Healthcare is a highly progressive and transformative field. Since well-being falls under the fundamental requirements, this profession is the driving force for all other sectors of life. People require assistance on well-being regardless of socio-economic, national, and global circumstances. Unpredictable crises further elevate demands for healthcare assistance.
With the growing demand and awareness, almost every healthcare branch finds relevance and scope. Thus, every member of the workforce is under immense pressure and workload today. It means aspirants can make their way in every healthcare major and career choice.
But even then, several factors can influence your choice for a particular major. For instance, time commitment, the scope of responsibilities, work flexibility and stress, study expenses, and future growth are some factors. Your inclination and motivation are also crucial factors to choosing any major.
In this sense, a surgical technician major is more stressful than a nurse practitioner. In contrast, a major in diet and nutrition is less physically demanding and stress-free than both of these options. If you weigh these factors carefully, you can excel in any major of your choice.
The following sections explore some of the highly sought-after and lucrative healthcare majors to pursue.
1. Practitioner nurse
It is the most versatile career option for nursing professionals. Practitioner nurses are crucial members of the healthcare infrastructure, and studies predict its growth rate to exceed 50% in 2030.
Generally, a bachelor’s in nursing can land you a job in the healthcare setup, but some hospitals prefer a higher degree. Your prospects further increase with a higher-level degree in nursing. If you compare nurse practitioner vs DNP (doctors of nursing practice) degrees, the latter is diverse, prospective, and preferred.
The doctorate is more flexible and allows you to pursue any specialization route. It also expands your knowledge, and you can take on leadership, administrative, and policy-making responsibilities right after finishing your education. However, higher degrees require a sufficient amount of practical and relevant exposure. If you do not have relevant experience, it is advisable to acquire it while serving at a practitioner-level position.
2. Diet and nutritional expert
These individuals assist patients regarding their dietary needs and help them plan healthy diet routines. They also cater to challenges related to diet, such as malnutrition, food allergies, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, eating disorders, and other chronic conditions. These challenges are prevalent in the adult, elderly population, and children. Diet and nutrition-related issues have severe consequences for other activities of life.
The current demographic trend shows that professional and lifestyle challenges make more people pursue unhealthy dietary patterns and choices. And these issues will further worsen over time.
So, the healthcare sector will encounter more space for dietary and nutritional experts. A bachelor’s degree is essential to pursue a career as a dietician and nutritionist. Still, master-level education has more acceptance, given the in-depth knowledge of the field. Once you have the degree and expertise, you can serve in any healthcare setting.
3. Surgery and clinical technologist
Surgery and clinical technologists work in the operation room and assist in surgical procedures. They are required to prepare the surgery room and the necessary instruments. While assisting surgeons with surgical tools, they also have to administer life-saving equipment and remain vigilant of the patient’s vitals.
They remain vigilant after the procedure and look after patients until their discharge. Undeniably, they are an essential part of the frontline healthcare team. Their multitasking abilities maximize the success of crucial and life-threatening procedures.
Given the involvement of technology in surgical procedures, their future demand also seems non-abating. A major in surgery and clinical technology is suitable for the aspirants. To pursue this career, you need an associate degree in surgical technology. Apart from that, hands-on experience and management of emerging tools are also crucial for success in this career.
4. Medical counselor
All of the healthcare issues do not need medicines and clinical procedures. You can manage and prevent a majority of the health issues with behavioral changes and professional guidance. And this is the area of specialization of medical counselors. They specialize in psychological and emotional counseling and treat patients’ issues without relying on medications. They assist patients in managing life challenges and health disorders, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, through psychological therapy.
The young population and working individuals are the primary risk groups of these issues. Medical counselors carry out in-depth conversations with patients and help them acquire and adopt lifestyle changes. They suggest personalized coping strategies to battle diverse health issues.
Since psychological problems are becoming chronic, majoring in medical counseling is prospective. To pursue this professional path, you need a degree in psychology or counseling. Mostly, a master’s degree is preferable compared to an undergraduate. But either way, it is not an extensive study, and professional duty schedules are also flexible afterward.
5. Healthcare analysts and informatics
Expansion in the healthcare sector has a direct relation to data expansion. Healthcare analysts and informatics deal with information collection, management, organization, analysis, and preservation. They utilize this data to facilitate routine operations and procedures. Information management and analysis are crucial for hospitals to formulate their day-to-day and future policies.
They further use the information to observe their services, find improvement gaps, and make strategies. Bureau of Labor estimates its growth rate of approximately 13% between 2016 to 2026, which is higher than the average of other occupations.
In essence, information is the backend framework for tangible healthcare services. And healthcare analysts and informatics ensure the smooth layout and functions of this framework. At present, the growing involvement of digitization in the healthcare sector further increases career prospects for these experts. If you can manage information proficiently, it is a highly demanding and progressive career major.
6. Family medicine practitioner
Family medicine practitioners manage diverse healthcare issues and provide primary care services of all age groups and genders. They study clinical, biological, and even social sciences. It means, apart from treating healthcare issues, they also have proficiency in managing demographically diverse populations.
Majoring in family medicine can have a wide-ranging or specific focus area. It means aspirants can choose to get in-depth knowledge of all health issues or pursue a particular niche. Sub-specialties include gynecological health, geriatrics, adolescent health, home care, palliative care, and minor surgeries.
Additionally, such a comprehensive nature of their study also enables them to participate in healthcare quality management and patient advocacy policies. They also enjoy professional flexibility since they can join a healthcare facility or work independently. Thus, this is one of the exciting and prospective career options.
Modernization, growing population and awareness, occupational diversity, and lifestyle changes contribute to the mounting healthcare challenges. And growing health issues further expand healthcare demand and professional assistance. As a result, the system needs a more diverse workforce to accommodate healthcare requirements. Thus, you can find space and success in every branch of medicine and surgery.