A healthy dose of learning: Career paths for health care

As the health care industry faces a growing labor shortage, Waukesha County employers are taking advantage of every opportunity to speak with students about career pathways and opportunities in the health care industry.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development estimates that there will be more than 430,000 jobs in health care by 2022, which is a nearly 15% increase from 2012.

While many industries are facing a growing labor shortage with the retirement of baby boomers, the generational shift hits health care twice as hard, as the industry must also serve the health needs of an aging population. Within the Department of Workforce Development’s 2022 projects, certain occupations are expected to grow even more than the industry average of 15% – home health care positions are facing a 47% increase in the number of total jobs statewide, and physicians are facing a 31% increase from 2012 to 2022.

In 2016, the Alliance’s Education Health Care Committee, made up of professionals from many Waukesha County healthcare providers came together to host the “Many Futures in Health Care Career Fair” for area high school students. More than 450 students from nine different Waukesha County high schools attend the day-long career fair to learn about the many career opportunities available in health care. Local health care providers spoke with students about everything from nursing to physicians to marketing to dental and lab work.

The program was hosted by Waukesha County Technical College and featured several area colleges and universities, giving students the option to learn more about the education requirements and paths to health care careers. Most importantly, it showed that the education and career opportunities they learned about can be found right here in southeastern Wisconsin.

By: Amanda Payne, Vice President of Public Policy for the Waukesha County Business Alliance