As the economy turns around in 2012: re-training opportunities in the healthcare value chain

As 2011 winds down there is positive news in the quarterly jobless numbers,in real estate and the stock market. 2012 should be better than the last four years of the recession. OK it may not be boom time but there does appear to be the right signals for at least modestly better economic times ahead in the US. So where are some opportunities if you want to retrain and re-skill , even if you have a job?

One definite opportunity area is healthcare which is in focus ever since the healthcare reform by Democrats and President Obama that Republicans derisively call Obamacare and promise to repeal if they come to power in 2012. But guess what: no matter what the law or politics of healthcare there are opportunities galore for re-training, re-skilling to make healthcare more efficient and reach all Americans. People are living longer just because of better medical research and its dissemination and well- better healthcare ! This spawns a whole bunch of requirements including gym trainers, physiotherapists,  home care for the elderly, senior living,leisure and entertainment. Just look at the huge growth rate of seniors in the US.

And then you look at the healthcare opportunities at various points of the value chain of healthcare delivery in the Fortune list of hot careers for 2012:

  1. Information technology opportunities exist at every point of healthcare. Start with patient records, to insurance billing and claims – you name it and there is something to be improved and costs reduced.
  2. Healthcare professions considered high growth include direct service providers like nurses, physical therapists,dieticians and  dental hygienists as “wellness” becomes more important.
  3. Healthcare support staff requirements in administration, marketing, finance are likely to grow as you cannot really deliver the entire healthcare online and a whole bunch of people beyond just the doctor is needed.
  4. Engineers for whom the medical equipment business is a growing area.
  5. Industrial skills including welders, electricians who specialize in the  healthcare sector  is  a great possibility for those in the trades.
  6. Big pharma will see less recruitment as small biotechs and pharma try to be more agile in drug discovery and will need research folks and associated support staff to run small organizations effectively.
  7. Sales is a huge field for health insurance in B2B and B2C side as the market develops.There should be considerable growth in the digital marketing and sales funnel in all parts of the healthcare channel including hospital to patient. 
  8. Accounting and finance skills in the health sector is a specialized skill and is just likely   to grow.
  9. Discount retailers are trying to offer both prescription drugs at low cost and first stop       instant medical care. Just look at how everyone has got into the “Flu shot” business this year!
  10. Management skills for any part of the healthcare value chain should be in high demand by start-ups and existing players that are trying to innovate in the healthcare sector.

So just as you are thinking of new year resolutions around weight loss and healthier eating consider: that  no matter what your professional interest there is some opportunity in the healthcare value chain that can be developed.

Wishing all blog readers a Very Happy 2012 !