I recently had the chance to attend and present at the ABHES conference in Las Vegas. If you are not familiar, AHBES stands for the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, and its event certainly draws a group of attendees who are eager to take career services to the next level.
Throughout the session and in my conversations with the attendees, it struck me that even though “healthcare is where the jobs are,” at least according the commercials, just having a relatively good job market doesn’t mean these schools can set themselves on autopilot.
Let’s look at the headlines…
Health-Care Sector Added 49,000 Jobs in February
- Wall Street Journal, 3.9.12
Aging America Creates Demand for Health-Care Workers
-Bureau of Labor Statistics
So, we’ve established the fact that there are healthcare jobs for graduates, for the most part. The trick for schools is to move beyond the role of advisor and play an active role in matching graduates with the most promising jobs. Institutions need to have the processes and technology in place to allow students to post resumes and search job opportunities, as well as enable employers to post open positions and build resume books of qualified candidates. Schools also need to track placement outcomes so they know what works and what doesn’t.
I was really encouraged by the enthusiasm among ABHES attendees around career services. One of the key objectives of ABHES is to improve employment outcomes through its focus on program quality and preparing students for successful careers. Its member schools know that their graduates have tremendous job opportunities ahead of them. By dedicating resources to career services and being more proactive in the process, their students have a higher likelihood of being placed not only in their fields, but more importantly, in the right jobs.