June 19, 2012 — In Spring 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported its 10-year job projections for the gamut of professional industries. For most college graduates, the data speaks to a still-tough job market: One in two college graduates are currently jobless or underemployed. But strength in one area has risen steadily: health and sciences.
But the growth is not all due to conventional medicine. The Bureau projects that jobs in chiropractic will increase 28 percent by 2020 — placing the field of chiropractic at a much faster growth rate than most professions.
The Reason: The profession’s growth is driven by an upward trend and popularity in natural, holistic healthcare in the preventive space. Nearly two in five Americans opt for these therapies, spending nearly $34 billion a year. And as aging baby boomers continue to face musculoskeletal problems and falls, the industry itself will boom.
The trend has brought with it rising demand for practitioners, fueling growth and interest in educators like Parker University that prepare students for those types of careers.
“The chiropractic profession is at a critical intersection,” says Fabrizio Mancini, DC, president of Parker University, a health science institution that offers degrees in chiropractic. “America’s healthcare industry is facing extreme costs, an obesity epidemic and meteoric rates of prescription drug abuse. People are demanding options in the natural, preventive space and we are educating students to meet that huge demand.”
Natural medicine combats the healthcare crisis
No one would argue that the healthcare industry is riddled with problems — from extreme costs to the onset of preventable chronic illness. One of the biggest drivers of chiropractic’s success and demand has been Americans’ search for affordable, preventive measures that — above all — are natural and drug-free.
Research shows that chiropractic care, when packaged with other standards of care, offers an effective and cost-efficient treatment regimen that will diagnose and fix problems before they progress. For example, Americans spend $102 billion annually to treat late-stage spine disorders, with an estimated $14 billion in lost wages. Preventive, chiropractic care aims to diminish those numbers, save the crippling economy and improve the quality of life for patients with spine disorders.
As that industry soars, so too will job vacancies, says Mancini.
“Facilities like ours are charged with training students to fill those jobs,” Mancini says. “Students who are not at least considering a career in chiropractic miss out on a large opportunity for personal satisfaction, compensation and professional independence.”
The self-employed young generation
One of the biggest reasons graduating students are flocking to careers in chiropractic are the promises of entrepreneurship not offered with other occupations. There are few lines of work where recent graduates are expected to run their own businesses right out of school — among them is chiropractic; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 44 percent of chiropractors are self-employed.
And chiropractic self-employment is a lucrative one: Chiropractic is ranked as one of the “10 most profitable businesses to start” by Forbes.com. To prepare students for the challenges and opportunities that come with self-employment, training centers like Parker University are offering courses with business content unique to the chiropractic profession. These courses teach students the business knowhow they need to run their own practices right out of school.
“We’ve seen our graduates successfully launch their own businesses in sports medicine, animal care, pediatrics, chronic illness treatment, and more,” Mancini says. “But for them, it’s not just about working flexible hours or being their own boss. It’s about helping people, which is a predominant philosophy we see in the chiropractic industry.”
Source: Parker University. www.parker.edu