7 in 10 adults have never thought about a career in healthcare

The healthcare sector is the nation’s largest employer, but most Americans have never considered a career in health services administration, according to a recent survey of adults.

The study, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the University of Phoenix in April and May 2018, looked at responses from 2,000 U.S. adults. It revealed that a growing demand for healthcare workers may not be met with a qualified pool of candidates in the future due to lack of interest.

From 2016 to 2026, healthcare occupations are projected to grow 18 percent—faster than any other occupation—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the projected need for healthcare workers who manage employees, medical information and projects is also high.

U.S. adults may not be interested in the healthcare field for a career due to a lack of familiarity of the diverse jobs within the space, the study found. Less than 20 percent of respondents were “very familiar” with the role of most medical managers.

Another 17 percent said they didn’t have the skills to become an employee in the health services administration market, while 18 percent said they didn’t want to go back to school to get a degree.

“What people do not realize is that there are a number of hard and soft skills that are transferrable across industries and that many are directly applicable to roles within health services administration, including people skills, certain technical capabilities and, most importantly, a willingness to learn and good ‘old fashioned’ hard work,” Mark Johannsson, D.H.Sc., M.P.H., FRSPH, dean for the school of health services administration at University of Phoenix, said in a statement.