Some may be surprised to hear that 50 percent of jobs in the health care industry are filled by workers without a bachelor’s degree, according to a study done by Brookings Institution. Local and regional economies benefit from these “pre-baccalaureate registered nurses, medical assistants, psychiatric and home health aides, as well as personal care aides and licensed practical nurses.” And, not surprisingly, 87 percent of these healthcare workers are women.
The demand is growing rapidly for health-care occupations such as these. The number of workers in these fields – not requiring a bachelor’s degree – has “increased by 46 percent between 2000 and 2011, compared with a 3 percent growth rate among pre-bachelor’s workers in all types of occupations.” The health care industry provides a means for workers like these to pursue meaningful and lucrative careers. While doing so, unemployment rates improve vastly.
Martha Ross, a Brookings fellow, says that “health-care jobs can be entry points into the labor force and provide career ladders leading to economic self-sufficiency.” As more and more pre-baccalaureate individuals fill the need for these jobs in years to come, we will see an influx in economic growth not only within the health care industry, but on a national level as well.
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