Survey: Youth have low interest rates in healthcare careers

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Forty-five percent of 13 to 18 year-olds are not considering a career in the healthcare and science fields, and 22 percent do not have enough information about healthcare and science careers to move in that direction, found a survey by the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

The healthcare industry is among the fastest growing in the country and will create 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, with the fastest growing occupations including home health aides, medical assistants and physical therapists, said the Department of Labor. In addition to job opportunities, wage and salary employment in the healthcare industry is projected to increase 22 percent through 2018, compared with 11 percent for all industries combined.

The message, however, has not reached youth. The survey, conducted between May 20 and May 25, found that three percent of students surveyed believed there are few job opportunities in the sciences.

The survey’s results, which were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental education and region, also noted:

  • 21 percent of students reported feeling that they are not good at healthcare and science subjects in school;
  • 19 percent do not feel ready to study healthcare or science in college; and
  • 12 percent feel getting a healthcare degree would be too difficult.

“To meet the projected growing demand, there appears to be a need to help teenagers understand the types of healthcare and science opportunities available to them, and then encourage them in their choices,” stated University Provost Russell J. DiGate, PhD.