In-Demand College Majors for Healthcare Careers

It's not news that doctors and nurses are in demand, but what if you don't want to be a doctor or nurse? You want a college degree that will make you most employable, and you want to major in a field that is growing and in which jobs are increasing.

Recently, US News and World Report released a list of most in-demand college majors. On the list, 3 of the college degrees were in healthcare-related fields. Below are the degrees listed as the most in-demand degrees — majors that will most likely result in a healthcare job upon graduating.


Biomedical Engineering

Medical student and teacher
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US News and World report ranked biomedical engineering at the top of its list of the top nine college majors. One reason this field ranked so highly on the list is due to the astronomical growth rate projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of over 70% growth from 2008-2018. While the 72% growth is remarkable, another statistic to consider is how many new jobs that will equate to during that ten year period. Because biomedical engineering is a relatively small field as compared to nursing, for example, the high percentage of growth actually equates to about 11,500 new biomedical engineering jobs, or a little over 1,000 per year.

In addition to topping this list of college degrees that are in high demand, biomedical engineering was also recognized by last year as one of the highest paying undergraduate degrees.


Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)

Healthcare informatics and health information systems management ranked fourth on the overall list of college majors "with a future", making this growing field the second-highest-ranking healthcare major on the list of degrees in greatest demand.

The reason that HIT is such a growing field is due largely to the need to transition from paper medical records and files to electronic medical records (EMR). Several legislative acts including the HITECH Act and the health reform law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) have also instigated a further increase in demand for health information technology professionals.


Public Health

Public health was the ninth and last major recognized by US News and World Report as a college degree that is in high demand. The field of public health used to only be available at a master's level, but many colleges now offer bachelor's degrees in public health, according to the US News and World Report. There are hundreds of different jobs available in the public health sector, both clinical and non-clinical. Public health professionals help to research, analyze, educate, and prevent populations from a variety of health risks including environmental, behavioral, and physiological issues such as infectious diseases.


Human Services — (Honorable Mention)

This major was not recognized on the list by US News and World Report, but it is a noteworthy, emerging major that encompasses aspects of HR, social work, healthcare, and more. Kaplan University offers a degree in human services. A representative of Kaplan University states "A human services degree program prepares graduates for a broad spectrum of jobs by developing a core skill set. Human services go beyond specific tasks and focus on an interdisciplinary knowledge base, interpersonal skills, and management expertise."

From jobs that serve the aging Baby Boomer generation to child welfare, human services graduates may choose from many career paths and job prospects available to them, according to Kaplan University's representative.


A Few Tips for Choosing a College Major:

If one of the above majors does not interest you in the slightest bit, then there are plenty of other majors from which to choose. Clinical medical jobs are almost always in demand. The important thing is to study something you really enjoy learning and doing because that is what you will excel in.

Even in a tough economy, the most driven and creative people often find a way to make their passion work for them as a career. It's not always that simple, but obtaining a degree in a field that is boring or uninteresting to you is a sure way to waste your college education. Even if you manage to excel in something that isn't your true passion or calling, you'll eventually burn out and want to do something else other than what you studied in school.

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