With the upcoming exchange of presidential power and shift in leadership, our country is in the midst of tremendous change that’s expected to significantly shake up the status quo across many industries and employment sectors. While the healthcare industry could see sweeping reform in the months and years to come, it still remains one of the largest and fastest growing employment areas in the U.S.
Healthcare and technology-focused job roles regularly rank high among lists of the best (and highest paying) jobs, and that’s not expected to change anytime soon. As we transition into a new year and new leadership, here’s a look some of the big factors driving growth and new opportunities in the tech and medical employment space today.
The aging Baby Boomer population
One of the largest segments of the U.S. population, the Baby Boomer generation, is now approaching its golden years, spurring a growing demand for medical services and prescription drugs. As this sizeable group of the population ages, more people are tapping into health services, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as their health needs increase.
This shift is helping to create new jobs and work opportunities across a wide range of institutions from hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to software developers and medical equipment manufacturers.
Telemedicine is on the rise
Advancements in digital technology across the last few decades have been a big driver of new branches of employment and unique services in the healthcare industry. With the popularity of smartphones, easy access to high-speed Internet, and the advent of digital video streaming, telemedicine is becoming a fast-growing option for patients in need of remote consultation and services. While this may potentially have a negative impact on some existing job roles, it’s also creating many new tech-centric jobs in the medical employment realm.
Ambulatory job growth is increasing
Healthcare employment in America has expanded by roughly 407,000 new jobs in 2016, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, with 28,000 new medical employment jobs being added in November alone. What’s interesting, however, is that ambulatory health care—which includes outpatient, laboratory, physician, dentists, assisted living care for the elderly, and other related services—accounted for the vast majority of those new jobs (over 22,000).
Based on both local and national trends, ambulatory care job growth is expected to eclipse inpatient jobs, spreading more employment opportunities across a broader range of disciplines and locations.
The Affordable Care Act
In the six years since the Affordable Care Act was first signed into law, many millions of Americans have purchased healthcare plans and entered the healthcare system. In many cases, this law has brought uninsured citizens into the fold, encouraging them to seek out medical care when they need it instead of deferring it until they can afford to pay out-of-pocket. The net result is many new patients have been making use of the country’s health services, spurring massive job growth across numerous medical fields to meet the heightened demand.
It’s expected that 2017 will see major efforts to reform, replace, or revamp the Affordable Care Act, but the need for insurance and health services still remains.
Innovation in new medical technology
Some of the more fascinating trends impacting medical employment opportunities are coming from bright minds in the tech sector. From wearable tech, like personal health and fitness devices, to new medical instruments and high-tech surgical machinery, there’s a lot of interesting innovation on the technology front that’s helping to create new disciplines, work opportunities and services for patients and job seekers to take advantage of.