Career Planning

Thinking ahead leads to more opportunities

Planning for a career in healthcare is more important now than ever. The way healthcare workers care for patients is changing, and this affects what jobs are available, how competitive they are and what you need to do to prepare yourself for a healthcare career.

Understanding healthcare delivery trends and how they relate to careers is key. Two helpful resources are:

Healthcare Virtual Career Network: This site offers a database of healthcare careers to explore, as well as the requirements for each. Information on how to prepare for specific careers is also available. This site provides a section that has current healthcare trend information, as well as links to other sites that can provide more in-depth trend and policy news and insights.

You can also review the list of local Priority Occupations. These are occupations that are either in demand in Western Massachusetts, or have rapidly changing job requirements and need special attention when planning a career.

Taking time to understand options and trends that can affect future job opportunities as well as personal needs and goals will lead to more opportunities to build a rewarding healthcare career, not just find a short-term job.

What kind of training does a healthcare career require?

Almost all healthcare careers require “post-secondary” education (school or training beyond the high school level). This is why starting to prepare early, especially in math and science, can help those interested in a health career move ahead more quickly.

There are also many options for healthcare education and training programs, including training, certificate, and degree options. Learn more about the differences between programs and how to choose the one that is best for you 

Career planning resources

Some of the best career planning resources are not found online. There are local professionals and organizations who can answer personalized questions and provide additional tools and resources. These include:

One-Stop Career Centers: Career centers can provide personalized career advice, a variety of assessment and job search tools, one-on-one counseling, and skill workshops.

College Career Centers: Counselors at local colleges can be knowledgeable about school programs and how they relate to preparing for a healthcare career. Depending on the individual school’s policy, these services may be available to you even if you are not already enrolled in the school. See the list of local schools and their healthcare programs.

Supervisors or managers: For those already working in healthcare, discuss your career options, including training programs and requirements with your supervisor. Some employers may even offer tuition reimbursement or other financial aid.

Friends and family: People already working in healthcare, especially in a field of interest, can be great sources of information – both what to do and what not to do. Talk to as many people as possible in your chosen field.

50% of all healthcare workers work in a hospital
Question 1 Explanation: 
False. Approximately 30% of Western Mass healthcare workers work in a hospital. Others have jobs in the community, in nursing homes, or in "ambulatory healthcare services" - doctors' offices, home healthcare and diagnostic labs.