a number of different industries. Many experts have:
- Expressed concern that there will be very few jobs still available to human workers in the future
- Stated that by 2030 approximately 38% of the U.S. workforce will be automated
Employment is a huge concern for many individuals around the U.S., and the idea of a robotic workforce is enough to make them worry that they may not be able to get a job in the future.
Thankfully, most jobs in the healthcare industry are unlikely to be replaced by robots. A recent study found that:
- There was very little chance of healthcare jobs being replaced by machines
- The chance of physicians being replaced by machines or becoming automated was approximately 0.4%
- Other jobs had a much higher chance of becoming automated. For example, the job of a chef in a restaurant has a 96.3% possibility of becoming automated
Why Are Healthcare Careers So Resistant to Automation?
There are a number of reasons why healthcare careers are resistant to automation. This includes:
- Careers in healthcare are personal – The main goal of any doctor or nurse is to look after their patients, and this means more than just treating their physical problems or illnesses. Doctors and nurses have to build a bond with their patients. Most people prefer and feel more comfortable talking to another person about their problems than they do interact with a machine. This is one of the main reasons why healthcare jobs are likely to remain in human hands.
- Ethical decisions need to be made – doctors and nurses often have to face ethical dilemmas in their day to day working lives, and it’s unlikely that computers will be able to make judgments in the same way.
- Diagnosis isn’t always straight forward – Almost all health care professionals will have spoken to a patient who’s googled their symptoms and come up with their own diagnosis. The human body is complicated and it’s never a good idea for someone to google their symptoms. Computer systems can check symptoms against a database, but the actual diagnosis will require more than this. Physicians are needed to help piece all pieces of information together.
Are All Healthcare Careers Safe?
Many healthcare jobs are future-proof thanks to the reasons we’ve talked about above, but of course, this won’t be the case for every role in the industry. The roles that we expect to see disappearing include positions that require a lot of organization and data handling. Technology is unlikely to replace doctors and nurses, but it will be used to assist them in their roles. Some of the tools that may be used by healthcare workers in the future include:
- Health ID cards
- Cloud-based databases
However, this isn’t all bad news. The change from paper to digital will open up different roles in the healthcare sector e.g. in cybersecurity.
While lots of careers are slowly disappearing around the world, jobs in the healthcare sector are likely to remain strong for many years to come. This is thanks to the unique situations and challenges that require a medical professional’s judgment and experience, as well as their caring and friendly nature.
We are likely to see careers in other industries becoming more automated over the next few years, but this is unlikely to happen in the healthcare industry. We expect to see the demand for healthcare professionals increase in the future because of the aging population in the U.S, the Affordable Care Act and advancements and changes in technology, and medicines. This is why graduates should consider choosing a career in the healthcare sector.