When viewed exhaustively, there are over 55 different career fields within the healthcare sector. You can look at it based on types of health issues (e.g., physical vs. mental), services provided (e.g., administration or technicians), or types of patients (e.g., veterinarian vs. physicians). There’s also those who practice medicine, simply contribute to research, or accommodate pharmaceutical needs.
Given that these jobs often directly impact the well-being of people (or animals), there are rightfully many regulations and training requirements for those who dare to occupy those roles. They often require extended studies and apprenticeship. Health sector is in one of the most transformative years of its peak, with a wide range of technological developments and new kinds of viruses and diseases every few years.
We’ve had 4 major outbreaks in the past decade without including Covid-19. Clearly, none of it came even close to the level of societal impact the latest pandemic has achieved but it is clear that health threats are now global, accelerated and even more mysterious.
The fast-changing environment with persistent need for innovation means career advancement opportunities are always expanding as well. If you are considering getting into the field or are looking to have an ambitious career trajectory, here are 3 ways to give yourself a head start!
1. Obtain Complementary Academic and Practical Knowledge
Regardless of your specialisation, there are complementary fields that could broaden your horizon. As much as possible, it helps to show that you expand your scope of expertise to enhance your understanding of the human body. There are complementary fields that may not even be within the health industry.
For instance, studies show that neuroscience and artificial intelligence can actually learn a lot from each other. If you are on the neuroscience path, you may want to sign up for experiments and studies where you could apply and adapt your understanding of the brain in such unique ways.
It is important to highlight that you should go for both academic and practical knowledge when branching out. That helps you bring a unique perspective to your primary field and better assess the applicability of various techniques from external fields.
2. Find Opportunities to Share your Expertise with the Public
One of the best ways to become a well-renowned expert is by sharing your expertise with the public. Your knowledge can influence public policy or sentiment and result in life-saving behaviours. It really helps if you are well-educated in viewing health data on a population level and how public policies and decisions related to health and safety can be best influenced to protect the global communities.
If you want to strengthen your credibility, we advise that you pursue good-quality programs such as master’s in health services management. It is valuable to hold certain credentials that are meant to mould you into the voice of authority and thus set you up for leadership roles.
There are additional ways, beyond certification, to become an expert whose knowledge contributes to the improved well-being of the other citizens. You could participate in research or speak at events. We live in the era of ‘influencers’. Use that precious brainpower and influence to save lives!
3. Go Global
Global collaboration is now more important than ever. Knowledge sharing could range from exchanging ideas and scientific theories to discussing the public healthcare infrastructure models to improve access.
Covid-19 is an excellent example of global collaboration playing a critical role. Researchers were sharing insights and analyses to promote better understanding of the virus and how it impacts people differently. By using the naturally diverse environments across the globe, scientists can access insights that they cannot get from a lab.
Certain countries who got hit later in the pandemic waves were able to take the lessons from countries with more notable success such as South Korea to prevent peaks before they occurred. Global cooperation also ensures that anyone anywhere can access COVID-19 tests and treatment to accelerate the recovery path.
But you don’t need to wait for a pandemic to gain global exposure. There are many projects which are done in partnerships with experts and institutions of many nationalities. You can also find volunteer programs which will allow you to actually practice your field in whole new environments. Always look for ways to stretch your breadth both physically and academically!