Students slave away in universities, striving to earn a degree in business, the sciences, or what ever can give them an upper hand in the work force. We spend hours memorizing diels-alder and alkyne reactions, nights dedicated to poli-sci papers, and four years thinking to ourselves, “why am I even doing this?”

For us pre-med students, we survive the four years of undergrad just to spend another four years of sweat and tears getting through Medical school. And following Med school graduation, many students worry about not having a guaranteed position after residency. It makes sense that starting now, as undergrads, we question if our hard work and time spent studying and interning will pay off when the current job market is already so competitive and jobs aren’t guaranteed, even with a degree.

However, the good news is that our hard work will pay off! A recent study, by Georgetown University, projects that there will be 5.6 million new jobs by 2020. More than 50% of these new job openings will be in the fields of Healthcare, management, and labor. Physicians and surgeons are expected to see a substantial 24.4% increase in job openings within the next ten years according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

U.S. News and World Report notes that “Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners” consistently fall in the top one to two careers that are most needed in major cities across the nation.

The fields of nursing, mental health counselors, and personal care aides are expected to be highest in demand by 2020 due to the aging baby boomer population. These fields are also expected to increase dramatically since their positions do not require degrees beyond post secondary education.

However, individuals who attain a masters or doctorates degree will have an advantage in securing “driver” careers which are competitive careers that require high-skill and advanced training. Anthony P. Carnevale, the lead author in the Georgetown study, states, “In healthcare, there are really two labor markets: professional and support,” (Support positions are the nurses and assistants while the professional positions are the physicians). Professional jobs require higher degrees while high school and college are the only requirements for support jobs. The extra schooling to become a professional does pay off; as the professional worker makes an astounding 2.5 times more than the average support worker.

A health conscientious baby boomer generation coupled with a shift towards preventative care secures an open job market for future physicians and healthcare providers.

So those all-nighters and mental breakdowns are worth it. Stay focused and continue to follow your passion, pre-meders! Your career as a future healthcare provider is in high demand!