What Employers Need

Western Mass employers explain what matters most to them

Understanding what local employers need from their workers can make a big difference in planning a healthcare career – and in deciding if healthcare is the right fit.

Key competencies (a combination of skills, knowledge, and personal qualities) that local employers have said are critical to them are:

  • Personal qualities like compassion, dependability and flexibility
  • Solid science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) skills and as well as basic writing and communication skills
  • The ability to learn new technologies
  • An understanding of “the big picture” – how a particular job relates to patient care and effective healthcare delivery
  • Cultural competency, the ability to work effectively with and for people from cultures different from your own
  • The ability to know and follow healthcare standards in ethics and safety
  • The desire to help others and build a long-term career, no matter what part of healthcare you are working in

    The chart below offers even more detail on what healthcare employers need. It may be helpful to review it with a career counselor in the context of creating a personal career plan.

Click to view a more detailed version.

 What does this mean for my career plan?

Understanding the variety of skills that healthcare employers need will allow you to better plan a career. You can build on competencies that you already have, and can identify and work on gaining skills that you are missing.

Be sure to take advantage of these self-assessment tools to help you judge where you need to improve and set personal goals. Then take a look at local Priority Occupations to find careers that match up to your skills, abilities, interests and goals.


Employers Say...

“Healthcare is very patient-centered and team-oriented. We look for people who have the personal skills to contribute to the success of our organization. This means being reliable, dependable, flexible and compassionate.”

“More than anything, I need to know that you are committed to helping others and providing the best possible care. Everyone here, whether they are in the finance office, IT department, or caring for patients directly, is in the business of saving lives. So I want to know that you take it seriously.”

Jobs are going unfilled because people don't have the skills they need.
Question 1 Explanation: 
True. In 2007, only 32 percent of Massachusetts workers had the education and training required to fill "middle skill" positions. (Middle skills jobs are those that require more than a HS diploma, but not a four-year degree).