How can you prepare for a career in healthcare?


  Healthcare is one of the fastest growing fields in the country, and in 2015 alone, nearly half a million healthcare industry jobs were added to the economy. Have you been thinking about a career in healthcare and what that really means? Here’s a quick guide to understanding and preparing for the healthcare field.

  1. Participate in healthcare programs or activities in high school

The best way to determine whether a healthcare career might be for you? Try it out ahead of time!

  • Talk to those you know in the healthcare field, or reach out to local hospitals, clinics or offices to see if they allow job shadowing. This is a great way to see what the day-to-day work in the healthcare field really looks and feels like.
  • Volunteer! Hands-on experience at healthcare oriented nonprofits or organizations can help you understand what happens behind the scenes-- not just what happens in the OR.
  • Join HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) or other health-related clubs at your school
  • Research universities with strong healthcare programs and look through course lists/requirements to see how you’ll spend the next four years in a healthcare-related major


  1. Know your major options!

Healthcare encompasses a wide range of future careers! Lots of our students are interested in studying healthcare-related fields in college, but don't know where to begin. Here are some pre-healthcare tracks or majors offered at universities to help begin your search into the diverse field.

  • Pre-Nursing
  • Pre-Physical Therapy
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Biology/Chemistry/Anatomy
  • Exercise Science/Sports Medicine
  • Pre-Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Public Health
  • Health Sciences
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Audiology
  • Neuroscience/Neurobiology
  • Physiology

Many universities have unique majors and requirements, so make sure to do your research ahead of applications.


  1.  Take as many advanced science and math courses as possible.


  • Don’t limit yourself by skipping a year of math or science. Take four years of both and as many AP or IB courses as you feel comfortable handling.


  1. Know ahead of time which universities have excellent track records of getting students into higher degree programs


  • Universities often offer opportunities or resources to help students gain admission to medical school, PT school, nursing school or other graduate degrees. These programs can make sure you have the right pre-reqs ahead of application season, so check in early and often.
  • Find the statistics for each undergraduate program’s success at getting their students into graduate school -- since this is often difficult to find, reach out to specific departments via phone or email if you can’t locate them on the school’s website.

Still interested in learning more, or need some guidance while navigating the research and applications? Hughes College Prep can help you figure out the right direction and reach your goals.