By the year 2024, healthcare occupational growth is projected increase by up to 19 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ outlook indicates that an aging population may contribute to this trend. While gains are predicted by the BLS might affect many different jobs in the field, two vocations that may show prominent gains are respiratory therapists and healthcare informatics specialists. With the amount and complexity of technological solutions in the field potentially increasing, it’s recommended that you begin schooling now to take advantage of future developments.
Behind the Scenes, Health Informatics Specialists Play Important Roles
Information technology specialists support the networks, software, hardware and systems that power healthcare facilities’ day-to-day operations. However, long-term planning and implementation are critical, as well as caring for systems that handle patient data. Managing, selecting and deploying systems for healthcare networks while ensuring that current law and regulations are followed is the job of a health informatics specialists. To be prepared to pursue both current and future opportunities, obtaining a graduate degree in health informatics is a wise idea.
Stepping up to meet potential increases in demand has become a priority for many schools. For example, the Master of Health Informatics program at UC is delivered online, with courses focusing on specific types of systems used in healthcare as well as long range planning. While this includes industry-specific technologies such as electronic health records systems, health information exchange standards and portable medical data collection devices, the curricula of these programs incorporate a broader study of the science and technology behind health information technology systems. Additionally, courses emphasize the maintenance, management, efficiency and expansion of these systems.
Respiratory Therapists May Come to Prominence in the Following Decade
Currently, respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia pose serious health threats to senior citizens. Instances of these may increase, as the population of senior citizens also rises. The U.S. Department on Health and Human Services projects that by the year 2060, the number of people ages 65 and older will increase to 98 million. Along with that, the need for respiratory therapists might also become greater, with employment projections ranging anywhere between 12 and 19 percent.
Although today’s respiratory therapists often enter the field with an associate’s degree, two trends indicate that this may change. For one, data may become an increasingly vital factor in driving most clinical decisions. Additionally, advanced technologies for both life support and therapy will continue to be introduced. Respiratory clinicians should seek further training to keep pace with developments in the field. To anticipate this need, programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy at the University of Cincinatti are being created or revamped.
Continuing Education Gives Job Seekers a Competitive Edge
With many healthcare professions anticipated to grow in the next decade or so, pursuing additional education now is a wise idea. While many vocations may seek steady increases in employment, respiratory therapists and health informatics specialists could stand to benefit a good deal from industry trends. More schooling is a wise investment in the future of your career.