Even before the onset of the pandemic, the healthcare industry was growing. Now, as the industry continues to boom, student interest in the healthcare and healthcare education fields seems to be increasing. Is your institution prepared to scale and support this new wave of students?
It’s no wonder healthcare institutions across the country are beginning to see an influx in applications. Healthcare jobs are currently in high demand, and jobs in the field are slated to grow 16% between 2020 and 2030, making it a lucrative and attractive field to enter. There are those who wonder if current student interest in healthcare is pandemic-driven, part of a lingering “Fauci effect” that may soon taper off. However, there are several factors that suggest that student interest in healthcare careers will only increase in the coming years and that healthcare institutions need to be prepared to grow alongside the industry.
Here are some of the reasons why the healthcare industry has yet to peak, and why healthcare-oriented institutions need to prepare for a wave of new learners.
Dr. Fauci inspired many students to apply to medical school, but the pandemic also raised social interest and awareness in healthcare. We’ve seen this in the way people have been consuming food, in their increased interest in public health concerns, and even in their web searches.
The health and wellness industry is now worth $1.5 trillion and has an estimated growth projection of 5-10%. As societal interest in health and wellness increases, and as today’s learners grow up with more awareness of the health and wellness industry, this will likely translate into a sustained interest in healthcare-related fields.
There’s a great deal of news recently about the challenges hospitals face with staffing. About 1 in 5 healthcare workers have left since the pandemic began, leaving jobs open and staffing in short supply. Demand for nurses, in particular, is so high that some hospitals are significantly increasing salaries to attract traveling nurses to their staff.
While the extraordinarily high demand for nurses may decline alongside the pandemic, general demand will exist for years to come. Part of the projected jobs growth in healthcare comes from the boomer generation aging into the healthcare system and creating need for more nursing and staffing (especially home healthcare).
Many workers who lost jobs in the pandemic will be looking for a recession-proof industry with high growth, high employment rates, and high pay. This may lead many to seek jobs in healthcare. Since most jobs in healthcare require at least an associate’s degree in the field, job-seekers will be looking for institutions that can give them the credentials they need to be competitive in the market.
Programs that offer educations with the best return on investment are often the most appealing, especially among learners who already possess a degree and are going back to school. In examining the careers with the best return on educational investment, healthcare careers dominate the field.
Degree-holders in the healthcare field—from associate to doctoral—continually see some of the highest return on investment for their educational expenses. Hospital technicians and technologists only need an associate’s degree to earn up to $80,000 a year. Jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, like medical health service managers or nursing positions, can earn employees even more.
Plus, continuing an education in the healthcare field almost always leads to improved job prospects and salaries. For instance, nurses with their bachelor’s who go on to get their master’s and become nurse practitioners can end up earning six figure salaries.
The healthcare boom is not a flash-in-the-pan moment, but one that will likely continue for the next decade at least. Institutions that have the right strategy and technology in place can take advantage of the industry boom and rising interest in the field.
To grow their student body and their campus, healthcare institutions need to ensure they have a strong recruitment strategy in place. They’ll also need a student information system that is specifically designed for growing healthcare institutions, one that is scalable and can track healthcare records, licensing and credentials, and rotations.
As your institution determines its next move, consider moving away from legacy systems and towards modern student information systems. Newer systems not only enable advanced record, credential, and rotation tracking, they also enable personalized messaging and easy admission and enrollment capabilities. The more suited your system is to your institution, and the easier the admission and enrollment processes are for students, the better situated your institution will be to grow.