December 2, 2016 - Washington, DC - This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.4 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 5.5 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This crisis exists because employers demand "job-ready" employees and prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate career education and training. At the same time, the government reported a labor-force participation rate of 62.8% - meaning that 37.2% of the labor force is not engaged in meaningful work. For many, they have dropped out of the workforce because they do not have the skills that are necessary to obtain meaningful employment.
During the winter months Americans get flu shots in an effort to avoid flu season, with over 45% of American getting vaccinated each year. Many of these people were seen by clinical/medical assistants. Medical assistants coordinate administrative tasks and perform basic medical procedures and are essential to patient care in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other healthcare practitioners.
What if there were not enough trained medical assistants to provide this important annual service to the American public? In 2015, our nation’s private sector colleges produced 74% of all graduates in the medical/clinical assistance program. According to the Department of Labor, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow over 138,900 jobs from 2014 to 2024, a 23 percent increase that is much faster than the average of 7% growth for all occupations. The private sector alone is set to produce over 100,000 of these jobs over the next decade in this bustling industry.
“Medical assistants are one of the most versatile and key professionals in the healthcare industry. Whether it’s making the patient feel comfortable or overseeing vital information for physicians, developing careers in medical and clinical assistance is vital for an efficient and comprehensive healthcare system,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “As healthcare in America continues to advance, these careers will be integral to our nation’s economy. Our sector’s programs will continue to prepare and train medical students to hit the ground running.”
With an aging and increasing population, a rise in the amount of treatments available, and advances in medical technology, there will be significant rise in the importance and necessity for healthcare professionals.
The medical assistant employment is heavily driven by demand from physicians’ offices, one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry and is forecasted to increase 27 percent through 2022. Outpatient care centers, where medical assistant employment is likely to increase by 57 percent, health practitioners’ offices, and medical laboratories are also venues that require work performed by medical assistants.
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) had recently announced its Campaign to Create 5 Million Career Professionals, which will provide individuals with the career education and skills in healthcare and connect academic programs of postsecondary institutions to private sector health institutions.
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America’s “Shortage of Skills” (SOS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America’s economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU’s work supports thousands of campuses that education millions of students.