So how’s the job outlook for 2012 shaping up? Depends. In general, the employment market is only expected to add 1.3 million new jobs—even lower than last year’s1.5 million jobs. Adding to this downer is the fact that nearly 9 million jobs disappeared completely during the recession. Experts are predicting the employment market won’t return to its pre-recession levels until 2014 when companies will create 4.5 million jobs. These new jobs will be at the extreme ends of skills spectrum with few in the middle.
One ray of hope in the jobs market will be in healthcare. Here, entry-level workers will be in demand. Many healthcare jobs simply can’t be “offshored,” which means an uptick in local employment for those with the training and certifications. An early indicator of this trend was a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 37,000 new jobs were created in the healthcare field as far back as April of last year.
Better still, many healthcare companies have been cutting fewer jobs with no new layoffs. And more companies are switching from temps to permanent hires as the job market stabilizes. If you have some college, the good news is that hiring for you will edge up by 4 percent in 2012. If you hold a bachelor’s degree,that number just about doubles. College hiring will ramp up even more in the summer of 2012.
Healthcare fields that experienced continued growth were long-term care and electronic health records. Aside from hospitals, long-term care is the nation’s major health care employer. As for medical records, many hospital and physician systems in major metropolitan areas are going digital using new electronic systems. Some institutions have been reluctant to embrace new electronic records systems over concerns about cloud computing.
A recent trend study from the University of California San Diego Extension outlined two up-and-coming career options for college graduates in this recovering economy:
- The first, Healthcare Case Management, foresees the need for professionals to help patients understand their health, actions they can take and why treatments are key to maintaining good health. Case managers guide and connect patients to other professionals in the healthcare delivery team. According to a January 2011 survey, the number of case managers working in hospital admissions offices doubled from 2010 to 2011.
- The other field opening up rapidly is Healthcare Information Technology (HIT). As technology ramps up in healthcare, the need for health information technicians to use and maintain patient data will become increasingly acute. Medical records must be organized, updated and confidential. Emerging jobs titles include healthcare integration engineer, healthcare systems analyst, clinical IT consultant, and technology support specialist.
Have you looked into either of these careers? Let us know if you are taking your career in the direction of a Healthcare Case Manager or a Healthcare Information Technician.