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Using Workforce Data To Create Quality Health Science Education Programs

Using Workforce Data to Create Quality Health Science Education Programs

Here’s the Support for High Skill, High Wage, and In-demand Jobs Needed in the Health Industry

None of our organizations have unlimited budgets. School divisions and state government are asked to fund countless good causes. Inevitably, some will not get enough money to maintain their current level of service. January brings the prospect of new school boards and new governors, all of which have their own spending priorities. In such an environment, how can health science educators justify investment in their programs? One of the best arguments you can make in favor of health science is that it fulfills a critical need in the economy. Put another way, students who concentrate in health science become eligible to attain a widely available, well-paying job upon high school graduation.

Chmura Economics & Analytics is the leading provider of labor market information (LMI) in the nation. As Chmura’s Senior Strategist for Education, I talk to many schools that want to prepare students for high-demand, high wage careers. Most career and technical education (CTE) pathways lead to such jobs, and health science is no exception. Our data finds that the average worker in a health science field makes $66,800, well above the national average of $51,700 for all careers. Over the next ten years, the demand for home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and other health science occupations is expected to grow 1.3 percent, compared to the predicted growth of .5 percent for all occupations. By 2030, Chmura projects almost 13 million job openings in health science. Registered nurses, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, medical assistants, and medical secretaries will be among the most indemand jobs that pay a living wage. Chmura can report the specific labor market conditions for states, counties, and even zip codes. If you need more detailed information on how health science graduates fare in your area, please reach out.

LMI has a real impact on policymakers who make decisions about your budget. Every school board member, superintendent, legislator and governor wants to support programs that lead students to good jobs. If you are concerned that your budget might be cut, or if you need additional funding for new programs or equipment, make labor data a key part of your argument. If you are a health science teacher, share this information with your principal or your school division’s Director of CTE. Those people always appreciate any information that can help justify their budget proposals and can pass your data on to the appropriate decisionmaker.

LMI can do more than just help get programs funded. As students consider whether to enroll in CTE courses or pathways, they can see their future job prospects. The federal Perkins V legislation requires all states and districts to use LMI to demonstrate that its CTE programs are aligned with local economic needs. LMI can inform decisions about whether to expand or contract different CTE programs based on labor demand. Chmura analyzes job posting data from 40,000 web sites daily and presents the certifications, hard skills, and soft skills that are most in-demand. Classroom teachers can incorporate the most requested skills into their lesson plans to give students a leg up in whatever job they seek.

As you prepare the next generation of health professionals, Chmura would love to be your partner. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have about how labor data can help your kids succeed.

Dr. Bryan Shelly is the Senior Strategist for Talent & Education for Chmura Economics and Analytics, a company that assists schools with labor market data, Perkins V, and other researchrelated services. Prior to joining Chmura, Bryan was an administrator for Chesterfield County Public School and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and an assistant professor at Wake Forest University.

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