Your parents would probably agree that the medical industry is one of the most stable options for new entrants to the workforce. In Asia, parents wanting their kids to become doctors is so common that it’s become a cliché.
However, you might hear career-related horror stories of fresh grads not being able to land a proper job in the medical field (eventually settling for an odd-job that’s totally unrelated to their education).
So, what is a budding young talent supposed to do? Abide by the instructions of parents and journey into a career in healthcare, or take note of the warning signs and try to pursue something else?
Healthcare can be a great career choice, with a lot of promise and opportunities for stability, longevity, monetary incentive and personal development. At the same time, healthcare can be a very competitive industry, particularly when you factor in an influx of medical students vying for positions in the field.
A good solution to this might be to focus on specific areas within healthcare that offer a good balance between stability and demand. Here are some examples of less typical medical niches that students could look at entering.
Home Health Aides
It’s a career that’s considered one of the highest growing (with a 47 per cent increase expected in a 10-year period ending in 2026). The pay for home health aides may not be as high as other prominent fields (such as surgery). However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad choice. The availability of job opportunities, rising demand, and the fact that no college degree is required may make it a great choice.
Biomedical engineering combines aspects of science, math and healthcare, bringing about one of the more innovative career paths of recent times. If you are interested in putting your analytical and technical skills to good use, improving the health and wellbeing of numerous people, take note. Biomedical engineers typically work with scientists, doctors and other professionals from varying backgrounds to design, improve, maintain and repair medical devices. These individuals manage the implementation of machinery and components such as cardiac pacemakers and joint-replacement implants. It’s in high demand, and the field looks set to hold even more promise in the near future.
If you’re interested in entering the healthcare sector but aren’t looking forward to long years of study, consider becoming a dental hygienist. For the most part, all you have to do is enter a dental hygiene program (which could be as little as two years long) and you’ll have access to a career with the potential for both good pay and ample job opportunities.
Responsibilities usually include cleaning and polishing teeth, applying treatment plans and performing oral evaluations.
Nurse Midwives can be considered highly specialised professionals who focus on a specific facet of healthcare practice. They care for expectant and delivering mothers. Midwives often conduct diagnostic tests, develop treatment plans and assess issues. If you’re interested in helping concerned women who are in the middle of pregnancy, this may be the career choice for you.
The treatment of cardiovascular conditions can often require attention to detail, with the slightest mistake potentially leading to big problems. This is why Cardiovascular Technologists are so important to the sector. They work with technicians, nurses, patients and doctors, helping ensure that the technological aspects of cardiovascular-related processes run properly and efficiently. Job opportunities can be found in physician offices, hospitals and healthcare systems.
Dietitian or Nutritionist
If you’re a health and diet enthusiasts, or if you have a keen interest in healthy eating, as well as healthy living, you might do well in these sorts of careers. As awareness of health and fitness issues grows, people become more conscious of their lifestyle choices and eating habits. This is why dietitians and nutritionists can expect a strong outlook on jobs in the coming years.
Physical therapists deal with patients who have experienced physical trauma, strokes, amputations, neurological disorders and other issues. These professionals develop rehabilitative programs and work closely with patients, guiding them towards gradual improvement. This is a career path that’s ranked by many reports as one of the best jobs in the healthcare industry. It can be much easier to develop experience in this line compared with other popular options.
The healthcare industry is competitive, however, opportunities abound. Healthcare can be extremely promising with a vast array of specialisations and fields. Be sure to explore your options and don’t just stick to the usual healthcare career paths. Think outside the box so you don’t miss any hidden opportunities.