With the projection that the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double by the year 2030, the need for qualified healthcare professionals has made it the single fastest growing industries today. While many schools offer broad curriculums that can fast-track a student into this field, few have taken the initiative to find as many direct avenues and help students find healthcare jobs as Saint Joseph's University.
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Planning for the healthcare jobs of the future
This summer, the school unveiled their new School of Health Studies and Education which will house the nationally recognized Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, as well as degree programs across health and teaching. This new school will focus on the university’s commitment to advancing “eds and meds” careers in Philadelphia which have added 30,800 and 55,100 jobs in the city since 2009.
“As our community locally and nationwide is working to address new challenges in health and education — the aging autism population, the opioid crisis, the increase in healthcare costs and higher public school enrollment than ever before — we sought to expand our focus on these disciplines and professions,” said President Dr. Mark C. Reed, Ed.D addressing this new expansion. Adding “Our goal is to produce dynamic leaders who understand the critical role that health and education play in transforming communities.”
When people think about healthcare jobs, they tend to think about the more hands-on positions like becoming doctors or at home medical professionals. But, the need for educators in this industry has increased tremendously over the years with The number of Pennsylvania students graduating from teacher-training programs dropping 63 percent from 2013 to 2015, with low-income and high-minority schools suffering the most from the teacher shortage crisis. That is why this new school is finding new ways to teach students for the numerous jobs that are available to graduates right now as well as the jobs that will be in need years down the line. With programs like Autism Behavioural Studies, Food Marketing concentrations, and Health Administration and Education degrees on the undergraduate and graduate levels, Saint Joseph's is planning to pass down their teachings to the next generation of healthcare professionals.
“We take for granted that there will be a job at the end of the four-year experience for our undergraduates,” explains Dr. Reed. “If we do our job right and they do their job right — finding a job is not necessarily going to be the biggest challenge in the world. What we’re really trying to prepare our students for, is their second, third or fourth jobs. The jobs that really haven't been created yet... Colleges are expensive, and it needs to be clearer to students and their parents what this four-year educational experience at the undergraduate level is going to lead to.”