Three or Seven Careers?
Choosing a career in 2017 is not always an easy decision as many industries are in a state of technology-driven transformation. The transformations are forcing some career options to fade away, but the impact on the healthcare industry is just the opposite. Anyone choosing a sonography career is entering a profession that depends on advancing technology. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are key players in expanding accessibility of healthcare services by using technology, guaranteeing long-term careers.
Why do people make career changes?
Some people know the career they want to pursue early in life, while others decide when it is time to select a college. It is a critical decision for the obvious reasons that it determines the type of work that will be performed, the eligible employers and even the most likely locations for employment in some cases. No one decides to complete post-secondary level training or pursue a college degree in a particular area while believing the career is not suitable or a career change is likely in a few years.
Yet many people find themselves in exactly that position over time despite having evaluated the career pros and cons (benefits and risks as a sonographer). There is a debate as to which statistics are accurate, but millions of people change careers three, five or seven times over a lifetime. It is difficult to pinpoint the statistics because there is no definitive way to define a career change. It could mean anything from changing jobs in the same field to moving into a completely new career field in an unrelated industry. | See Job Openings
People make career changes for a variety of reasons. They include but are not limited to:
- Current career is disappointing and does not meet expectations
- Industry contracts expire
- Business closes or experiences major cutbacks
- Person realigns goals and values, making current career a poor fit
- Pay and working conditions are unsatisfactory
- Skills and talents are not fully utilized
- Little meaning in current work is found
- There is no job security
There is one more reason people change career paths: Their jobs are disappearing. There are many reasons certain jobs disappear, including government regulations limiting certain industry activities like logging and drilling. However, many of the disappearing jobs are attributed to advancing technology making them obsolete.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects continued declines in postal service workers, data entry operators, domestic textile workers, and some other categories. The 24/7 Wall St. compared labor data for 2012 and projected 2022 and identified other jobs that are disappearing to include metal and plastic drilling and boring workers, textile workers, shoe machine operators, motion picture projectionists, and so on. The common denominator for these disappearing jobs is technology making certain activities obsolete.
Disappearing Healthcare Jobs
Some industries are booming, and healthcare is one of them. The BLS employment projections for 2012-2022 indicate that all (not just ultrasound technology) healthcare-related occupations and industries will add new jobs with a total employment increase of 10.8 percent over the 10-year period. The growth is attributed, in part, to the need for healthcare workers who are able to care for an aging population. Other factors include the increase in the number of insured and a national emphasis on increasing healthcare access to underserved populations.
Technology plays a major role but in a good way in the healthcare industry. For example, the healthcare industry is exploring the use of pharmacies and pharmacists as points of contact for people who cannot easily access medical facilities. Patients could consult with the pharmacists concerning medications and utilize in-pharmacy high-tech health monitoring equipment which records and transmits patient data. It is easy to see how sonographers fit into this scenario.
However, the healthcare industry also has jobs that are disappearing. Entry-level Licensed Practical Nurse jobs in hospitals are declining as medical facilities rely more on registered nurses. In another example, the AHIMA says that Health Information Management (HIM) professionals will find a shrinking job market unless they dramatically upgrade their skills in Electronic Health Records systems, ICD-10-CM/PCS coding, and data and information management. The AHIMA fears the profession will become obsolete unless educational requirements are upgraded for new professionals and current professionals adapt.
Sonography Career is Steady Now and Steady Later
Clearly, anyone choosing a healthcare career needs to be fully aware of the direction the industry is taking and research the jobs with the most potential for a long term career. College and university career counseling centers offer plenty of advice to students trying to settle on a career. Kansas State says that almost half of its graduates end up in careers that are different from their major course of study. The reasons include the ones mentioned earlier plus the fact people sometimes discover new interests in life. Also, new careers develop. That is one reason the ARDMS added the RMSK exam in 2012. Musculoskeletal sonography had grown to the point where it is used for the diagnosis and the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.
Students considering a career in an Allied Health field will find that Diagnostic Medical Sonography is a stable, adaptable profession and is not one of the disappearing careers. The BLS projects a much faster than average rate of growth through 2024 of 26.4 percent for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, making the sonography career a great long-term option. | See Job Openings
Following are some more reasons why choosing to become a sonographer can lead to a lifelong career.
- As technology advances, the CAAHEP accredited ultrasound programs incorporate the latest technology and clinical experiences into programs offered at sonography schools so graduates are fully prepared to work in the transforming healthcare system.
- Sonographers can easily adapt to different types of healthcare facilities, meaning professionals can pursue a career in hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctor offices, mobile units and so on. It does not matter which direction healthcare trends.
- It is predicted that over the coming years sonographers will assume a more expansive role in the healthcare industry. For example, they are likely to become physician aides who deliver services in areas where physicians are scarce and will use technology to transmit images and data. Portable ultrasound machines will expand the career options even more.
- Sonographers have a variety of ultrasound career options and can choose one or more specialties like abdominal, breast, obstetrical and gynecologic and others. However, sonographers are also assisting physicians in an increasing number of medical procedures, especially in the cardiovascular and neurosonology fields. | See Job Openings
Here to Stay
It is projected that almost half of all the careers that exist today will disappear by the year 2025. It is almost certain that the sonography career will not be one of them. Diagnostic Medical Sonography is an exciting career that offers numerous careers paths and has enormous potential for the future. It is also one of the higher paying jobs with a mean annual salary of $71,750 per the BLS May 2016 statistics. For the person interested in a healthcare field, sonography should be on the list of career considerations. | See Job Openings