In this industry you give a lot back. This a wide-ranging sector that encompasses a range of different health and social needs. You could choose to provide care for specific groups of people, such as the elderly, young people and children, families or people with mental or physical disabilities or work more generally. As a booming industry, most studies estimate that a further 275,000 workers will be needed by 2025, so there are plenty of opportunities available.
Though the health and social care industry is one that is potentially emotionally challenging – you may be placed in some difficult working conditions, a career in this sector will really see you make a big impact on people’s lives. Whether that is caring for an ill patient, providing care for a young child, or administering therapy for someone in need, it’s certain that no matter what you do you will be benefitting someone in some way.
There is a huge amount of potential career possibilities in this sector with a range of employers, from the NHS, local authorities, charity organisations and even people’s homes. If you thrive under pressure, have a great attention to detail, excellent communication skills and are highly empathetic and approachable, a career in the health and social care industry may be perfect for you.
At any level, work experience in the health and social care industry is highly important. For some roles in this sector, work experience is crucial, and you cannot pursue certain careers without appropriate experience. Not only will work experience broaden your understanding of the industry, but it may also allow you to narrow down a field within the sector that you are interested in pursuing as a job in the future. From work placements, internships, or even just volunteering in your spare time, this will go a long way in convincing employers that you are serious about a career in the health and social care industry.
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There are plenty of varied apprenticeships offered within the health and social care industry. If you choose this path, you will have the opportunity to combine both work and study. Not only will you be earning a salary while gaining the relevant qualifications for your field, but you will also be gaining the relevant experience that many do not gain until further into their learning or professional careers. Apprenticeships in the health and social care industry are available at GCSE level, all the way up to a degree level – making them the perfect opportunity for most people out there.
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Degree apprenticeships are also available in the health and social care industry. A degree apprenticeship combines the best elements of on- and off-the-job learning, allowing you to apply the knowledge you acquire in the classroom to real life situations while earning a salary. You will spend a part of your time at university and the rest with your employer, gaining experience first-hand which will be crucial to your future career.
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If you choose to pursue a degree in a field related to the health and social care industry, you’ll be learning the theoretical knowledge about the sector which you will then be able to apply to your career once you graduate. A degree in the health and social care industry will mean you can choose your modules and tailor your modules to something you may have a particular interest in in order to become more specialised. Pursuing a course that offers placement or work experience opportunities as part of your degree is highly recommended – not only will you be able to apply all the information you’ve learnt, but you will also gain the relevant experience that will make you attractive to employers once you graduate.
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Graduate jobs are widely available in the health and social care industry. Most employers offer graduate schemes to graduates in order to further develop your learning to be more relevant to the specific role you’re going into. These schemes will enable you to go into the workplace and develop the skills you need to succeed. Graduate roles in health and social care aren’t just limited to those with degrees in the relevant subjects. From HR to finance or even management, the industry is open to graduates from all degree backgrounds if you feel you wish to contribute to this worthwhile sector.
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To work within most roles in the health and social care industry, qualifications are often necessary from at least a GCSE or equivalent level. Most careers in the health and social care industry may also require more specialised qualifications to be able to fulfil the role, for instance, to become a social worker you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). However, for some employers it may be possible to begin work as a trainee, though you will likely be entered into a programme to enable you to gain the relevant qualification for your role if you do not have one).
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