Health Science Job Security and How to Get There with CTE

Amanda Cunningham
Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 3:15pm

In this blog series, we will delve into four important Career Clusters® that are in need of more educated and well-trained students to fill the higher-skill, higher-wage jobs open to them. These Career Clusters are health science, information technology, business management and administration, and manufacturing. In this post we will focus on health science.

Healthcare Industry Growth

Healthcare is a large, diverse, and growing component of the economy, employing around 14.5 million people and accounting for 10.3 percent of jobs nationally, according to the Brookings Institute. Healthcare jobs are located in nearly every community across the country and in a variety of settings.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor projected in its Occupational Outlook Handbook that 17 of the 30 fastest-growing jobs are in healthcare-related fields.

Source: Brookings Institute

Here are some more interesting facts about the healthcare industry:

  • Out of the top 20 healthcare occupations expected to grow, 12 of these positions require only an associate’s degree or less.
  • Across the 100 largest metropolitan areas, the healthcare industry accounts for more than 1 in every 10 jobs.
  • Over the past decade, the healthcare industry has added 2.6 million jobs nationwide. The industry’s 22.7 percent employment growth rate over that period significantly outstripped the 2.1 percent employment growth rate in all other industries.
  • Healthcare is the only major industry category that saw growth continue virtually uninterrupted through the Recession, according to Labor Department figures.
  • With the aging of the baby boomers and universal mandated healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, the demand for healthcare services of all varieties will continue to grow.

Taking a look at the chart above, you can see that the first three jobs with the highest job growth are all in the healthcare industry with an average of 26 percent growth expected by 2024.

Providing Healthcare Training to Students

CTE programs and initiatives have been approved in 43 states since 2013; this is only expected to grow with the passing of the 2015 Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA calls for CTE to be included in the definition of a “well-rounded education,” taking its place alongside traditional academic subjects like math, science, and English.

CTE programs motivate students to get involved in their learning by engaging them in problem-solving activities that construct knowledge and by providing hands-on activities that enable them to apply knowledge; bring students and adults together in a setting of collaborative learning; and offer opportunities for students to interact with community members, potential employers, and students and teachers who share similar career/vocational interests. Through CTE programs, students can explore their interests in a supportive environment that keeps them engaged in their academic progress.

Of students who didn’t finish high school, 81 percent say that relevant, real-world learning opportunities would have kept them in school, according to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Center for Education Statistics.

CTE can provide students access to strong academic and career and technical courses to ready them for a promising career in healthcare. A strong CTE program with healthcare courses can prepare students for entry-level employment and is aligned with healthcare industry standards. Additionally promising is that more than 75 percent of secondary CTE concentrators pursued postsecondary education shortly after high school. Chances are high that CTE healthcare graduates will pursue their love of their new career path

When provided with a chance to succeed in real-life scenarios using lessons they can apply to their future career path, students are inspired to grow and continue in their academic endeavors. If a student wants to explore a career in healthcare, they will be given the option to do so when provided with a comprehensive CTE program that offers options from exploration to certification. Prepare students for their bright future in the growing field of healthcare.   

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