Future-Proof Careers in Healthcare – Fastest-Growing Fields in 2024

“Corporate healthcare has also been growing rapidly. It’s a very exciting space with many companies that didn’t exist 15 years ago.  Value-based care is another rapidly growing area, particularly by making use of the Medicare Advantage value-based care program. Virtual care has completely taken off over the last three years. Homecare, which is doubling in size, has picked up a lot of the business that used to be taken care of by senior care centers. A lot of that care is migrating into the home.

Roy Bejarano, Co-founder and CEO, SCALE Healthcare

Healthcare, a sector experiencing rapid expansion, is projected to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years. The evolution of patient needs and healthcare technologies, compounded by an aging population, has catalyzed this surge, presenting an abundance of exciting career opportunities. From traditional roles such as general practitioners and nurses to emerging specialties like healthcare cybersecurity, the breadth and depth of this sector are expanding.

Over the past few years, spending on healthcare has seen some significant swings: “Healthcare spending is nearly $5 trillion in this country alone. What is interesting is that the spending has been all over the place in the last three years. There was an unbelievable increase in government spending during Covid,” explains Roy Bejarano, co-founder and CEO of SCALE Healthcare, a healthcare management consulting firm. 

“The net effect was that healthcare spending climbed from 17.5 percent of the gross domestic product all the way up to 20 percent. In the last two years, it’s climbed back down to sub-18 percent because the government is taking back all of its Covid spending.” 

Starting a healthcare career is an opportunity to join one of the fastest-changing industries. With continuous technological advancements and shifting patient demographics, healthcare professions offer dynamic, rewarding, and impactful careers. However, with the advent of AI and the phasing out of traditional practices, the industry is witnessing a transitional period. Picking a future-proof career is more essential now than ever. 

Keep reading to learn more from Bejarano about the future of the healthcare industry and careers and a consolidated list of the fastest-growing fields.  

Meet the Expert: Roy Bejarano

Roy Bejarano is the co-founder and CEO of SCALE Healthcare, a healthcare management consulting firm. Since the firm was founded in 2019, Roy has interacted with several hundred multi-site provider-based organizations across most of the US and financial institutions that provide investment capital to these rapidly evolving healthcare management platforms. He is particularly focused on management service organization, practice-level operations, and broad strategic and competitive dynamics across the country’s healthcare services landscape. 

Previously, Bajarano was co-founder and president of Frontier Healthcare—the largest ASC management company in New York at the time of its sale to Physicians Endoscopy. 

Areas of Growth In The Healthcare Market

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2023) reaffirms the exponential growth in the healthcare sector. According to their employment estimates, “The healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to not only grow most rapidly of any sector but it is also projected to create about 45 percent of all the projected job gains from 2022 to 2032.”

However, this growth is uneven across the industry: “There’s unbelievable growth going on, but it is also offset by shrinkage. There are plenty of areas in healthcare that have been shrinking rapidly over the last decade. For example, many individual small practices have been going out of business or being acquired,” says Bejarano. “Hospital space at large health systems hasn’t been growing—it’s been consolidating. In fact, it’s been slightly shrinking. Instead of 7,000 hospitals, now we have closer to 6,000 hospitals.”

Despite some areas shrinking, there are many areas where we see the exact opposite. “We’ve seen tremendous growth for consolidators. If you want to join one of the hospital health systems groups acquiring clinics and hospitals, you’ll be in a growth business because it’s growing through acquisitions across the country,” says Bejarano. 

“Corporate healthcare has also been growing rapidly. It’s a very exciting space with many companies that didn’t exist 15 years ago.  Value-based care is another rapidly growing area, particularly by making use of the Medicare Advantage value-based care program. Virtual care has completely taken off over the last three years. Homecare, which is doubling in size, has picked up a lot of the business that used to be taken care of by senior care centers. A lot of that care is migrating into the home.”

He continues, “The outpatient migration has continued to be a source of growth for the last 15 years, moving care out of inpatient settings to outpatient settings. It hasn’t slowed down because another category gets released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for outpatient settings every five years. Most recently, cardiology procedures were added. Before that, it was bariatric and orthopedic,”

How To Future Proof Your Healthcare Career

To capitalize on growth areas, choosing a healthcare career that aligns with future trends and demands is crucial. According to Bejarano, it is not necessary to be super specific. “Commit to a healthcare career. Don’t commit to a skill within healthcare,” he advises. If you’re looking for a successful career in healthcare, be committed to learning as much as you can along the way. If you do pick up a job that becomes redundant, there’s probably still a lot you learned to take you to the next job. I wouldn’t approach it with too much insecurity. I would approach healthcare with a lot of confidence. It’s an industry that desperately needs talent and people to stick with it and fix things.”

One of the benefits of a healthcare career, particularly the careers that provide direct care, is that outsourcing to other countries is nearly impossible. “US healthcare has not suffered from foreign competition. It’s all domestic. It is one of the few industries that can say that, so there’s a lot of safety already built into this profession,” says Bejarano. “Be a great learner and develop good relationships in the industry. Grow your friendships network. The opportunities in healthcare will change, as will the business models, rules, and technology. Learning and friendships will help protect through all of those.”

Fastest Growing Fields In Healthcare

From roles that directly impact patient care to positions safeguarding the digital landscape of healthcare, many areas of healthcare are rapidly expanding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the fastest-growing fields in healthcare: 

Nurse Practioner

With an aging population and a rising need for primary care providers, nurse practitioners are becoming increasingly vital in the healthcare delivery ecosystem. Their ability to provide a broad range of health services, including disease prevention, health management, and patient education, positions them uniquely in the healthcare sector. Nurse practitioners have the autonomy to make critical medical decisions and provide a high level of care, often with more time for patient interaction than physicians, leading to high patient satisfaction rates.

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 45 percent
  • Average Salary: $121,610 per year

Data Scientists

Healthcare data scientists use large datasets and sophisticated analytical tools to find insights that can improve patient care and outcomes. They sift through medical records, health histories, and genomic data to identify patterns or trends. These insights can lead to early detection of diseases, targeted treatment strategies, or even prediction of future health problems. They also play a crucial role in designing and implementing machine learning models to improve diagnostic accuracy, optimize resource allocation, and customize patient treatment plans. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 35 percent
  • Average Salary: $103,500 per year

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts play a pivotal role in protecting sensitive health information and maintaining the integrity of healthcare IT systems. They implement, update, and manage security measures to protect computer networks and systems within a healthcare organization. These professionals continuously monitor the organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate violations when they occur. They are often also called healthy cybersecurity experts. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 32 percent
  • Average Salary: $112,00

Medical and Health Services Managers

Healthcare administrators or executives, classified as medical and health service managers by the BLS, play a critical role in planning, directing, and coordinating health and medical services. They are responsible for improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery by overseeing the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Their tasks can range from managing budgets and setting rates for health services to developing schedules, policies, and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 28 percent
  • Average Salary: $104,830


In the face of rising public health challenges, the need for epidemiologists is more pressing than ever. These professionals are essential in mapping out the spread of diseases, identifying high-risk groups, and understanding the factors contributing to diseases. They are the ones who can devise effective strategies to control disease spread and prevent future outbreaks. From policy development to community education, the work of epidemiologists is instrumental in saving lives and improving health outcomes. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 27 percent
  • Average Salary: $78,520

Physician Assistants

With the critical shortage of physicians, physician assistants will be in demand over the next decade. These medical professionals practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. Their responsibilities encompass a broad range of tasks, including examining patients, diagnosing illnesses, providing treatment, and counseling on preventative healthcare. They can also prescribe medications, depending on the regulations of the state where they practice.

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 27 percent
  • Average Salary: $126,012

Physical Therapist Assistants

As the prevalence of chronic conditions such as obesity and arthritis continues to rise, so does the demand for physical therapy services. However, there is a chronic shortage of physical therapists (PT), which is why there is an increased demand for physical therapy assistants. They work closely with a PT in a collaborative environment to ensure optimal patient care. While the PT evaluates the patient’s condition and develops a comprehensive treatment plan, the physical therapist assistant provides the hands-on care prescribed, such as guided exercises, therapeutic massages, or balance training. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 26 percent
  • Average Salary: $62,770

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Occupational therapy assistants work alongside occupational therapists to help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. They assist patients with exercises that improve motor coordination, strength, and dexterity while teaching them how to use adaptive equipment and techniques to overcome physical limitations. They may also educate patients on energy conservation techniques and strategies to manage pain. In addition to demands from an aging Baby Boomer population, hospitals and other healthcare settings are recognizing the value of occupational therapy in reducing the length of hospital stays and improving patient outcomes. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 24 percent
  • Average Salary: $64,250

Operations Research Analysts

The growing complexity of healthcare systems has created a pressing need for healthcare operations research analysts to enhance efficiency, improve patient care, and reduce costs. Technology integration in healthcare and the resultant data explosion have further heightened the demand for analysts to interpret this data and turn it into actionable insights. 

Telehealth, electronic health records, and digital health platforms have created vast amounts of data that can be analyzed for improving patient care, predicting epidemics, avoiding preventable diseases, and enhancing the overall effectiveness of healthcare delivery, ensuring this field will be in demand for years to come. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 23 percent
  • Average Salary: $85,720

Home Health And Personal Care Aides

The growing elderly population, most of whom prefer aging in place and require assistance for day-to-day activities and health management, is driving demand for home health and personal care aides. Increased life expectancy, the rise of chronic diseases, and the shift towards home-based care as a more cost-effective alternative to long-term hospitalization or nursing home placement are additional factors contributing to this demand surge. 

As healthcare systems strive to reduce hospital readmission rates and improve patient outcomes, the role of home health and personal care aides in providing transitional care and promoting adherence to care plans becomes crucial. 

  • Project Growth 2022-2032: 22 percent
  • Average Salary: $30,180
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson


At HealthcareDegree.com, Kimmy Gustafson has delivered in-depth and insightful articles since 2019, aiding prospective students to navigate the complexities of choosing the right healthcare degree. Her recent work includes topics such as the ethics of gene editing and physician assistant’s fight for autonomy.

Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.

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